Looking Back at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

By Kaylinda Mabry, Administrative Assistant, Visit San Luis Obispo County

The San Luis Obispo international Film Festival ended last Sunday, March 9, and I was sad to see it go – each of the films I saw over the course of the five day festival were wonderful. Having never been to the SLOIFF, or any other film festival for that matter, I had little notion of what to expect, and I was blown away by what I saw.

Thursday night, March 6, at the Paso Robles Park Cinemas I went to see Wild Horses, an emotionally powerful short film which documents the despair caused by the wild horse round-ups perpetuated by our own Bureau of Land Management. This touching and artistic blend of wonderful photography and cinematography is an excellent vehicle for delivering such an important story. If you’re interested check out the website here http://www.wildhorsesthefilm.com/

In a completely different genre, Saturday, March 8, I went to see A Birder’s Guide to Everything. This delightful little jaunt into the world of birding was so much more than I expected. It was relaxing and engaging and exciting all at once. The story follows a teenage boy as he confronts his father’s plans to remarry after the death of his mother and explores how friendships and a deep connection to nature can provide us with the necessary tools for coping with emotional trauma and pain. The quintessential feel-good indie film, I would recommend it to anyone looking to get in the mood for spring! http://www.abirdersguidetoeverything.com/

Sunday, March 9, I went to see Anita, Speaking Truth to Power. The documentary begins in 1991 when Anita Hill shared her experience of sexual harassment at the hands of now Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas in what she though was an anonymous letter to the Senate Judicial Committee. The letter was made public and she ultimately ended up serving as a witness in the hearings that would determine Thomas’ fitness as a judicial nominee. The movie examines her experience and how it contributed to the life of activism she has led since. Her story is a powerful reminder that women of previous generations have sacrificed so that I can live in a society on the very brink of gender equality. https://www.facebook.com/anitahillmovie

The sneak preview was held in the beautiful and historic Fremont Theatre in downtown SLO. I admit, I had never actually been to the Fremont until SLOIFF and I am so glad that the people of SLO refused to let it be razed – what an awesome old theatre!

Kaylinda is a Paso Robles semi-native in the sense that she went to high school here and then moved away for college. Now she is back and ready to immerse herself in the emerging world of food and wine that has exploded in the four years she has been gone. She would eventually like to own her own event planning company andcurrently works free-lance for a number of San Francisco event companies including The Emerson Collective and Do Good Events (formerly Organic Events).