Photo by John Birchard

Filmmakers Converge at Mendocino Film Festival May 30-June 2

Films and Filmmakers Converge at the Mendocino Film Festival Look Who’s Coming to Mendocino! Filmmakers are coming from far and wide for the Mendocino Film Festival May 31-June 2, and our list of attendees keeps…

Films and Filmmakers Converge at the Mendocino Film Festival Look Who’s Coming to Mendocino!

Filmmakers are coming from far and wide for the Mendocino Film Festival May 31-June 2, and our list of attendees keeps growing.

In just a few weeks we will be welcoming our wide-ranging roster of 2019 filmmakers to experience Mendocino hospitality firsthand. Be sure to get your tickets soon, and come by and say hello to our filmmakers and special guests who will be on hand to share their insights, views and cinematic style with festivalgoers.

The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting riveting, thought-provoking and award-winning independent and international films. The festival draws increasing numbers of filmmakers and avid attendees from around the world, while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring a varied line-up of films, panels, and special events, the festival offers a unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in the intimate and strikingly beautiful setting of seaside Mendocino.

Festival filmmakers and key subjects range in age from their 20s to their 80s. Thirty-five directors, producers and editors from New York to California will converge in Mendocino, the jewel nestled in California’s wine country, to screen and discuss their films. This year marks the festival’s most inclusive and diverse slate: half of the filmmakers are women or people of color.

Meet such filmmakers as Netherlands-born film director Harald Zwart, who will be attending with his edge-of-the-seat historical thriller The 12th Man, which won the Public Choice Amanda Award in Norway and played at the Moscow Film Festival. Zwart, also known for directing Agent Cody Banks, The Karate Kid and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, will attend with his wife Veslemoey Zwart, who produced The 12th Man, along with other film and TV credits.

Emmy-winning editor Kim Roberts will be at the fest to discuss her work on the stirring and eye-opening documentary The Silence of Others, a probing look at the legacy of the Franco regime in Spain. She has edited previous Mendocino festival favorites like Unrest and Oscar-nominated documentaries The Hunting Ground and Food, Inc.

Veteran film and TV actor Julie Carmen (The Milagro Beanfield War) will be in attendance to discuss her part in the moving film Windows on the World, that also stars Edward James Olmos and Ryan Guzman and won the Audience Award at the Method Film Festival in Los Angeles.

On hand to discuss the urgent state of the endangered vaquita porpoise profiled in Sea of Shadows are leading conservationist Andrea Crosta, who is the executive director of Elephant Action League, and marine veterinarian Dr. Cynthia Smith. Sea of Shadows won the Sundance Film Festival’s coveted Audience Award.

Liz Miller is traveling from Montreal to share her multi-faceted film experience The Shore Line Project—24 short films from 9 countries showcasing efforts by ordinary citizens to combat climate change. The film will be accompanied by an interactive exhibit on display at Festival Headquarters.

Gay Chorus: Deep South director David Charles Rodrigues and producer Bud Johnston will be in town fresh from their hit screenings at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, where their powerful film about the soaring power of music just won the Audience Award for best documentary.

Coming in from New York is Independent Spirit Award nominee Patrick Wang to discuss his acclaimed two-part film, The Bread Factory. And we have Angie Wang—no relation– coming up from Los Angeles with her riveting autobiographical film MDMA. Her film played at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and she recently won the Best Directress Award from Film Threat.

Always in Season director Jacqueline Olive travels from North Carolina and joins with Bay Area-based editor Don Bernier, to discuss Olive’s compelling documentary about the trauma of more than a century of lynching. Olive’s film won Sundance’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency.

Several key members of the production team of Ai Wei Wei: Yours Truly will be in attendance to discuss the activist artist’s transformation of Alcatraz penitentiary into an artistic platform, emphasizing visitors’ messages of hope to those incarcerated or exiled. Directors Cheryl Haines and Gina Lebrecht, producers Sharon Wood, Christy McGill and David Spalding will be available for discussion about this inspiring subject.

Academy Award winner and director John Kahrs and producer Gennie Rim will be on hand with their lyrically beautiful animated short film Age of Sail, which was an official selection at the Venice Film Festival, and was originally made as a virtual reality film before coming to our Short Films Program.

San Francisco-based wildlife biologist turned filmmaker Courtney Quirin, director of Guardian, will be at the festival to discuss her absorbing and visually stunning environmentalist documentary about the human guardians who safeguard British Columbia’s Great Bear Rain Forest and its salmon population.

Satan and Adam will have just screened in London, and director V. Scott Balcerek will be in Mendocino to discuss his fascinating documentary about an unlikely musical collaboration.

Them That Follow director Dan Madison Savage will be at the fest fresh from the Seattle International Film festival to discuss his gripping dramatic thriller set among a snake-handling religious sect in Appalachia.

White Guys Solve Sexism director Christopher Guerrero will be in the house with his hilarious satirical short film. Ditto for Justin O’Neal Miller, the filmmaker responsible for the very funny short film Peggy, which won awards at film fests in Calgary, Orlando and Spokane.

The timely immigration-themed drama Collisions will surely inspire much discussion with attending director Richard Levien, whose film won the Audience Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Pick of the Litter director Don Hardy will be available to discuss his heartwarming film about guide dogs for the blind. And Emily Brown, who manages raising puppies for San Rafael’s Guide Dogs center will be at the screening accompanied by a gorgeous Golden Retriever named Taft. The Mendocino Humane Society will be at the Festival Tent on Sunday with their Mobile Adoption Center before the Pick of the Litter screening, along with The Coast Cat Project. Come on down and bask in the company of adorably irresistible dogs and cats eager for adoption.

Special Narrative and Documentary Juries of film executives, academics, and journalists will be on hand at panels and screenings, along with some additional media personalities. The jury’s winning films will be announced at a special members event on Thursday night.

In addition to screenings and Q&As with filmmakers, the festival will feature special events and rousing musical evenings with acclaimed musicians.

Join the conversation and stay up-to-date with the latest Festival news at Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date announcements, including attending filmmakers and special guests, upcoming radio interviews, film news, and more.

Ticket sales have opened and are selling briskly. Get your tickets early, as many events sell out in advance.