The San Luis Obispo International Film Fest showcases an assortment of films that appeal to a wide variety of age, demographic and interests each spring in SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County). Over 125 films from around the world are shown during the festival. Here are the 2024 Central Coast film selections.

2024 SLO International Film Festival (SIFF) Lineup:

Film: The Unbroken Sky

Synopsis: Set in 1950s California and based on the beloved autobiographical books by local author Francisco Jiménez, an undocumented Mexican teenager struggles to stay in school while working weekends with his family in the fields and dodging the authorities to avoid deportation.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Josh Peterson, Produced by Normandie Annette Ramirez & Robin Mortarotti

Details: Drama | 24 min.

Film: Another Eight Seconds

Synopsis: The inspiring story behind the grit and determination of nine-time Professional Bull riding world finals qualifier Stetson Lawrence. Climbing his way to the top of the world rankings despite tragedies and injuries, Another Eight Seconds dives into the fortitude that makes Stetson a bull riding legend and the injury that changed his life forever.

Filmmakers: Directed by Keith Malloy, written by Bimarian Films and produced by Brett Williams, Dustin Hinz & Nathan Sheetz

Details: Documentary | West Coast Premier | 16 min.

Film: The Death of Recess

Synopsis: Embark on this decade-long journey around the world in search of solutions that challenge the old industrial model of education. THE DEATH OF RECESS brings audiences face to face with the origins of our education system, reveals shocking practices that are suppressing childhood creativity, and explores how we can better innovate and adopt a new system.

Filmmakers: Directed by Spencer Taylor and produced by John Couch & Taylor Jenish

Details: Documentary | US Premier | 102 min.

Film: El Halcón

Synopsis: Fernando De La Cruz is an ex-gang member in the process of turning his life around in order to help his immigrant mother return to the U.S. When he meets a young boy, JP, and his abusive father, Fernando is faced with the difficult decision of risking everything to help JP and stand up to his vicious father or staying out of the trouble he's been distancing himself from.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Arlene Torres, produced by Irlanda Silva, Mirana Le Claire & Stephanie Ledesma

Details: Drama | West Coast Premier | 16 min.

Film: Binary

Synopsis: Hollis Stooly, a recent college graduate, attempts to navigate their transition into adulthood in a surrealist sci-fi world in which school and work have been relegated to sterile virtual spaces. With a cloud of anxiety and uncertainty hanging over their head, Hollis retreats inward and chooses to explore their gender identity at the expense of their career.

Filmmakers: Directed by Riley Thomas Stewart, written by Caden McQueen & Riley Thomas Stewart and produced by Jacy Sagun

Details: Sci-Fi, Dark Comedy | World Premier | 14 min.

Film: Postscript

Synopsis: After coming to terms with her down-trodden life, Mandy, a withered screenwriter, meets a naive up-and-coming writer who begins to pitch her one of his new stories. When she realizes one is eerily similar to the story of her own life, she's forced to confront her own demons of grief, guilt and redemption.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Carlos Eduardo Plummer, produced by Ben Vasion, Krystal Dooley & Sarah Cordner

Details: Drama | World Premiere | Student Project | 13 min.

Film: Ghost Kitchen

Synopsis: Filmed at the local and beloved Nate’s on Marsh, the biting satirical drama Ghost Kitchen follows one chef’s plan to take her gourmet restaurant into the world of modern delivery apps. After learning about the delivery-only virtual franchises known as Ghost Kitchens, cutthroat head chef Yvette puts everything on the line to build the most successful online restaurant in Los Angeles—even if she has to push herself to the breaking point to do it.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Elliot Peters, produced by Elliot Peters, Phineas Peters, Scott Haennelt, Nathan Long, Adam Scholl & Michelle A. Petrovic

Details: Drama | 25 min.

Film: Harvest Calls

Synopsis: Undergoing his biggest challenge yet, local composer Brook Munro embarks on a journey to create a free-form instrumental album utilizing and inspired by natural sounds from a wine harvest. Collaborating with fellow artists and musicians across the Central Coast of California, Harvest Calls takes us on the exciting journey of artistic expression and reveals how creativity, art and music can be found everywhere if we just give it an honest listen.

Filmmakers: Directed by Kyle Plummer, written by Kyle Plummer & Brook Munro and produced by Brook Munro, Kyle Plummer & SuperImage, Ltd.

Details: Documentary | World Premier | 24 min.

Film: Homecoming

Synopsis: After being awakened in the middle of the night, a woman finds her husband at the front door and begins a quest to remind him he isn't supposed to be here. In what unfolds in an eerie and twist-filled short, the husband ignores his wife and proceeds to get ready for bed.

Filmmakers: Directed by David Hardberger, written and produced by Rob Sheeley

Details: Drama | 5 min.

Film: Superstar

Synopsis: After a prolonged hiatus from the public eye following a tragic car accident, Frankie, a rising actress, prepares to give her first TV interview while trying to deal with her deteriorating, hallucinogenic psychosis. Character-driven, Superstar offers a compelling perspective into the pressures of success, the cost of fame and the complexities of mental health and trauma through a visually mesmerizing narrative.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Talha Hussaini & Jacob Heimlich, produced by Talha Hussaini, Jacob Heimlich, Parco Richardson & Juliana Oommen

Details: Drama | West Coast Premier | 24 min.

Film: Tasting Notes

Synopsis: Paso Robles is critically acclaimed for its food and wine scene. Surrounded by this atmosphere since youth, Chef Kean McCabe sets out to create a 7-course wine pairing menu that honors his upbringing. Traveling to local farmers and fisherman to gather supplies, Tasting Notes paints a broad culinary reflection of the region.

Filmmakers: Directed by Miles Pepper, written by Miles Peper, Curren Taber & Liz Lacoco and produced by Liz Lacoco

Details: Documentary | 16 min.

Film: Meet Me at Our Spot

Synopsis: In a poignant, simple but yet complex portrayal, Meet Me At Our Spot unveils the raw emotions of heartache. Following Adela as she struggles to move on from Marie – and with just one night until Marie moves out of the country – Adela attempts to salvage their relationship by taking us on a journey of recreating nostalgic and impactful moments from their first date.

Filmmakers: Directed and written by Ester K. Liew & Grace Rolen, Produced by Esther K. Liew, Grace Rolen, Indi Aufranc & Marko Stojanovic

Details: Romance | 11 min.

Film: You Will Be My Music

Synopsis: An antique record cutting machine, homemade recordings and a loving son come full circle in You Will Be My Music to bring a father’s musical aspirations to life in the production of a magical debut album. A beautiful and moving tribute to a father's musical dreams, the film is a love story about a father, son and the power of music bringing people together.

Filmmakers: Directed, written and produced by Bob Williams

Details: Documentary | 39 min.

Film: Pleasing Plovers

Synopsis: Brought back from the brink of extinction, Pleasing Plovers shares the inspiring comeback story of the delightful Western Snowy Plovers on our Central Coast beaches. Watch as an adorable threatened species begins to recover thanks to the passionate people, biologists and volunteers who have found a way for us to share the beach and give them a habitat in which to breed.

Filmmakers: Directed, written and produced by Michael Love

Details: Documentary | World Premier | 10 min.

Film: The Salt on Our Skin

Synopsis: The rhythmic flow of waves has always been a source of energy for ocean communities and cultures. Throughout history, rich coastal environments have fostered diverse people and become a place of joy, gathering and reflection. Despite local barriers in southern California, The Salt on Our Skin delves into Indigenous communities reclaiming their narratives and forging connections across the channels and in the deep sea.

Filmmakers: Directed by Alessandra Puig-Santana, Reese Raygoza, Tess McCormick, Michelle Truong, Audrey Engelsgjerd & Lukas Olensinski, produced by Alessandra Puig-Santana & Reese Raygoza

Details: Documentary | 15 min.

Film: Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story

Synopsis: Wrestled Away chronicles the incredible life of wrestling legend and local resident, Lee Kemp, from his endless battles against adversity all the way to the revocation of his lifelong Olympic gold medal dream. After working his entire life to become the world's greatest wrestler and finding himself just one step away from accomplishing his single goal of winning an Olympic Gold Medal, unforeseen circumstances cause his dream to suddenly be snatched away.

Filmmakers: Directed by Riley Hanlon, written by Riley Hanlon & Lee Kemp and produced by Lee Kemp & Matt Finkes

Details: Documentary | World Premier | 70 min.

For the complete San Luis Obispo International Film Festival lineup click here.