Make your plans now to attend the 27th edition of Cinequest, Silicon Valley’s own major film festival. By some metrics the largest film festival in North America, Cinequest was recently voted the nation’s best by USA Today readers. The 2017 Cinequest is scheduled for February 28 through March 12 and will present 132 films and virtual reality experiences from the US and over twenty other countries. And, at Cinequest, it’s easy to meet the filmmakers.
This year’s headline events include:
- Celebrity appearances by actress Jane Lynch (Glee, Best in Show) and director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult).
- Opening night film The Last Word, with Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried;
- Closing night film The Zookeeper’s Wife with Jessica Chastain.
- Preview screenings of films planned for theatrical release later this year: Carrie Philby (Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne), Tommy’s Honour (Sam Neill, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond), The Promise (Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale), The Ottoman Lieutenant (Michael Huisman, Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley) and (Re)assignment (Michele Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver).
- The silent Flesh & the Devil with Greta Garbo, projected in a period movie palace, the California Theatre, accompanied by its mighty Wurlitzer organ.
- Ten programs of virtual reality cinema, accessible in nearly a hundred screenings.
This year, Cinequest presents the world or US premieres of sixty-two features. And of the feature and short films in the Cinequest program, films, 75 were directed by women!
I’m going to be strongly recommending at least two of these first features, the family dramedies For Grace and Quality Problems, along with the brilliant Czech drama The Teacher and the forehead-slapping documentary The Twinning Reaction. More on those to come.
Indeed, the real treasure at Cinequest 2017 is likely to be found among the hitherto less well-known films. In the past three years, the Cinequest gems Eye in the Sky, Wild Tales, Ida, The Hunt, ’71, Corn Island, The Memory of Water, Magallanes and Lost Solace Class Enemy, Heavenly Shift, Oh Boy/A Coffee in Berlin and The Grand Seduction all made my Best of the Year lists.
Cinequest is on my list of Silicon Valley’s Best Movie Deals. You can get a pass for as little as $165, and you can get individual tickets as well. The express pass for an additional tax-deductible $100 is a fantastic deal – you get to skip to the front of the lines!
Take a look at the entire program, the schedule and the passes and tickets. (If you want to support Silicon Valley’s most important cinema event while skipping the lines, the tax-deductible $100 donation for Express Line Access is an awesome deal.)
As usual, I’ll be covering Cinequest rigorously with features and movie recommendations. I usually screen (and write about) over thirty films from around the world. Bookmark my Cinequest 2017 page, with links to all my coverage (links on the individual movies will start to go live on Sunday). Follow me on Twitter for the latest.