Video: Kathleen Powell of Cinequest Film Festival in Silicon Valley

For 25 years Kathleen Powell and Halfdan Hussey, co-founders of Cinequest Film Festival have worked hard to bring this unique festival that combines films and technology under one roof in the heart of Silicon Valley. Besides well-known filmmakers and actors, the festival features emerging artists and filmmakers and shines a strong spotlight on the contributions of youth through their “Picture The Possibilities” program. And then there is the technology dimension to the festival, where new tech and digital tools for filmmakers are highlighted. For example, Apple’s Quicktime was first shown at Cinequest.

Powell is a computer scientist by training, who worked in Silicon Valley’s tech industry. We were intrigued. How did a math whizz studying computer science became involved with films, and keep it going? How did she juggle her work in the tech industry along with her work with the film festival? Continue reading

Silicon Valley’s Cinequest Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years

Cinequest 2015

Cinequest 2015

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Silicon Valley-based Cinquest film festival that celebrates films along with technology and innovation. This  year’s theme is “The Power of Creating,”and nearly 200 films from different parts of the world will screen at the festival.

The festival spotlights young filmmakers in multiple ways. There is the Picture The Possibilities (PPT) session that helps connect young filmmakers with scientists and technologists. And then there are two new competitions making their debut this year – High School and College film competition.

This year’s festival has an interesting line of guests like filmmaker Mike Medavoy head of Phoenix Pictures and prior that was head of TriStar, actress Rosario Dawson, film critic Anne Thompson, novelist and actor Mike Lehane and filmmaker John Boorman.

The opening night film is local filmmaker Dana Bachman’s documentary “Batkid.” This is a film about  5 year old Miles Scott and how he became the crime-fighting Batkid for a day in San Francisco in 2013. Scott was diagnosed with leukemia and Make-A-Wish Foundation worked on  making his dream come true to play a super hero for a day.

The closing night film is Victor Levin’s “9 to 5” on March 8, 2015.

India and Indian films must have been on the minds of the organizers and this year’s festival has 3 films.  They are “Miss India America,”  “Traces of Sandalwood” and “For Here or To Go,” which is by a local bay area filmmaker.

Cinequest runs from Feb 24 through March 8, 2015 in downtown San Jose. For tickets and other information please visit Cinequest’s website.

Photo credit: Cinequest