Like a film that is so engaging that no one wants it to finish, all great things must, alas, come to an end. But even though Cinequest 22 has had its last curtain call, the passion, enthusiasm, and excitement of the event—and from the profound films watched throughout the 13-day festival—will remain a fond memory until next year.
In its 22nd year, Cinequest once again delivered on its mission to bring the passion of film and innovation to Silicon Valley. Among the film premieres, Maverick Spirit Award ceremonies, film seminars, soirees and after-hour meet-ups, the one element that made, and always makes Cinequest unique, is the vast array of talented filmmakers and film buffs who make Cinequest an unforgettable experience.
At this year’s Cinequest, legends of the industry once again graced the stage as filmgoers had the opportunity to be some of the first to view the filmmakers’ films and watch their passion manifest onto the screen. Beginning with the opening night film “The Lady,” directed by Luc Besson, and ending with the closing night film “The Deep Blue Sea,” directed by Terence Davies, I would say that this year’s festival did not disappoint. But among the big Hollywood premieres, the small budget films and independent cinematic creations were just as, if not more, touching, thrilling and awe-inspiring. And to honor the filmmakers whose films made the cut at this year’s festival, they were all welcomed onto the historic California Theatre stage to be recognized, and received adulation from the audience for their amazing work.
In grand tradition, mavericks of the industry were honored with the Maverick Spirit Award. This year’s winners included: director Terence Davies, director Philip Kaufman, actor Elliot Gould, celebrity chef Michael Mina and Bay Area award-winning chef Michael Miller. Always an audience favorite, this event allows fans of the Maverick Spirit Award winners to see them in person and to ask them questions about their esteemed careers and current projects. Many times, fans are also allowed to have their photo taken with the artists and experience the red carpet phenomenon—Silicon Valley style.
Speaking of Silicon Valley, there was no better way to end the festival than to have the closing night party at the Tech Museum. After the closing night film “The Deep Blue Sea,” filmgoers had the exclusive opportunity to witness director Terence Davies receive the Maverick Spirit Award presented to him at the historic California Theatre. Following a conversation about Davies’ film, patrons rushed over to the Tech Museum for a closing night party like no other.
Upon their arrival, guests were treated to sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and refreshments catered by Restaurant O. A DJ from 90.5 KSJS was present to provide some rocking tunes for those who wanted to dance the night away. Guests also had the freedom to roam about the Tech Museum, drinks in hand, and explore all the marvels of past and present technology. Like big kids in an amusement park, guests tinkered with various fun gizmos and gadgets, exploring the marvels of modern technology.
Volunteers were also present to explain to curious minds about the workings of an array of technologies—such as the creation of Silicon. It takes a six-week, multiphase period for Silicon to go from the miniscule grains of sand it starts off as, to being manufactured and morphed into the Silicon chips that are the brainpower behind so many of the high-tech devices we use today. Quite fascinating.
Many of the films’ directors, writers and producers were also present at the closing night party, as they took the time to mingle with the crowd and share with them their expertise and passion for film.
An event that brings the world to Silicon Valley, exudes creativity and innovation, combines technology and film, and inspires passion in all who attend, Cinequest is a film festival that must be experienced over and over again.
For more information about Cinequest, please visit: http://www.cinequest.org/indexCQ.php
Event Review and Photos by Sophia M. Papadopoulos