Festival FAQ


The San Diego International Film Festival
October 4 – 8, 2017 

How do I Attend?

The best way to experience the festival is with a pass, which we offer at various price points.

The VIP Fest Pass is designed for the film lover that wants it all… movies, parties, VIP lounges with cocktails and snacks, complimentary Valet Parking and access to the Priority Line.

The VIP Weekend Fest Pass is perfect way to immerse yourself for a weekend of VIP fun!

The Fest Pass is perfect for five days of total immersion with movies, panels and parties with fellow film lovers.

The Weekend Fest Pass Get the Fest Pass experience just during the weekend!

The Day Pass is just right for those who can only commit to one day of movie indulgence.

Tickets. You may also experience the Festival by purchasing individual event or screening tickets on a space available basis beginning August 30, 2017.

Event Tickets.

  • Opening Night Film & Party – Wed, Oct 4
  • Variety Night of the Stars Tribute – Thursday, October 5
  • Friday Party with a Purpose – Friday, October 6
  • Filmmaker Awards Show & Party– Saturday, October 7
  • Culinary Cinema – Sunday, October 8
  • Purchase Festival Passes

    Where to Pick-up Your Festival Pass

    Your festival badge gives you access to all films, panels and events. FIRST, reserve your festival films and events online or at the box office. All reservations are tied to your badge. Once you have your reservations – just flash your pass at the door.

    Pickup Locations

    Join us on September 20th from 5-8pm for our Badge Pickup and Festival Preview & Media Party at Nason’s Beer Hall in the Pendry San Diego Hotel, 550 J St., SD CA 92101

    During the Festival:

    Downtown Main Box Office HQ
    Horton Plaza – 3rd Floor
    One floor below theatres
    357 Horton Plaza #374, San Diego, CA 92101
    Open hours coming soon

    La Jolla Arclight Cinemas
    Theatre Venue / Box Office
    4425 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 22122

    Open Hours coming soon

    Where are the screenings and events?

    Two festival villages: Downtown San Diego and La Jolla

    Festival Headquarters: Pendry San Diego, 550 J Street, SD CA 92101

    ArcLight La Jolla, UTC, 4425 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

    Regal Cinema Gaslamp 475 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

    Special Events:
    Pendry San Diego, The Balboa Theater, Horton Plaza Park

    Plan on 15-20 minute drive between Downtown San Diego locations and La Jolla.

    What is the Schedule?

    Thurs, Oct 5- Sun Oct 8 – Regal Cinema UA Horton Plaza, 475 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
    Fri, Oct 6-Sun Oct – ArcLight La Jolla, UTC, 4425 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

    Wed, Oct 4 – Opening Night Film, The Balboa Theater & After Party, The Westgate Hotel Rooftop

    Thurs, Oct 5 – VARIETY Night of the Stars Tribute – Pendry San Diego
    Fri, Oct 6 – Party with a Purpose – Horton Plaza Park
    Sat, Oct 7 – Filmmaker Awards Show and Party – Pendry San Diego
    Sun, Oct 8 – Culinary Cinema – ArcLight Cinemas La Jolla

    What is Flash Your Pass Perks?

    Festival Pass Holders will receive special discounts and offers from a selection of businesses. Check out our passholder perks for a list of participating businesses.

    What is the Film Program?

    With nearly 2,000 submissions from 65 countries, our hard working (and bleary eyed) programmers have narrowed it down to just over 100 films for this year’s festival.  Be among the first to see the best the independent filmmakers and studios have to offer.

    The program includes both films screening ‘in competition’ as well as ‘out-of-competition’ with both Juried and Audience Awards presented at our Filmmaker Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening.

    When do I need to arrive for a film screening?

    Make your reservation online or at the box office prior to the screening.
    Plan to arrive 20 minutes before a screening begins.
    Find the proper line for your pass.

    Admission to the film screenings are by reservation. If you do not have a reservation and you are a pass holder you will be admitted to the theater after the General Line has been admitted. The Rush line is then admitted to the screening.

    PRIORITY LINE (VIP Passes and Patron Passes):Priority line is admitted first to the theater. If your badge has the word VIP or PATRON on it you can gain access to this line. The priority line entry is at the theater entrance door of where the film is screening. 

    GENERAL LINE (Fest Passes, Day Passes, and Tickets): General line access is outside of the theater doors on the outside of the building.  You will be let in after VIP and Patron Lines are let into the theater.

    Pass holders and ticket holders MUST BE SEATED AT LEAST 10 MINUTES PRIOR TO SCHEDULED START TIME to guarantee entry. After this time, remaining seats will be released to the rush line.

    RUSH LINE (Non-Reservations and Non-Ticket Holders): If you prefer not to reserve your film selections or buy a ticket in advance, you may still gain entrance to screenings by waiting in the films Rush Line. You will be seated on a first come, first served basis once all guests who have selected or purchased tickets for the film have been seated.

    What are Rush Lines?

    RUSH LINE (Non-Reservations and Non-Ticket Holders): 
    If you prefer NOT to reserve your film selections or buy a ticket in advance, you may still gain entrance to screenings by waiting in the films Rush Line. You will be seated on a first come, first served basis once all guests who have selected or purchased tickets for the film have been seated.

    What is Audience Award Voting?

    Cast your vote!
    The Festival presents Audience Awards determined by popular vote of the audience.
    After each film screening you will be given a ballot and a chance to vote. Please take a moment to tell us what you thought.
    All winners are announced after the festival on our website and social media.

    Do I need to plan my schedule?

    Taking a few minutes to plan your daily schedule and reserve your films, panels and events will ensure you see everything you want to see. Check both locations as films may screen downtown and La Jolla and one screening may fit your schedule better than another.

    By making your reservations ahead of time you will guarantee your seat. If your plans change take a moment to adjust your schedule. You will free up a spot for another festival goer.

    Reservations and cancellations can be made online or if you need assistance stop by one of our box offices and we will be happy to help.

    Do you have discounts on hotels?

    San Diego has amazing hotels to suit every budget. But book your stay as soon as possible! Hotel rooms book up quickly in sunny San Diego!

    So make your hotel reservations early. Please see our list of our hotel partners that are offering discounts for Festival attendees. Our room blocks are limited so make your reservations today!

    Is there a shuttle from each location?

    A free shuttle runs to/from downtown in front of the Regal theater and the ArcLight Cinemas, La Jolla, every 30 minutes. See maps to see specific drop off/ pick up locations for shuttle.
    Check out the shuttle schedule.

    Where's the after party?

    Join us for the AFTER PARTY! The Pendry Oxford Social Club is our Official Festival After Party location Friday and Saturday nights of the Festival.

    Stay Up on the Fest News!

    Sign up for updates on our website (It’s the best way to keep you up to the minute on any additions or changes to the San Diego Film Festival schedule. Also, add your cell phone number in when you purchase a pass to get cell phone updates during the fest!

    Film Ratings And Children

    Most Festival films do not yet have MPAA ratings attached. Therefore parents should carefully read film descriptions and use their discretion when considering what might be appropriate for their children. Those marked Family Friendly are appropriate for children subject to your discretion.