San Diego Film Fest brings action to the Gaslamp
by Sally Foster
Published - 10/08/06 - 12:26 PM | 2426 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Each year, filmmakers and moviegoers from around the world travel to downtown San Diego to attend the San Diego International Film Festival, an event showcasing more than 75 local, national and international films over the course of five days and nights. Now in its sixth year, the San Diego Film Festival has become a major landmark for the independent film industry, drawing more than 15,000 attendees annually and receiving awards such as "Best Regional, Beach and Party Film Festival" (Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide) and "Editor's Choice for Best Film Festival, 2003" (SignOnSanDiego).

Founded in 2001 by indie-film publicist Robin Laatz-Kozak and filmmaker Karl Kozak, the festival was created to showcase a variety of independent film genres in a city that already features many genre festivals, such as the Asian, Jewish, and student festivals.

The San Diego Film Festival offers not only movies, but provides networking through panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As, and five of San Diego's glitziest parties as well. This year, the festival also teamed up with the San Diego House of Blues to introduce the new "Film Rocks" music video segment as part of the 2006 Festival.

The San Diego House of Blues also hosted this year's Actor's Ball and Awards Ceremony. On Saturday night, festivalgoers dressed up in their best rock-and-roll attire in keeping with the "glam rock" theme of the party. Fox 6 News' Ruben Galvan emceed the event, keeping the crowd's energy high while presenters bestowed dozens of awards in 13 categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best San Diego Filmmaker and a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year's celebrity guests included Jason Priestly and Christopher Masterson. Previous festivals have welcomed Zach Braff ("Garden State"), James Van Der Beek ("Rules of Attraction"), Joey Lauren Adams ("Chasing Amy") and many more prestigious guests.

Over the past six years, the unparalleled growth and success of the San Diego Film Festival has served to secure San Diego's spot on the map as a prime destination for independent film lovers. This is an event not to be missed; be sure to mark your calendars for next year's festival, as San Diego continues to make history and leave its indelible mark on the film industry.
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