The Bay Area is home to a multitude of diverse and rich cultures and many of the most creative individuals in the world. Companies like Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, Adobe, Silicon Graphics and Pacific Data Images have all contributed to the greater interest given to Bay Area film artists in the last ten years, and Cinequest's Mavericks: Bay and Beyond series has been designed to celebrate the work and achievements of those innovators in film who have made the Bay Area their home in some way. Whether or not these film artists still live here or have moved on to new worlds, they have somehow planted their roots and given their hearts to the Bay Area.
In 1995, Phil Leirness' debut feature, 'Till Death Do Us Part, screened at Cinequest. Phil returns this year with his fresh new comedy, The Party Crashers, about a friendly party gone awry. Phil is not the only old friend returning this year, as we are honored to present several other films by past Cinequest participators. Pete Anderson debuts his latest feature film, Hope, the stylized and gritty follow up to his first feature, Partners for Life (1997). Producer David Dellman grew up in San Jose and Wilbur Falls marks his debut as a feature film producer. Teaming up with director Juliane Glantz, (also making her debut), Wilbur Falls is an impressive achievement starring screen favorites Danny Aiello (Do The Right Thing) and Sally Kirkland (Anna).
This year, Cinequest is proud to be affiliated with two organizations that bring our audience an even greater look at Bay Area filmmaking. Joining us for two presentations is IMAGE, a Palo Alto based organization of filmmakers. IMAGE celebrates the local short film artist with a highlighted selection of the best of IMAGEfest, and they also help us greet another returning filmmaker, Kurt Kuenne (Remembrances), as he presents his debut feature Scrapbook. The San Jose Film & Video Commission presents—for the second year in a row—highlights of the 1998 Joey Award Winners. This special screening allows audiences to see many award-winning films and get a flavor of the varied and exceptional work honored by the San Jose Joey Awards. - Al Owens