SAN DIEGO — The San Diego International Film Festival is preparing to kick off its 22nd year, celebrating the power of film. With a recent writers strike and ongoing actors strike, elements of the five-day festival may be different.
“When I started to see how long the writer strike was going on, and I knew that SAG was going to follow that, there was a good indicator for me that basically we would not be able to do what we typically do and that is our Night of the Stars tribute,” said Tonya Mantooth, CEO and Artistic Director for the San Diego International Film Festival.
The red carpet will still be rolled out at the Museum of Photographic Arts Wednesday night and there will still be multiple red carpet opportunities throughout the festival. Luckily, Mantooth says postponing the Night of the Stars tribute to 2024 was the only big switch up.
“If it’s an independent film, there really are no rules. We have a lot of actors, directors, producers, writers coming to the festival because they’re independent,” Mantooth said.
The festival will feature 91 films, narrowed down from more than 3,000 submissions from 85 countries. Aside from films, there will be several parties and panels. One panel in particular touches on a topic at the forefront of the recent writer and actor strikes.
“We have got a panel called AI Innovation and Disruption in Entertainment and they’re going to explore both sides of it and really talk about what are the benefits, what are the things we should be caution about and have that open discussion,” Mantooth said.
Each year San Diego’s festival sees exceptional films highlighted, but Mantooth predicts we’ll see these three again come awards season: The Holdovers, Dream Scenario and American Fiction.