With more money and new management, the upcoming 11th annual San Diego Film Festival will boast a bigger selection of star-powered indie flicks and red carpet parties than what patrons may have come to expect from past years, according to festival organizers who announced the 2012 lineup Wednesday.
“We saw the potential, stepped out, raised the capital and made the connections necessary to make this a reality,” festival chairman Dale Strack, who took on the revitalization project about six months ago, told TheWrap. “And we’ve just about doubled the number of films and doubled the [size of the] venue.”
An increase of about $100,000 fuels the expansion, he said. This year’s fest runs from Sep. 26. to Sep. 30 and will inhabit block-long chunks of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
What spurred the dramatic growth? Funds from big name sponsors (including Wells Fargo, ArcLight Cinemas and BMW), support from the city mayor and local arts community, coverage by local news outlets and a reason to believe in the fest, said Strack.
The growth has attracted films with more A-list actors and global distribution companies, he said.
“It’s going to be wonderful for San Diego,” he said, adding that local restaurants and hotels will benefit from the bigger expected turnout. “And this is just the first rung on the ladder. The second will be bigger.”
Click here for full schedule and ticket info.
“The Sapphires” (Opening night)
Director: Wayne Blair
Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda
Plot: Four Australian aboriginal girls learn about love and friendship while performing for troops in Vietnam.
Director: Julian Farino
Cast: Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt, Adam Brody, Alia Shawkat
Plot: Two close families endure a scandal sparked by one rebellious daughter.
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly
Plot: Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred live in a home for retired opera where diva-drama ensues.
Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell
Plot: A screenwriter becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his goofy friends kidnap a gangster’s Shih Tzu.
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Cast: Cobie Smulders, Lauren Ambrose, Jason Biggs, Joel David Moore, Christopher McDonald, Tom Arnold
Plot: An out-of-work journalist helps his friend run for public office.