Elissa Wiese, Parker Sanpei(805)

Wendy Eidson, SLO Film Fest(805) 235-1507 wendy@slofilmfest.org____________________________________

2016 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
announces film program, events, and awards

February 18, 2016 (San Luis Obispo, Calif) “The 22nd Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is proud to announce its full film schedule, online now at The SLO Film Fest is scheduled for March 15-20, 2016 and will be headquartered in downtown San Luis Obispo, with screenings also planned for Paso Robles and Avila Beach. A new Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent, sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo will be the hub of the Festival, which is conveniently located on the same block as the event headquarters, and two of the Festival's venues. Each afternoon and evening, Cocktail and After-Party mixers in the tent will feature local wines, food, and live music, as well as breakfast mixers and panels on the weekend.

The SLO Film Fest opens on Tuesday, March 15, with a unique vampire-themed Opening Night. German Pianist/Composer, Markus Horn, will accompany the silent film Nosferatu, based on Bram Stoker's story of Dracula, at Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre. He will play his original score with the newly mastered digital version. The evening will kick off with a cocktail party in the Festival Tent at 5 PM.

On Wednesday, March 16, the Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase takes center stage with films from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties on the seven Festival screens at various venues in downtown San Luis Obispo. A sneak preview of the locally produced film Lives Well Lived will screen at the Fremont Theatre at 7 PM to a sell-out audience, including many of the documentary's subjects. Also screening that night, with director Jen Senko in attendance, is The Brainwashing of My Dad, a fascinating new political documentary.

Thursday films begin at 1 PM at all San Luis Obispo venues, including official selections such as the World Premiere of After the Curtain, and a wide variety of foreign and domestic films. Filmmakers and special guests will be in attendance at many screenings, including Grammy-nominated musician Nathan East, at the screening of Nathan East: For the Record.

At 7 PM, before the screening of the newest movie in the Divergent series, screenwriter and Central Coast resident, Anthony Peckham, will receive the Festival's Spotlight Award. Peckham is currently writing the final film in the Divergent series. His credits include the Oscar-nominated Invictus, Sherlock, and Don't Say a Word. His upcoming projects include a TV adaptation of Killing Patton, based on the book by Bill O'Reilly. St. Patrick Day parties are planned for Happy Hour and an After-Party will be hosted in the Hollywood & Vines Festival Tent.

On Friday, the 11th Annual Surf Nite in SLO takes over the Fremont Theatre at 7:30 PM, after a busy afternoon of screenings and Q&As that include the new documentary by Robin Hauser Reynolds, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. South African Maverick's champion, Chris Bertish will arrive in San Luis Obispo to join Maverick's pioneer Jeff Clark and other big wave surfers, for the Central Coast Premiere of Ocean Driven.

In Paso Robles, the Paso Wine Country Alliance and Vintage Paso Robles: Zinfandel will sponsor an event that features Somm: Into the Bottle, a new documentary by Jason and Christina Wise. A Zinposium will be hosted by Somm cast member Master Sommelier Fred Dame, and after the film there will be a dessert and wine party at the Park Ballroom near the Park Cinemas.

Saturday, March 19, starts with breakfast in the Festival Tent and a series of Behind-the-Scenes workshops and panels that include an Action for Directors stunt workshop and a Shoot in SLO panel sponsored by Visit San Luis Obispo County and the SLO County Film Commission.

Film screenings begin at 10 AM at all Festival venues, as well as a day-long series of films with an ocean theme at the Avila Beach Community Center. Youth films will be featured at Mission Cinemas at 1:00 PM during the Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase. A number of young filmmakers are traveling across the country to attend their movie screenings. Local youth films will also be screened and all are eligible for cash prizes.

On Saturday evening, the SLO Film Fest will award Academy Award nominee and five-time Golden Globe winner Ann-Margret with the prestigious King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. Academy Award-winner Alan Arkin, who received the King Vidor Award in 2010, will present the award to his friend and colleague at the historic Fremont Theatre in Downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, March 19. After his presentation, Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz will sit down with Ann-Margret for a casual conversation about her career and upcoming projects.

After the King Vidor Award ceremony, which is sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Collection, Ann-Margret, who worked with George Sidney on several films, will assist with the presentation of George Sidney Independent Film Awards to winning filmmakers. The whole evening will begin with a screening of Viva Las Vegas, the 1964 comedy/musical starring Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley, and directed by George Sidney. An awards after-party will wrap up the evening at the SLO Masonic Lodge in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Sunday will be a full day of second screenings of many festival films and Special Presentation films throughout the festival include a retrospective of Ann-Margret's film career including a sing-along of Bye Bye Birdie on closing night. Sunday evening will also include a presentation of the Audience and Central Coast Filmmaker Awards.

A Filmmaker and Media FAM trip is also planned by the Visit San Luis Obispo and the SLO County Film Commission for Sunday, to help showcase a number of great filming locations. Wineries, ranches, and beach towns will all be part of the day-long tour that will include meals and wine tasting.

All special event tickets are on sale now. The complete festival schedule and film lineup are available at Press credentials will be available for approved media representatives, please email Elissa Wiese for those details. Photos are available upon request.