San Diego is about to be transformed into a hub for cinema and culture during the annual San Diego Film Festival.
From Sept. 26-30, dozens of filmmakers, actors and leaders in the entertainment industry will be downtown. It’s also expanded showings to La Jolla for the first time, so visitor can check out one of San Diego’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
Here are a few key events to check out throughout the five-day festival.
Wednesday, Sept. 26
Opening Night Film and Party
7 p.m. @ Reading Theater in Gaslamp District
Kicking off the event is the festival’s opening night party following a screening of the film “The Sapphires.” Festival-goers can mix and mingle with some of the people behind the films of this year’s event.
Thursday, Sept. 27
7 p.m. @ The Propagandist
You won’t want to miss this film festival partner event at one of San Diego’s hottest venues. SoundDiego, NBC 7’s music blog, is hosting its monthly party complete with a free happy hour and live entertainment from local bands. Did we mention it’s free? Get on the guest list here.
Gus Van Sant Retrospective & Tribute
5 p.m. @ Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla
For a chance to see an award-winning filmmaker speak about his success, head up to La Jolla Thursday night. Gus Van Sant will be honored at a tribute and retrospective, following by a screening of Good Will Hunting.
Friday, Sept. 28
Almost Famous Block Party & Screening
7 p.m. @ Gaslamp Quarter (corner of 5th and G Streets)
If you can only choose one event to attend at this year’s festival, make it this one. The party, featuring the film “Almost Famous,” will have Pennie Lane in attendance – the woman who inspired the main character in the movie. After the screening, live entertainment will be provided by House of Blues.
Saturday, Sept. 29
Red Line Pre-Party & Screening
4 p.m. @ W Hotel
This San Diego-produced film is celebrating its success in the city that made everything possible. Shot in Scripps Ranch, the thriller is one of the few films at the festival to have an abundance of local ties. The party starts at 4 p.m., followed by a screening at Reading Theater at 6 p.m.
Trek Nation Screening
5:30 p.m. @ Reading Theater
For the Comic-Con fans who are anxiously waiting for next year’s event, this is the film for you. The documentary interviews cast from all the Star Trek shows and celebrities who were impacted by the popular sci-fi show.
Filmmakers Brewhaha & Awards Night
9 p.m. @ Hotel Palomar
Filmmakers, actors and directors will be celebrated for their hard work at this awards ceremony. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the film with the highest rank by audience voters.
Sunday, Sept. 30
8:30 p.m. @ Reading Theater
Gus Van Sant’s film “Milk” will be presented as a retrospective since he is being honored at the event. Catch the film, featuring Oscar Award winning actor Sean Penn. It’s the last film of the festival, so enjoy it with a bucket of popcorn to celebrate.
NBC 7 San Diego is a proud media partner of the San Diego Film Festival.