Now in its 23rd year, Cinequest Film Festival (CQFF) is devoted to discovering exciting up-and-coming moviemakers, as well as showcasing the most dynamic films, artists and technologies from around the globe. And this year, Cinequest—the first-ever 4K film festival—is gearing up for its biggest and most impactful line-up to date. The 13-day fest runs from February 26 to March 10 in San Jose, CA.
For the first time, Cinequest is partnering with Sony to showcase its cutting-edge 4K technologies. The fest will host special Artist & Innovator forums on 4K innovations that will explore exciting new cinema exhibition opportunities, applications for moviemakers on all budget levels, and 4K restoration processes and capabilities. 4K restoration will also be on grand display through state-of-the-art, visually breathtaking screenings of such classics as Taxi Driver, Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Strangelove—none of which have ever looked better. In fact, Barco and Sony 4K projection will infuse the festival’s top venues—including the renowned Camera 12 Cinemas—with its highest illumination quality.
Also among the highlights this year are the annual Maverick Spirit Awards. This honor is bestowed upon leading artists who dare to create and innovate with a personal yet global vision. This year’s recipients include Harrison Ford, authors Salman Rushdie and Chuck Palahniuk, as well as—for their innovative, pioneering technological achievements—Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies, and Phil Molyneux, President of Sony Electronics. The awards will be presented at separate events (held throughout the festival) where the honorees’ will discuss their inspirational careers, accomplishments and contributions to the Maverick ideal. Past recipients of the Maverick Spirit Award include J.J. Abrams, Kevin Spacey, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Robert Wise.
Also of note is the second annual Picture the Possibilities event, which premieres youth films from Beijing, Los Angeles, New York City, Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Silicon Valley. After the screenings, discussions will be held among business and entertainment leaders with the youth participants about their visions for a better tomorrow. In addition, there will be a two-part Writers’ Celebration forum, open to both emerging and veteran scribes and featuring a lecture from Oscar-winning screenwriter Bobby Moresco (Crash). Following this event, the Maverick Spirit Award will be presented to Chuck Palahniuk.
And, of course, no great film fest would be complete without a compelling and thought-provoking line-up. Cinequest will open this year with a screening of Sally Potter’s powerful coming-of-age story, Ginger & Rosa. Meanwhile, the Closing Night event will showcase Deepa Mehta’s ambitious epic, Midnight’s Children. Salman Rushie adapted the screenplay from his critically-acclaimed novel, and will receive the Maverick Spirit Award following the screening. Other notable films to be showcased include the world premieres of Sparks, Somewhere Slow, Aftermath (featuring Chris Penn’s final acting role), Dose of Reality, Cubamerican (starring Andy Garcia) and Solace.
For more information, please visit www.cinequest.org.