A Beginners Guide to Cinequest Film Festival. Tips on how to get the most out of Cinequest for next year. You can apply these tips to just about any film festival for a perfect experience.
How far in advance does Cinequest release their schedule of films? This past year Cinequest had their media launch on January 24th . The opening of the film festival was February 28th, just a little over a month to review what film to watch.
Choose 6 Films
Choose 6 films for your list. Anything else is overwhelming and does not leave room for spontaneity. You don’t want to be on a tight schedule then you wouldn’t be able to relax and have a chat with the filmmaker you just met in the VIP lounge.
This could be a tricky one. Are you local to Silicon Valley? If you are why don’t you volunteer? You get the behind the scenes look at the working of the film festival. Maybe you might be that guy/girl that introduces a film to the audience. There are plenty of volunteer positions.
If you are flying in and want to experience Cinequest Film Festival, opt in for a VIP ticket. As a VIP you get access to all the films, the VIP Lounge, the special meet ups, opening/closing night and workshops. Plus you get to mingle with your favorite filmmakers. How cool is that?
Stay in the cool zone. Reserve a room at the sponsoring hotel. Why? If they are sponsoring you know they have to be great. While I was attending Cinequest I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel. Any size room is great. If you are going with your film team check out a deluxe suite.
It is basically a one bedroom with a king size bed, a huge bathroom and a separate living room with a sofabed. This is the place to stay even if you aren’t a celebrity. *PS I ran into Jane Lynch in the Fairmont lobby.
That is not all. If you are flying from overseas and you have jet lag they have a 4-star fitness room and the pool is heated to 80F (at least).
My overall experience at the Fairmont was not a delight. That is definitely not the word I would use. It rocked, the view was great and I can’t recall the last time I experienced that much sunshine looking out my window? Just to let you know, breakfast is not included but I highly recommend The Fountain on premises.
Transportation and navigating the different venues were easy. The main theater downtown California Theater played great films. However, some films were spread as far as Redwood City. Redwood City is at least 30 minutes away from the VIP Lounge, The Continental. If this is the case, you need to decide if you are comfortable navigating your rental car, take Uber/Lyft or using CalTrain. They will all get you there but it all depends if you are on a tight schedule or your personal preference.
What to Wear
Think of the weather. Normally the weather is always amazing. San Jose made the German news it rained and rained. Lucky during my trip it was in the upper 70’s.
What to wear? What to pack if you are flying in? Don’t overpack or do you? Remember this is Silicon Valley so you can always find a clothing shop but not in downtown San Jose. Silicon Valley vibe is jeans and a cool t-shirt with Converse, Doc Martens or Diesel shoes. In reality you can never go wrong with the perfect black shoes.
Until Next Year!
SAVE THE DATE: FEBRUARY 27 – MARCH 11 2018