Cinequest 2024 – Debbie’s Summary

The Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival started in 1990 in San Jose, California. It’s grown since then, so much so that this year, there were over 80 World Premieres programmed. And the silent cinema came back! The Mark of Zorro, which showed off the Wurlitzer organ in the beautiful California Theater.

The Mark of Zorro

Most Cinequest movies shown are truly independent films, without “name” actors and management. Cinequest does a great job of finding the best of the best, and this year was no exception. A great feature of Cinequest availablity of film creators in a low-key setting, you can actually sit down and talk about their movie, or movies in general. A new theme has been developing that a lot of the filmmakers do not expect to get a movie theater distribution. Instead, they look forward to moving the movie to streaming services like Tubi or Gravitas, and then hoping for Amazon or Netflix to come calling. And although we say goodby to this years filmmakers, many are going on the road to other film festivals.

Recommended: Eden

Among this year’s highlights was Ezra, which did have big stars like Robert De Niro and Whoopi Goldberg. A story of a family that was falling apart because of their differences in handling their child’s autism. Various adventures ensue, and the family comes back stronger than ever. It was an inspiring story, but not one as likely to make blockbuster money at a theater.

Recommended: And Cut!

Ric Bretschneider has been doing movie reviews for Cinequest since 2013, and joine him last year. It works out well because we typically gravitate to different genres. Generally, he does the science fiction, horror, dramatic, and suspense movies and I review the love and documentary films. We both love the comedies. This year Tim Travers and the Time Traveler’s Paradox was a treat for us both. 

Recommended: Tim Travers and the Time Traveler’s Paradox

Before I sign off for this year, let you remind you that Cinequest is the in-person festival that has just ended. But from March 21-31, 2024, the Cinejoy virtual movie experience is happening, and it’s very reasonable. Now you can revisit some of the films you already saw, or catch some you might have missed. Or make a movie night of it with some friends.

  Unfortunately, Tim Travers is not on Cinejoy, but several of the other movies we reviewed are available until the end of the month. Check it out!

Debbie Bretschneider
March 18, 2024
San Jose, California

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