Movie News & Reviews

7 can’t-miss events at the SLO film festival

Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher pose for a picture. The Fisher family is featured in the HBO documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” screening March 15 as part of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.
Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher pose for a picture. The Fisher family is featured in the HBO documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” screening March 15 as part of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Courtesy of HBO

Lights, camera, action! The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival starts next week.

Now in its 23rd year, the film festival features movie screenings, red carpet events, panel discussions and more at venues in Morro Bay, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.

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Here are just a few of the events in store at this year’s festival, which starts Tuesday and runs through March 19. For more information, and a full schedule of events, call 805-546-3456 or visit www.slofilmfest.org.

Opening night

What: A Mardi Gras-themed party featuring food, wine and music by Café Musique is followed by “Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table,” about famed New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace. After the documentary, actor French Stewart will chat with filmmaker Leslie Iwerks and Commander’s Palace owners Ti Martin and Alex Brennan.

When: 5:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. movie, Tuesday

Where: Fremont Theatre, 1035 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo; Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent, 1035 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo

How much: $50, $40 students and film society members

Tribute to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

What: Central Coast filmmaker Todd Fisher will be on hand for a screening of the documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” which chronicles the relationship between his late sister and mother. He’ll talk with Variety editor Jenelle Riley after the film.

When: 7 p.m. March 15

Where: Fremont Theatre

How much: $12, $10 students and film society members

Central Coast Brew-Ha-Ha

What: Drink in California’s craft beer scene with at this screening of “Craft: The California Beer Documentary.” A panel discussion with filmmaker Jeff Smith and local brewers will follow the film.

When: 7 p.m. March 16

Where: Fremont Theatre

How much: $12, $10 students and film society members

‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’

What: Debbie Reynolds earned an Oscar for her role as a plucky mountain girl who becomes a Denver socialite in this delightful musical. After the movie, enjoy appetizers, wine and beer, and dance to the music of Celtic band Molly’s Revenge.

When: 6:30 p.m. March 16

Where: Octagon Barn, South Higuera St., San Luis Obispo

How much: $75, $60 students and film society members

Surf Nite in SLO

What: Big-wave surfing in Ireland is the focus of the documentary “Between Land and Sea,” making its North American premiere. Irish surfer Ollie O’Flaherty and Patagonia surf ambassador Tom Doidge-Harrison will be on hand. The evening kicks off with the short film “Chandler’s Ark” and ends with a concert by 1980s cover band Second Sight.

When: 7 p.m. March 17

Where: Fremont Theatre

How much: $20, $15 students and film society members

‘The Wine Life’

What: Filmmaker and wine lover Colin West shares his adventures in Australia. This event is paired with Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s zinfandel-themed seminar featuring master sommelier Peter Neptune and a wine-tasting after-party, both at the Paso Robles Inn; more details are at pasowine.com.

When: 7 p.m. March 17

Where: Park Cinemas, 1100 Pine St., Paso Robles

How much: $12, $10 students and film festival members.

Closing night awards and movie

What: Movie critic Leonard Maltin will help festival sponsors hand out awards, then chat with Orchestra Novo director Michael Nowak before a screening of “Score: A Film Music Documentary.”

When: 5:30 p.m. March 19

Where: Fremont Theatre

How much: $12, $10 students and film society members

Ann-Margret, the two-time Academy Award nominee, was awarded the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s highest honor by actor Alan Arkin in March 2016.

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