Cinequest Film Festival

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Cinequest Film Festival
Location San Jose and Redwood City, California United States of America
Founded 1990
Language English
Website cinequest.org

The Cinequest Film Festival is an annual independent film festival held each March in San Jose, California. The international festival combines the cinematic arts with Silicon Valley’s innovation. It is produced by Cinequest, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is also responsible for Picture The Possibilities and the distribution label Cinequest Mavericks Studio LLC. Cinequest awards the annual Maverick Spirit Awards. In addition to the over 130 World or U.S. premieres from over 30 countries, it hosts writer's events which includes screenwriting competitions, a shorts programs, technology and artistic forums and workshops, student programs, and a theatre organ accompanied silent film. In 2017 the festival was rebranded as the Cinequest Film & VR Festival and expanded beyond downtown San Jose to Redwood City, California. It took place from February 28 to March 12, 2017.[1][2]

History[edit]

Filmmakers Halfdan Hussey and Kathleen Powell founded Cinequest in 1990. That year the festival showed 60 films in a single theater, the Camera 3 Cinemas in San Jose; 3,000 people attended. By 2013 there were 100,000 attendees.[3] In 2014 the festival showed 84 world premieres, by film makers in 43 countries, including one filmed using an iPhone.[4] For 2017, Cinequest holds events at the California Theatre, Hammer Theatre Center, CinéArts Santana Row 6, Redwood City Century Downtown 20, San Jose Stage, and San Jose State University Yoshihiro Uchida Hall.[5]

Cinequest Film Festival has gained a reputation as a discovery event: Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide recommends it as showing "the future of film".[3] USA Today readers voted Cinequest as the best Film Festival.[6]

The festival expanded to ten days in 2000.[7] Cinequest Online was launched in 2004[8] and Cinequest Mavericks Studio in 2010.[9] In 2017, the festival was rebranded as the Cinequest Film & VR Festival, to reflect the major role of Silicon Valley in developing virtual reality.[10]

Awards[edit]

Cinequest offers several awards during the festival season. The Maverick Spirit Awards, the Maverick Innovator Awards, and the Media Legacy Awards highlight notable individuals in film and technology. The Maverick Individual awards are given to films at the conclusion of the festival via jury and audience voting.

Maverick Spirit Awards[edit]

The Maverick Spirit Award is given to influential individuals who embody the independent and innovative mindset. It is the most prestigious award given at the Cinequest Film Festival. Over the past 27 years, Cinequest has honored the following artists:

Year Honoree
1990 Jon Jost
1992 Lena Stolze
1993 Paul Bartel
Carl Franklin
1994 Russ Meyer
Werner Herzog
John Waters
1996 Luis Valdez
1997 Jennifer Jason Leigh
1998 Kevin Spacey
Elmer Bernstein
Jackie Chan
Walter Murch
John Schlesinger
Barry Sonnenfeld
1999 Gabriel Byrne
Rod Steiger
2000 Robert M. Young
Dario Argento
Alec Baldwin
Wes Craven
Peter Fonda
2002 Lalo Schifrin
David Strathairn
Lili Taylor
Ian McKellen
2003 Stephen Frears
Lupe Ontiveros
William H. Macy
Val Kilmer
James Woods
2004 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Kurt Miller
2005 Blanchard Ryan
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
Ben Kingsley
Jon Polito
2006 Edward James Olmos
2007 Stewart Copeland
Minnie Driver
Christine Vachon
J.J. Abrams
Christopher McQuarrie
2008 Michael Keaton
Danny Glover
2009 Kevin Pollak
Louis Gossett Jr.
Diablo Cody
2010 Benjamin Bratt
Deepak Chopra
Terry Zwigoff
2011 Bethany Hamilton
John Turturro
Alyson Stoner
2012 Terence Davies
Philip Kaufman
Elliott Gould
2013 Harrison Ford
Salman Rushdie
Chuck Palahniuk
2014 Neil Gaiman
Christopher Meloni
2015 John Boorman
Rosario Dawson
2016 Rita Moreno
James Franco
2017 Fred Armisen
Jane Lynch
Jason Reitman

Maverick Innovator Awards[edit]

The Media Innovator Award honors technologists whose thoughts, methods and innovations have significantly advanced their industries, their careers, and the world.[11] Cinequest has honored the following people:

Year Honoree
2014 Marty Cooper
Matthew Modine

Media Legacy Awards[edit]

The Media Legacy Award, inaugurated in 2014, honors film journalists, "the champions who provide audiences and, thus, life blood for artists and films".[12] Cinequest has honored the following people:

Year Honoree
2014 Kenneth Turan
Harry Knowles
Eric Kohn
2015 Anne Thompson[13]
Richard von Busack
2016 Owen Gleiberman

Film Awards[edit]

Several awards are given on the closing night of the festival to individual films selected either by a panel of judges or by audience surveys and votes. The most noteworthy awards are:

  • Top Film - Awarded to the best film in any category
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best First Feature - Awarded for a director's first feature-length film
  • Best Short Narrative Film
  • Audience Favorite Narrative - Awarded to the most popular narrative film based on audience surveys and screening attendance
  • Audience Favorite Documentary - Awarded to the most popular documentary film based om audience surveys and screening attendance

Listed below are all of Cinequest's awards:

Maverick Film Competition

  • Maverick Spirit Award (Feature Film)
  • Best First Feature
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Short Narrative
  • Best Short Animation
  • Best Short Documentary
  • Best Student Short

New Visions Program

  • New Visions Award (Feature Film)

Global Landscapes

  • Global Vision Award (Feature Film)

Screenplay Competition

  • Screenplay Award (1st, 2nd, and 3rd places recognized)

Audience Award

  • Audience Award Narrative Feature
  • Audience Award Documentary Feature
  • Audience Award Short Film

Also awarded at Cinequest:

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award is given to the most inspiring and life affirming film.

Notable debuts[edit]

Independent films that premiered at Cinequest and went on to further distribution by a major movie studio:[14]

Year Films
2001 Maze
The Adventures of Barry Ween
2002 Blue Car
2003 Hukkle
Robot Stories
Suckers
Spellbound
2004 I.P.O.
The Agronomist
The Praying Mantis
One Man Show
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Imelda
2005 Accordion Tribe
The Civilization of Maxwell Bright
2006 Edmond
Water
Thank You for Smoking
Midnight Clear
The Hamiltons
2007 The Namesake
A Dog's Breakfast
Sublime
Blood Car
On the Doll
Monster Camp
2008 Dear Zachary
Sherman's Way
The Village Barbershop
The Sinking of Santa Isabel
The Art of Travel
Tokyo Sonata
El Camino
Critical Condition
Witch Hunt
Family Inc
2009 All About Dad
Billy Was a Deaf Kid
Blue Road
Heart of Stone
Historias Extraordinarias
The Nature of Existence
Rocaterrania
The Skeptic
Wake
2010 Anyone You Want
Cost of a Soul
The Desert of Forbidden Art
Gabi on the Roof in July
Hell is Other People
Kill the Habit
Krews
Peepers
Professor
The Real Revolutionaries
Tercer Mundo
To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey
Invisible Strings: The Talented Pusker Sisters
2011 Mimesis
I'm Yours
2012 The Village Barbershop
The Sinking of Santa Isabel
Portrait of a Zombie
The Ghastly Love of Johnny X
Forgetting the Girl
The Harsh Light of Day
Bel Borba Aqui
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

Oscar nominees[edit]

Short films shown at Cinequest that have received nominations for Academy Awards include:

Year Films
2004 (A) Torzija
2005 Ryan (Won)
Little Terrorist
2006 Cashback
9
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
Our Time is Up
2011 The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (Won)
Wild Life
Raju
2014 "Mr. Hublot (Won)"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Vision". www.cinequest.org. Cinequest. 
  2. ^ "Cinequest: We pick the top films at San Jose's famed fest". 
  3. ^ a b Sebade, Brett; Burt, Kyle (February 28, 2014). "Festival Spotlight Friday: Onwards and Upwards with Cinequest 2014". MovieMaker. 
  4. ^ Dawn, Randee (March 1, 2014). "Cinequest Fest Blends High Tech With Cinematic Arts". Variety. 
  5. ^ "2017 Cinequest Festival Guide" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "10Best Readers' Choice: Best Film Festival winners". USA TODAY. 
  7. ^ Harvey, Dennis (February 17, 2000). "Cinequest expands". Variety. 
  8. ^ Harvey, Dennis (March 10, 2004) [March 9, 2004]. "San Jose fest to fete Arnold". Variety. 
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (September 10, 2010). "Fest-distrib Cinequest bows a prod'n shingle". Variety. 
  10. ^ Veronin, Nick; Edalatpour, Jeffrey (February 22, 2017). "Being There: With new focus on VR, Cinequest aims to spark imagination and transport viewers". Metro Silicon Valley. pp. 10–11. 
  11. ^ Burt, Kyle (March 2014). "Famed Author Neil Gaiman, Matthew Modine, & Father of Cell Phone Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award Recipients" (PDF) (press release). Cinequest. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  12. ^ Burt, Kyle (March 2014). "Cinequest Debuts Media Legacy Award" (PDF) (press release). Cinequest. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  13. ^ Hussey, Halfdan (March 2015). "Wild Tales: Media Legacy - Anne Thompson". Cinequest. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cinequest Programming Highlights: Notable Films Receiving Distribution After Cinequest Premiere". Cinequest. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Daily, G. (2004). "Cinequest's Maverick Approach to Streaming". Emedia. 17 (6): 10–12. 

External links[edit]