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Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival Announces 2024 Lineup

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CINEQUEST FILM & CREATIVITY FESTIVAL
COMBINES INNOVATION AND THE ARTS WITH 2024 THEME “UPLIFT”
March 7-17, Silicon Valley 

SILICON VALLEY — The Cinequest Film & Creative Festival returns this March 6-17th promising an extraordinary cinematic experience that merges the worlds of storytelling and technology. Returning to its palatial San Jose venues and flagship time of year, the program is a testament to Cinequest's 2024 theme of "Uplift" through the potent combination of innovation, the arts, and community.

Continuing its commitment to showcasing the latest and greatest film artists, Cinequest will unveil 217 films from 37 countries — chock-full of comedies, inspiring artistry, and diversity of culture and thought. Cinequest’s groundbreaking AI Town Hall (launching the festivities on March 6th) will bring AI luminaries together with San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, to address the powers and mitigate the pitfalls of AI for communities and the world of creativity. Cinequest opens its lineup of World and U.S. Premieres with the invigorating thriller The Island Between Tides and closes with Maverick Spirit Award recipient Matthew Modine’s Hard Miles. Cinequest’s Silent Cinema Event will present Douglas Fairbank’s The Mark of Zorro and Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality, accompanied by the breathtaking music of organist Dennis James. Creativity further uplifts before screenings via comedians, dancers, and poets.
 
Cinequest Festivals, a dynamic blend of both in-person and virtual celebrations, have been steadfast beacons of joy and affirmation for individuals and entire communities. Cinequest fans can enjoy selections from the festival from the comfort of their homes immediately following the festival on Cinequest’s virtual platform, Cinejoy from March 21-31st. Cinejoy continues to evolve beyond a film festival that streams movies to an experience that translates the fun, excitement, and power of live film events to global audiences online. In addition to online screenings available to stream 24/7 during the event, Cinejoy will include live spotlight events, interactive passports, group share, and screening party experiences.
 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Cinequest AI Town Hall: Preceding the festival, on March 6th at the Hammer Theatre, Cinequest hosts a meeting of the minds, politicians, and creatives to tackle the opportunities as well as the potential issues of AI for communities. It’s fitting that Cinequest, a trusted organization, would host a seminal gathering in the epicenter of AI, the Silicon Valley, and expand the conversation beyond the normal approach of mainstream media. A keynote address will precede two forums: 1) “The Good, Bad, and Ugly of AI — What Communities and Policymakers Need to Know, Address, and Utilize in the Realm of AI”; and 2) “Creativity, Consciousness, and AI.”  Afterward, San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan will field community questions and address some of the hot topics explored in the Keynote and Forums. The event will include competitions between Human vs. Artificial Intelligence in creative areas of comedy, rap, and more. Keynote and speaker lineup to be announced in mid-February. The events are complimentary to Cinequest attendees and the residents of Santa Clara County.

Opening Night: On Thursday, March 7th, Cinequest kicks off at the palatial California Theatre in San Jose with a star-studded red carpet, the World Premiere of the fantasy thriller The Island Between Tides, and an exciting after-party at The GlassHouse.
Special guests: Paloma Kwiatkowski (Percy Jackson, Bates Motel), David Mazouz (Gotham), Donal Logue (Gotham, Sons of Anarchy), and writers/directors Austin Andrews and Andrew Holmes. Story: Based on Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie's gothic bedtime story Mary Rose, a stunning sci-fi, mystery about a young woman who follows a mysterious melody onto a remote tidal island. When she crosses back over at the next low tide, she emerges into a world where 25 years have passed.

Silent Cinema at Cinequest: On Friday, March 8th, step into the glamorous era of the 1920s. The uplifting event will feature powerhouse films The Mark of Zorro and Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality, with stunning accompaniment by organist, Dennis James.

Closing Night: Join Maverick Spirit Recipient Matthew Modine on Sunday, March 17th for his inspiring new film Hard Miles, the story of a strong-willed social worker at a youth prison who assembles a cycling team of teenage convicts and takes them on a transformative 1000-mile ride. 

MAVERICK SPIRIT AWARD

Cinequest’s highest honor, the Maverick Spirit Award, reflects the best of the worlds of innovation and artistry. It has been received by J.J. Abrams, Tatiana Maslany, Nicolas Cage, Sir Ian McKellen, Rosario Dawson, Harrison Ford, Michael Keaton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Spike Lee, Elle Fanning, Gemma Arterton, Neil Gaiman, and Jim Gaffigan.  

Cinequest proudly announces Matthew Modine as the distinguished recipient of the 2024 Maverick Spirit Award. Renowned for his role as U.S. Marine Private/Sergeant J.T. "Joker" Davis in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Modine has worked with many of the film industry’s most respected directors, including Oliver Stone, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Spike Lee, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles and Christopher Nolan. Additional film and television credits include OppenheimerStranger ThingsThe Dark Knight RisesShort CutsBirdyMarried to the Mob and Any Given Sunday.

Modine is an outspoken advocate for understanding the potential impact of AI on the entertainment industry, and his interest in the convergence of technology and storytelling is evident through his filmmaking. Modine recently produced a compelling documentary Downwind, narrated by Martin Sheen, shedding light on the profound effects of nuclear tests. Beyond traditional filmmaking, he has ventured into the realm of technology with an app documentary or "app-umentary" crafted from the diary he kept while on the set of Full Metal Jacket.

Beyond his cinematic pursuits, Matthew Modine is an environmentalist who cares deeply about bettering the planet, aligning seamlessly with the theme of "Uplift," making him the fitting recipient of the Maverick Spirit Award. In addition to receiving the Maverick Spirit Award, Modine will be presenting his latest film Hard Miles at the closing night ceremony on Sunday, March 17th.
 

NOTABLE FILM PREMIERES

Cinequest’s dynamic film lineup will showcase 217 films (100 of which are directed by women) along with hundreds of presenting artists from over 37 countries. Highlights include:

Canvas | Thriller, Mystery | A psychological thriller that would make Hitchcock proud, Canvas follows an ex-child art prodigy as she is harrowed by her sister, who returns to their childhood home and tries to get her committed. World Premiere

Frida | Documentary | An intimately raw and magical journey through the life, mind, and heart of iconic artist Frida Kahlo. Told through her own words for the very first time — drawn from her diary, revealing letters, essays, and print interviews — Frida reaches new visual heights with lyrical animation inspired by her life and unforgettable artwork. California Premiere

The Invisibles | Fantasy, Drama | Charlie and Hanna are in crisis. In their toughest hour, Charlie starts to disappear – literally. As he fades from the world, he discovers a new world of INVISIBLES, people who have disappeared just like him. But, instead of accepting his fate, he fights to get back to Hanna, and a new beginning. World Premiere

The Italians | Comedy | Starring Abigail Breslin, Rob Estes, Michelle Danner, and Matthew Daddario in an incredible comedy of love, family bonds, acceptance, and great Italian food. World Premiere

Laughing Buddha | Fantasy, Drama | A heartwarming tale from India wherein a young boy with big dreams must struggle with his desire for wealth in order to learn what true happiness means. United States Premiere

The Trouble with Jessica | Comedy | Starring Shirley Henderson, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams, and Indira Varma, a brilliant comedy about a successful London couple who face the moral dilemma of their lives when an uninvited dinner guest does the unthinkable. Bay Area Premiere

For a comprehensive overview of our world and US premieres, please refer to the Cinequest Premieres Press Release.

HIGHLIGHTED STARS IN CINEQUEST FILM PREMIERES

Another Day In America – Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect), Ritchie Coster (Tulsa KingThe Dark Knight), Paul Ben-Victor (The WirePam & Tommy), Nastasha Henstridge (SpeciesThe Whole Nine Yards), Oliver Trevena (PlaneThe Bricklayer)

Bleecker – Alicia Crowder (Tell Me Lies), Tovah Feldshuh (The Walking DeadStar Wars: ResistanceHarlan Coben’s Shelter), Ben Stiller (Tropic ThunderZoolander), Christine Taylor (The Brady Bunch MovieDodgeball), Callie Thorne (Necessary RoughnessRescue Me)

Ezra – Bobby Cannavale (Ant-ManBlue JasmineThe Station Agent), Rose Byrne (NeighborsBridesmaidsInsidious), Robert De Niro (Killers of the Flower MoonTaxi Driver), Vera Farmiga (Bates MotelThe Departed), Rainn Wilson (The OfficeSuper), Whoopi Goldberg (GhostThe Color Purple), Tony Goldwyn (ScandalOppenheimer)

The Invisibles – Tim Blake Nelson (O, Brother Where Art Thou?The Ballad of Buser Scruggs), Bruce Greenwood (Star TrekThirteen Days), Gretchen Mol (Manchester by the SeaBoardwalk Empire)

Paradise – Patricia Allison (Sex Education), Tate Donovan (The HoldoversManchester by the Sea), Myles Evans (The Hate U Give)

Puddysticks – Dan Bakkedah (Veep, Life in Pieces), Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World: DominionThe Circle), Benjamin Norris (Never Have I Ever)

Single Car Crashes – Billy Zane (TitanicDead Calm)

Three Birthdays – Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother)

Tim Travers & The Time Traveler’s Paradox – Felicia Day (SupernaturalThe Guild), Danny Trejo (MacheteFrom Dusk Till Dawn), Keith David (They LiveThe Thing), Joel McHale (CommunityThe Soup)

7 Minutes – directed by comedian Ricky Gervais

“And You Are...?” – directed by Alicia Coppola (ShamelessEmpireWhy Women Kill), featuring Jayne Seymour (Somewhere in TimeDr. Quinn Medicine Woman)

Deal Of A Lifetime – David Cross (Arrested DevelopmentMr. Show)

Don’t Pick Up – starring Keith David (They LiveThe Thing), Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)

Jackpot – Drew Barrymore (The Drew Barrymore Show), Ross Mathews (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)

A Mole In Time – Richard E. Grant (Withnail and ISaltburn), Stanley Tucci (Hunger GanesBig Night)

Officer Stanley – Matt Walsh (VeepTedThe Hangover), Jodi Balfour (For All MankindTed Lasso), Juan Carlos Cantu (Better Call SaulThe Bridge), Kendall Johnson (A League of Their Own), Abbi Jacobson (DisenchantmentA League of Their Own), Jimmi Simpson (WestworldIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

The Rebel Girls – Keke Palmer (NopeAkeelah and the Bee), Felicia D. Henderson (First KillThe Punisher), Nika King (Euphoria65)

Soulmate – starring Mandeep Dhillon (CSI: VegasAfter LifeSome Girls)

Star Wars: Visions  The Pit – from Lucasfilm, voice of Daveed Diggs (Hamilton)

Walking Fernando – Javier Bardem (No Country For Old MenThe Sea InsideSkyfall)

Zen Brownie – narrated by Jeff Bridges (The Big LebowskiTrue GritStarman), featuring Ben & Jerry, directed by Alison Bartlett
 

For complete premieres lineup and media screeners: publicity@cinequest.org.

Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival Tickets are available at www.cinequest.org.

What differentiates Cinequest is that its founding team was a dynamic combination of artists, technologists, and leaders. You’ll find this reflected today in our Leadership Council which includes legendary innovators Steve Wozniak (co-founder Apple Inc.) and Marty Cooper (father of the cell phone), as well as producers, writers, educators, and entrepreneurs. The commonality is creativity and a commitment to open access and opportunity to all people.” – Halfdan Hussey, Co-Founder & CEO 

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