San Diego Film Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

Every year, the San Diego International Film Festival (SDFF) gets a little bit bigger, a little better. Last year, their surprise spotlight screening was Room, a film starring a phenomenal Brie Larson, who went on to win an Academy Award, in case you didn’t hear.

The festival screens shorts, documentaries, and gives all attendees an up close and personal experience with the filmmakers, actors, and creators during panel discussions and film Q&A segments.

The 2016 lineup has been announced and will be led by screenings of Denial starring Rachel Weisz, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta starring Adriana Ugarte, The Late Bloomer with Brittany Snow, Maria Bello and J.K. Simmons, Citizen Soldier, from directors David Salzberg & Christian Tureaud, and Trespass Against Us with Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson and Rory Kinnear.

There is an intensive selection process to whittle down the number of submissions received to the ones that will make it into the festival. Over the course of five days, SDFF will screen 6 gala films, 26 narrative spotlight films, 14 documentaries and 49 shorts.

More films and guest appearances will be announced closer to festival time!

Gala Films (7)

  • Denial, Dir. Mick Jackson, USA/Bhutan, United States Premiere
  • Julieta, Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, California Premiere
  • Trespass Against Us, Dir, Adam Smith, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • The Late Bloomer, Dir. Kevin Pollak, USA, World Premiere
  • Citizen Soldier, Dir. David Salzberg & Christian Tureaud, USA, World Premiere
  • And Punching the Clown, Dir. Gregori Viens, USA,Southern California Premiere
  • No Pay, Nudity, Dir. Lee Wilkof, USA, California Premiere

Narrative Spotlight (7)

  • Chronically Metropolitan, Dir. Xavier Manrique, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • So B. It, Dir. Stephen Gyllenhaal, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Architect, Dir. Jonathan Parker, USA, California Premiere
  • The Sweet Life, Dir. Rob Spera, USA, Southern California Premiere
  • Opening Night, Dir. Isaac Rentz, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Te Ata, Dir. Nathan Frankowski, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Love is All You Need, Dir. Kim Rocco Shields, USA, West Coast Premiere

Narrative Competition (18)

  • American Fable, Dir. Anne Hamilton, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog, Dir. Steven Lewis Simpson, UK/USA, North American Premiere
  • Dead Draw, Dir. Brian Klemesrud, USA, World Premiere
  • House of Norway, Dir. Jan Vardoen, Norway, World Premiere
  • Road to the Well, Dir. Jon Cvack, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Po, Dir. John Asher, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Demimonde, Dir. Attila Szász, Hungary, California Premiere
  • The Cliff, Dir. Helena Taberna, Spain, United States Premiere
  • Blood Stripe, Dir. Remy Auberjonois, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word, Dir. Simon Rumley, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Chasing Robert Baker, Dir. Daniel Florêncio, UK/Iceland, North American Premiere
  • Po, Dir. John Asher, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Pushing Dead, Dir. Tom E. Brown, USA, California Premiere
  • Fear Inc., Dir. Vincent Masciale, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Spaceman, Dir. Brett Rapkin, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Mama, Dir. Julio Medem, Spain/France, San Diego Premiere
  • Children of the Mountain, Dir. Priscilla Anany, Ghana, West Coast Premiere
  • Railway Spine, Dir. Samuel Gonzalez, USA, World Premiere

Documentary Spotlight (5)

  • Political Animals, Dir. Jonah Markowitz, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Incomparable Rose Hartman, Dir. Otis Mass, USA, California Premiere
  • Bodyguards: Secret Lives of the Watchtower, Dir. Jaren Hayman, Canada, World Premiere
  • In Utero, Dir. Kathleen Gyllenhaal, USA, California Premiere
  • The Land of the Enlightened, Dir. Pieter-Jan De Pue, Belgium, California Premiere

Documentary Competition (9)

  • INN SAEI: The Power of Intuition, Dir. Kristín Ólafsdóttir & Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir, Iceland/UK, West Coast Premiere
  • Crossing Bhutan, Dir. Ben Henretig, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Maya Angelou and Still I Rise, Dir. Bob Hercules & Rita Coburn Whack, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, Dir. Max Lewkowicz, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • After Spring, Dir. Steph Ching & Ellen Martinez, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Violins of Hope: Strings of the holocaust, Dir. Lance K, Shultz, USA, Southern California Premiere
  • Epiphany, Dir. Frans De Backer & Michael Maes, Cayman Islands, California Premiere
  • SEED: The Untold Story, Dir. Jon Betz & Taggart Siegel, USA, California Premiere
  • Ants on a Shrimp, Dir. Maurice Dekkers, Netherlands, San Diego Premiere

Shorts (49)


  • Turnings, Dir. Robert Herzog, USA, World Premiere
  • Youth, Dir. Brett Marty, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Red, Dir. Branko Tomovic, UK, West Coast Premiere
  • A Forest, Dir. Grant Reinero, USA, World Premiere

Curious Voyage:

  • Wannabe, Dir. Matthew Manson, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • Tiny’s New Home, Dir. Justin Hayward, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Love is a Sting, Dir. Vincent Gallagher, Ireland, San Diego Premiere
  • Loveology, Dir. Mark D. Manalo, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Details, Dir. Peter Cambor, USA, North American Premiere

Global Consciousness:

  • Out of the Village, Dir. Jonathan Stein, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • MINE, Dir. Nick Dixon, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Zaar, Dir. Ibrahim Nada, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Madaran, Dir. Ibrahim Nada, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Bon Voyage, Dir. Marc Wilkins, Switzerland, San Diego Premiere


  • The Voice in the Head, Dir. Cyrus Trafford, UK, San Diego Premiere
  • Alien Hunter, Dir. David Telles, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Everything Will Be Okay, Dir. Patrick Vollrath, Austria, North American Premiere
  • You Can Go, Dir. Christine Turner, USA, California Premiere
  • Perchance, Dir. Constantine Venetopoulos, USA, North American Premiere

Independent Animation Filmmaking:

  • Manoman, Dir. Simon Cartwright, UK, North American Premiere
  • Alike, Dir. Daniel Martinez Lara & Rafa Cano Mendez, Spain, San Diego Premiere
  • The Cats, Dir. Alireza Mirmontazeri, USA, North American Premiere
  • Linden Tar, Dir. Olga Grechanova, Russia, United States Premiere
  • Illegal Move, Dir. Sana Srinivasan & Kyle Lopez, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Moom, Dir. Robert Kondo & Daisuke ‘Dice’ Tsutsumi, Japan/USA, San Diego Premiere

Military Shorts Track:

  • American Girl, Dir. Rebecca Murga, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Places Like This, Dir. Nicholas McNaughton, USA, World Premiere
  • The Flying Greek, Dir. Mark A. Vizcarra, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Sand Box, Dir. Jennifer Kramer, USA, West Coast Premiere

Shorts in Front of Feature Films:

  • Mile 19, Dir. Vincent DeLuca, USA, California Premiere
  • The Chop, Dir. Lewis Rose, UK, San Diego Premiere
  • Myth, Dir. Manfre & Iker Iturria, Spain, San Diego Premiere

Twisted Humor:

  • Barry, Dir. Jay Rondot, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Mine, Dir. Simon Berry, England/UK, San Diego Premiere
  • An Arms Length, Dir. Max Weiland, UK, North American Premiere
  • Wifey Redux, Dir. Robert McKeon, Ireland/USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Bathtub, Dir. Tim Ellrich, Austria/Germany, North American Premiere

Unexpected Endings:

  • Snake Bite, Dir. Tim Hyten, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Black Swell, Dir. Jake Honig, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Breakfast With Tiffany, Dir. Andrés Molano Moncada, Colombia, West Coast Premiere
  • One Good Pitch, Dir. Parker Hill, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • The Right Person for the Job, Dir. Wilfried Méance, France, San Diego Premiere
  • Search History, Dir. Neil Stevens, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • So Good to See You, Dir. Duke Merriman, USA, San Diego Premiere

When Worlds Collide:

  • Prisoner, Dir. Matthew Edwards, USA, West Coast Premiere
  • The Firefly Girls, Dir. Katie Micay, USA, San Diego Premiere
  • Hush, Dir. Michael Lewis Foster, USA, World Premiere
  • Partners, Dir. Joey Ally, USA, North American Premiere
  • Cupid, Dir. Maria De Sanctis, Canada, San Diego Premiere

The 2016 San Diego International Film Festival takes place from September 28 – October 2. Tickets are available for the screenings held at Regal Theaters and Balboa Theater downtown as well as ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla. Visit: