Coronado Island Film Festival Unveils Programming, Leonard Maltin as Honorary Head Juror

“The Theory of Everything” producer Lisa Bruce will serve as head juror for narrative films

SOME LIKE IT HOT, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, 1959

The Coronado Film Festival has begun selling passes for its inaugural edition, which takes place over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend from Jan. 15-18.

“We are fortunate to launch our festival with an extraordinary jury,”CIFF’s executive directors Andy Friedenberg and Doug St. Denis said in a joint statement. St. Denis founded the the festival, while Friedenberg founded the Cinema Society of San Diego more than 30 years ago and serves as its director.

The duo announced that Leonard Maltin (film critic/historian) will serve as the festival’s Honorary Head Juror; producer Lisa Bruce (“The Theory of Everything”) will serve as head juror for narrative films; Oscar-winning documentarian Ira Wohl (“Best Boy”) will serve as head juror for documentaries; and Jim Gallagher (head of theatrical marketing at DreamWorks Animation) will serve as head juror for shorts (animated and live action). Bruce grew up in Coronado, Wohl is a part-time Coronado resident, and Gallagher is a founding member of the CIFF board of directors.

The festival’s Presenting Sponsor is the iconic Hotel del Coronado. “The Del” was featured in the classic 1959 comedy “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Coronado and the Del have a long and rich history with movies, with over 100 films being shot at the hotel and the surrounding picturesque village. The City of Coronado is also one of the festival’s Major Sponsors.

The four-day festival will include new films, classic films, parties, panel discussions, a Movies Made in Coronado exhibit and special guest presentations. About 60 films, including juried selections of narrative features, documentaries, shorts (animated and live action) and student films will be screened from 10 a.m. until midnight at venues throughout the village. As a nod to Coronado’s considerable local talent, five films by filmmakers with strong Coronado connections will be screened, with introductions and Q&A’s by the filmmakers.

“Having grown up in Coronado, I’ve always thought it would be a perfect place for a film festival – it’s exciting see it come together,” said Terry Curtin, head of strategic marketing and global communications for STX Entertainment, who serves as a board member of the festival. “The proximity to Los Angeles, and the time of year it takes place, will help develop this festival into a key strategic opportunity for film studios and filmmakers.”

“Coronado Island has so much going for it. It has history, location and, most importantly, a community that is supportive and enthusiastic with so many memorable films associated with the location,” added Maltin.

Programming will include “Some Like It Hot,” presented and introduced by Jack Lemmon’s son, Chris Lemmon, who will also give two live performances of his one-man musical show “A Twist of Lemmon” in character as his father.

Also being shown is the 1979 Peter O’Toole movie “The Stunt Man,” which was also filmed at the Del. The film will be introduced by its director, Richard Rush, who will remain afterwards for a Q&A.

Errol Flynn’s 1939 picture “Dive Bomber” is also part of the line-up, featuring scenes of the Del and Coronado’s Naval Air Station North Island. “Dive Bomber” will be introduced by Flynn’s daughter Rory Flynn and his grandson, actor Sean Flynn, both of whom will remain afterwards for a Q&A.

There will also be two screenings and a special salute on Monday in remembrance of the extraordinary life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Screenings will take place over the four days at five venues, including closing night on the Del Beach. The venues – most within easy walking distance of one another – include the beautifully restored vintage Village Theatres, the Coronado Performing Arts Theatre, Black Box Theatre and the Coronado Public Library. Complimentary trolley service throughout the village will be available to Festival Pass holders. Trolley service to and from the Coronado Ferry Landing will also be available to Festival Pass holders.

Included in the festival is an Opening Night Party, Filmmaker Reception and Celebrity Tribute, Awards Night Reception, and a Closing Night “Winter Bonfire Movie on the Del Beach,” hosted by the Presenting Sponsor.