Turn off the Lights

Cinequest 29: The Unexpected

The Media Press Launch Event held at Hotel DeAnza in Downtown San Jose, served as an introduction to the primer of what is to come for the 29th year of the Quest. Friends of the Cinequest family, longtime supporters and members of the press alike attended to enjoy hors d'oeuvre, drinks and conversations in preparation for a fun conversation that felt way too short. Most in attendance wanted it to last longer.

Every year there is a theme and this year, the theme is The Unexpected. In a sense, it is the very essence of every festival. The only thing participants expect is to have a good time, enjoying films and meeting people. One never expects what might transpire or the lasting connections one might make, or how the impressions of an event or discussion or a film might hit you.

Rebranded the Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival, the 13-day experience is planning to push the boundaries even further. Allowing space to highlight other art forms such as dance, writing and music, the aim seems to be more inclusive of the creative spirit.

For many artists, conversations across mediums can often serve as inspiration. Considering that, Cinequest’s idea of offering significant space for other creatives could be a welcome fit for those looking for a richer experience beyond films.

Image.jpeg Cinequest Co-founder and Director, Halfdan Hussey addressing the members of the media. (Photo credit: Steven Armstrong/Entertainment Fuse)

Coming back to the notion of inclusiveness, Cinequest again can stake the claim of having strong representation of female filmmakers (at least 100 of the offerings are directed by women), as well as people of color. According to Cinequest co-founder Halfdun Hussey, there is a very strong Latin presence as well as a significant offering of films from Asian countries. All told, 56 countries will be represented at this year’s festival, including Azerbaijan, which is a country not previously represented.

Lots of news was shared with members of the press including who this year’s Maverick Spirits might be, and at least three filmmakers from the Bay Area were present to share a bit about their films. But perhaps one of the more interesting pieces of information to come out might be that after 100 plus world premieres, over 550 different events, celebrations and soirées, the closing night's film will be Terry Gilliam’s film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, starring Adam Driver. For those of you who may not know, Gilliam’s film has a storied history, having spent many years in development hell. Now, it will finally see the light of day, and it seems the Quest will be ready for it ahead of its wide release in April.

You need to be ready too. If you’re a lover of film and other creative arts, Cinequest will have you covered. Opening night and kick off begins, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Be sure to check out https://www.cinequest.org/ for the full line up of films. See you there!


Meet the Author

About / Bio
Steven Armstrong is an editor and staff writer for Entertainment Fuse's Movie Department. He also is a creative writer of fiction and poetry, an occasional filmmaker and electronic musician who enjoys reading, writing, video games, movies and any good story.

Should you be curious, he can also be found talking about movies for the Center 4 Cinephiles (C4C) on YouTube.

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