The Coronado Island Film Festival is only in its third year, but it is strong and mighty as a slice of homegrown heaven. From the moment you step foot on the island, you are embraced with a warm touch of passionate film lovers. The people who run the festival are some of the kindest and genuine people you could ever hope to meet in your life. They’ve managed to pack four days full of film and film-related events celebrating the unique film history of the island as well.
This year, the opening film Green Book debuted to a full audience of enthusiastic movie-goers. The films that played there I found to be incredibly diverse. From Green Book to Making Fun: The Story of Funko, there is a wide variety of very compelling films for different tastes. In addition to the line-up of great cinema, they’ve curated a few panels, including Meet the Critics with Leonard Maltin, Claudia Puig, and Scott Menzel. The events they throw are a spectacle to be seen including a Studio 54 Themed Disco Night, a night with tasting food from around the island, and the Celebrity Tribute by Leonard Maltin. There is indeed something for everyone at the Coronado Island Film Festival.
The Celebrity Tribute by Leonard Maltin took place on Sunday evening in the Hotel del Coronado. Having it in the Hotel Del Coronado or The Del as locals refer to it, was a magical thing in itself. The Del is so steeped in rich cinematic history; it is the perfect place to honor those currently working and making a difference in the industry. The Del was built in 1888 and since has been seen in films such as My Husband’s Wives, Some Like It Hot, and Mr. Wrong. Many actors frequented The Del including Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, and more. This made it the ideal place for film lovers to meet and honor some wonderful people currently in the industry including actor Jacob Tremblay, costume designer Betsy Heiman, director Matt Tyrnauer, director/writer Stephen Chbosky, events producer Ray Costa, and director Billy Wilder.
The Coronado Island Film Festival is not a massive and overwhelming film festival like the Toronto or Sundance Film Festival, but that is where its charm lies. It is a homegrown festival by film lovers who curate and create four magical days of cinema and cinema based events. I highly encourage you to take the trip across the Coronado bridge, get a little taste of the island life, and immerse yourself in one of the most heartfelt and passionate little festivals in the world.