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Reese Witherspoon’s "Wild" to kick off San Diego Film Festival

SAN DIEGO, California – The 2014 San Diego Film Festival will launch on Sept. 24-28, with award-winning independent films, filmmakers, actors, panels and parties.

Reese Witherspoon's "Wild" will open the festival on Sept. 24, while Hilary Swank's "You're Not You" co-starring Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel will close the festival. Duhamel will definitely appear at the festival. Other celebs confirmed include Michelle Monaghan, Richard Dreyfuss, Alison Pill, Tom Berrenger and Alan Arkin.

Of particular interest to the LGBT community are four films: "The Imitation Game," "PRIDE," "Families Are Forever" and "OUT in the Lineup."

The festival, now in its 13th year and featuring more than 100 film screenings, will be presented at the Reading Theater in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter (701 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101) and ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla (4425 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122). It is produced by the nonprofit San Diego Film Foundation.

Since a 2012 expansion, the Festival added the ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla as a venue, allowing for an increasingly high profile slate of indie films to be programmed. “12 Years a Slave,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “August: Osage County” are just a few of the recent Academy Award-nominated movies that have played at the San Diego Film Festival before their mainstream debut.

“The San Diego Film Festival is the region’s premier event for the best global and national independent films. For many notable films, it is one of the first stops on the independent film festival circuit – consider it a sneak peek for anyone who loves to go to the movies!” said Chairman and CEO Dale Strack, whose team began running the Festival in 2012. “It is also a great opportunity to highlight San Diego County’s diverse cultural landscape and arts community.”


“The Imitation Game”

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.


From director Matthew Warchus, "PRIDE" is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It’s the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all. Penned by Stephen Beresford, "PRIDE" includes Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, among its cast.

“Families Are Forever” (documentary short)

Tom and Wendy were devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community: Attending church every Sunday, actively serving in their callings in the ward, and knocking on doors to promote support for California’s Proposition 8 to prevent same-sex marriage. Then one day, Wendy read 13-year-old Jordan’s diary and discovered he was gay. What happened next changed their lives forever.

“OUT In The Lineup” (documentary)

Two gay surfers embark on a global journey to uncover the taboo of homosexuality in surfing. They become part of an emerging community prepared to step out of the shadows of secrecy and create a more open and accepting surfing culture. This was made by an Australian, but San Diego plays an important role in this documentary.

About the San Diego Film Festival

Founded in 2001, the San Diego Film Festival, currently produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, is the region’s premier showcase for outstanding U.S. and international independent filmmaking. The five-day event is an entertaining, enlightening and educational gathering that embraces the region’s diverse cultural landscape, enhances the arts community and expands the economic vitality of San Diego. Learn more about the San Diego Film Festival at sdfilmfest.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

About the San Diego Film Foundation

The San Diego Film Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that produces the annual San Diego Film Festival. Its mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking through producing an annual film festival, developing stimulating film-related events throughout the year, supporting and nurturing student filmmaking programs in local schools, supporting the development of the local filmmaking industry, and enhancing the economic growth of San Diego.

Festival ($245) and VIP ($400) passes are on sale online. Festival passes include all five days of screenings and panels, access to the hotly anticipated Opening Night (last year’s film was Academy Award Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave”) and after-party, as well as the Friday night “Almost Famous” party.

VIP passes include everything in the Festival pass on top of exclusive perks, such as first-entry access to all film screenings; VIP lounges with complimentary food and drinks; admission to the red-carpet Celebrity Tribute night (last year, the event honored Judd Apatow); the chance to mix and mingle with filmmakers, industry and actors at exclusive parties; and valet parking.

Individual tickets start at $14 for pre-sale; $16 at the door. One-day passes will be $75. The Patron Circle program is also available for guests who are interested in even higher levels of access and experiences.

For more information or to buy passes and tickets, visit HERE.