Cinequest Film Festival 23 in San Jose: Best of the Fest
Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern...
SAN FRANCISCO, March 30, 2013 – For two weeks, with nearly 200 movies from 48 countries, 86 world, North American and U.S. premieres, and more than 700 artists, innovators and 100,000 fans all rubbing elbows in San Jose, there was much to celebrate at the 23rd Annual Cinequest Film Festival. Cinequest’s mission is to create, innovate and empower people in the film industry. And empower they did.
The festival kicked off February 26 at the California Theatre with Sally Potter’s latest film, Ginger & Rosa, starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert and Annette Bening. Fanning had a breakout performance in her role as Ginger in this coming of age film.
Here are a few personal favorites and the Best of the Fest:
Best Action Thriller: Sparks (world premiere)
Based on his own cult comic hit, writer/director Christopher Folino’s groundbreaking 1940’s superhero/noir thriller follows Ian Sparks (Chase Williamson), an average young man destined to protect others from the grips of evil. Sparks plunges into darkness after a traumatizing encounter with the villainous serial killer Matanza (William Katt). Overcome with defeat and self-doubt, will Sparks find his way back to the light, or betray all that he once stood for? With a brilliant cast, including Ashley Bell, Clancy Brown (Shawshank Redemption), Jake Busey, Clint Howard, and Marina Squerciati (Gossip Girls), Sparks delivers high action, twists, excitement and brilliant, well thought out directing.
William Katt is creepy good as the evil Matanza, so creepy in fact that you’d be nervous to stand next to him in broad daylight in a public park. His performance could not have been further from his roots as the lovable Greatest American Hero. Clancy Brown really pulls the audience into his character and delivers another knockout performance. And let’s not forget the girls, Ashley and Marina. These girls both rocked their performances.
Sparks has already started pulling in the awards and accolades. With wins at The Omaha Film Festival for Best OFF the Edge Film, and an invite-only showing at The Chicago Critics’ Film Festival coming up in April, Sparks is one to put on your must-see list this spring (watch the trailer).
Best Drama-Thriller: Aftermath (world premiere)
Aftermath, starring Anthony Michael Hall, Tony Danza and the late Chris Penn, is a powerhouse thriller wherein a successful man overreacts and plummets down a slippery slope of violence and hired hit men when one of his employees goes missing. This is Chris Penn’s last film, and includes outstanding performances by Anthony Michael Hall, Tony Danza and Chris Penn (watch the trailer).
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