|Location||San Diego and La Jolla|
|Awards||Gregory Peck Award, Chris Brinker Award|
The San Diego International Film Festival is an independent film festival produced by the non-profit San Diego Film Foundationthat takes place annually in San Diego, California. The festival is held in September or October across two "villages" in the Gaslamp Quarter and La Jolla.
The festival showcases contemporary narrative feature, documentary and short films in competitive juried categories. These categories, or "tracks", vary year to year and have included foreign language, animated, Native American, military, social justice, and equestrian . The Festival also hosts awards banquets, panel discussions, retrospectives and parties during the festival.
The Festival and non-profit film foundation was founded in 2001 by event planner Robin Laatz and her filmmaker husband Karl Kozak. During the first decade (2001 to 2011) the festival played host to thousands of film premieres, filmmakers, actors and film enthusiasts. The couple introduced several specialty film series, including Native American, Student Short Film sections, Women in Film and a year-round film screening series at MOMA.
New festival leadership took over in 2012. Husband and wife producers Dale Strack and Tonya Mantooth (sister of actor Randolph Mantooth), Kevin Leap and Patti Judd make up the executive board.
In 2012, the festival established a "Native American Advisory Board." In 2017, its name was changed to "American Indian Advisory Board."
In 2013, film critic Jeffrey Lyons was added as festival host and made honorary jury chairman in 2013. He acted as host or co-host, with son Ben Lyons or Access Hollywood film critic Scott Mantz until 2018, when Mantz hosted solo.
In 2016, the festival added International to its name, having previously been known only as the San Diego Film Festival.
The festival's highest award was created in 2014 in memory of San Diego native Gregory Peck and with the support of his family. Recipients have included Keith Carradine, Patrick Stewart,Annette Bening and Alan Arkin. This prestigious award is not necessarily given every year.
Created by the family of Chris Brinker, a San Diego area producer best known for The Boondock Saints and its sequel who died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 42. The award is given every year to the best first time directors.
The festival offers other awards - Auteur, Vanguard, Visionary, Rising Star - that vary year to year. Other festival honorees have included, among others:
|Year||Opening Night||Other Galas||Closing Night|
|2018||Can You Ever Forgive Me?
(dir. Marielle Heller, US)
|Everybody Knows (dir. Asghar Farhadi, Spain)||Boy Erased (dir. Joel Edgerton, US/Australia)|
|2017||Marshall (dir. Reginald Hudlin, US)||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (dir. Martin McDonagh)||Dismissed (dir. Benjamin Arfmann, US)|
|2016||Other People (dir. Chris Kelly, US)||Lion (dir. Garth Davis, Australia)||The Eagle Huntress (UK/Mongolia)|
|2015||Septembers of Shiraz (dir. Wayne Blair)||Blackway as Go With Me (dir. Daniel Alfredson)|
|2014||Wild (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée, US)||The Imitation Game (dir. Morten Tyldum, UK/US)||You're Not You (US)|
|2013||12 Years a Slave (dir. Steve McQueen, UK/US)||
The German Doctor (Argentina)
|August: Osage County (US)|
|2012||Silver Linings Playbook (dir. David O. Russell)|
|2011||50/50 (dir. Jonathan Levine, US)||Like Crazy (dir. Drake Doremus)||The Bully Project (dir. Lee Hirsch)|
|2010||Waiting For "Superman" (dir. Davis Guggenheim, US)|