San Diego Film Festival / Nomadland

The festival’s official premiere film, Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand

For nearly 20 years, one of the most anticipated events among San Diego’s arts scene has been the San Diego International Film Festival. It always showcases a diverse range of films, presenting a great opportunity for local audiences to see the work of local and international filmmakers and participate in thought-provoking discussion about it. This year, the event has been reimagined to bring the same memorable experience in both a virtual and a socially distanced format.

116 films have been selected from hundreds of entries to be featured in this year’s festival, which runs October 15–18. From documentaries and shorts to feature films, this year’s lineup covers a wide range of themes in various film formats. Audiences can experience the festival through a drive-in showing at Westfield UTC, and also through the “virtual village,” which will host live streams of the work and panels with filmmakers from all over the world.

It all kicks off on the 15th: Pass holders can view the nine films scheduled for the day, eight of which are streaming all afternoon, including Twiceborn and Escape from Extinction. The official premiere at the drive-in begins at 6:30 with a showing of Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand. Also scheduled is a local panel, “Quarantine Film Challenge.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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