San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
San Luis Obispo, California / March 2019 / slofilmfest.org
Armed with its almost entirely volunteer-run organization, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival has managed to mine fervent local support and a perennially happy alumni network. (“When we asked alumni to submit new films to our upcoming festival this year, we received at least 25 films once again—a nice testament to get such a positive response,” says Festival Director Wendy Eidson.) Swag and networking events that feature wine country’s finest varietals and volunteers assigned to attending talent through SLOIFF’s Filmmaker Concierge Program—to ensure that guests know when and where their screenings are happening, and that their stay is going smoothly—are standard here, but hardly anywhere else. Panels hosted at the 24th edition held in March covered the challenges of shooting rodeo, surf, and other action sports films, and another—moderated by the festival’s newly acquired press liaison, John Wildman— broke down the film industry’s ever-changing tax incentives, distribution models, and casting methods.