“Marriage Story,” “The Etruscan Smile” Open Coronado Island Film Festival

Fourth Annual Festival, Nov. 8-11, Features 90+ Films, Panels, Celebrities, and Parties

The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) is unveiling its festival lineup with the announcement of two films on Opening Night, Friday, Nov. 8, and more than 90 feature length, shorts, and documentary films, plus special presentations, panels, and parties throughout the four-day festival. The complete lineup can be viewed on the festival website coronadoislandfilmfestival.com.

Marriage Story
“Marriage Story” stars Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver

Two diverse and critically acclaimed films are set to open CIFF, Marriage Story – already receiving critical acclaim and Oscar® buzz – opens with two screenings at the Village Theatre. The film stars Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver and is directed, written, and produced by filmmaker Noah Baumbach. The second Opening Night film, The Etruscan Smile, will screen at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. The charming, heartfelt story stars Thora Birch, Brian Cox, and Rosanna Arquette.

Director Terrence Malick’s film A Hidden Life is the centerpiece screening of the festival, Saturday night, at Village Theatre. Plus more than 50 short films – documentary shorts, narrative shorts, and new this year a Spanish language shorts track.

“Our programming team has secured a stellar lineup,” said Merridee Book, CIFF Executive Director. “We’re offering a wide range of film genres and invited actors and filmmakers to special presentations that our attendees do not want to miss.”

Special presentations include:

  • Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren in conversation with Leonard Maltin. They will be joined by singer and pianist Marisa Corvo.
  • Special appearance by singer, songwriter, and actress Michelle Phillips following the screening of Echo in the Canyon. She will be joined by the film’s director Andrew Slater, and producer Eric Barrett.
  • An appearance by Immaculée Ilibagiza following a director’s cut special screening of 91 Nights: a Left to Tell Story. The film is based on the life of Immaculée, who survived the 1994 Rwanda genocide. She will be joined by the film’s director Ricardo Del Rio and producer Sue-Allen Villalva.
  • Pop Culture panel featuring Funko CEO Brian Mariotti and VP Mike Becker who have created a pop culture phenom and brand driven empire.
  • Celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, the screening will be introduced by the film’s makeup artist Lois Burwell and cinematographer John Toll.

The stars will shine brightly at the Hotel del Coronado, Sunday evening, Nov. 10. Five film industry luminaries will be recognized at Leonard Maltin’s Celebrity Tribute. The red-carpet gala will honor Cloris Leachman with the Legacy Award, Diane Warren with the Transcendent Award, Michelle Phillips with the Cultural Impact Award, Lois Burwell with Artistry in Filmmaking Award, and John Toll with the Cinematography Award. The champagne reception and dinner gala is hosted by Maltin, the respected film historian and critic, college professor, and honorary Festival Jury President, who will interview each of the award recipients during the evening celebration.

“Following a Veteran’s Day Salute on Nov. 11 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, the festival will close with three spectacular movies,” Book said. “The Biggest Little Farm will screen at Village Theatre; we’ll have a studio preview release of Clemency starring Alfre Woodard; and CIFF’s traditional closing night film Some Like it Hot, screened on the beach at the Hotel del Coronado.”

Festival Passes

CIFF Passes are on sale now and can be purchased at the festival website coronadoislandfilmfestival.com. There are two pass options: The Crown City pass ($395) includes priority reservations for major studio films and Leonard Maltin’s Celebrity Tribute Dinner. The Film Buff pass ($195) includes access to all films, panels, workshops, parties and culinary cinema.

Both passes include an Opening Night screening and the opening night Taste of the Festival party hosted by the Event Title Sponsor, CalPrivate Bank and Signature Sponsor, Douglas Elliman Real Estate group, Coronado. Day passes will be available closer to the festival date and rush tickets will be available for single screenings or panels on a space-available basis.

Since its 2016 launch, Coronado Island Film Festival has screened a blend of notable independent films alongside Oscar-nominated features, making their San Diego County premieres. For more information or to purchase passes, visit the Coronado Island Film Festival website at coronadoislandfilmfestival.com.

About Coronado Island Film Festival

The Coronado Island Film Festival is a 501©3 tax-exempt corporation created in 2016 as a celebration for cinematic art in a world-class destination. The four-day festival offers a slate of more than 90 films, compelling panels, lively workshops, and parties. It is a cinema-by-the-seaside experience in the village of Coronado.


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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com