OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023

Simon Helberg

2016 San Diego Int’l Film Festival Announces Simon Helberg as the Auteur Award Recipient


– ‘The Eagle Huntress’ to close the fest on October 2nd – 

– ‘Lion’ Special Screening and ‘Hidden Figures’ panel also announced by the festival –

SAN DIEGO, CA (September 18, 2016) – The San Diego International Film Festival (SDiFF), produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, announced today that actor and filmmaker Simon Helberg will be the recipient of The Auteur Award for 2016. The award will be presented Sept 29th at The Night of the Stars Tribute at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, CA.

In addition, Otto Bell’s documentary THE EAGLE HUNTRESS will be the Closing Night Film on October 2nd.

The Auteur Award recognizes a multi-talented actor who brings unique personal visions to their craft. Helberg has earned acclaim for his versatile performances on screens both big and small, as well as behind the camera as a writer and director. He most recently received rave reviews for his starring role opposite Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in Stephen Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Helberg is perhaps best-known as one of the stars of consistently the biggest comedy series in the world, “The Big Bang Theory,” for which he has received numerous awards and nominations.  As a filmmaker, Helberg made his feature film directorial debut in 2015 with “We’ll Never Have Paris,” which had its world premiere at the 2014 South by Southwest Film Festival. Helberg wrote the script, stars as the lead, and co-directed the film with his wife – writer/director Jocelyn Towne. Additional acting credits include the Academy Award-nominated films, “A Serious Man,” from Ethan and Joel Coen and George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck;” as well as Todd Phillips’ “Old School,” Christopher Guest’s “For Your Consideration’’ and Joss Whedon’s Emmy-winning “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”

“Simon has had an incredible past couple years of creating dynamic characters on screen as well as fostering his own vision as a filmmaker, and we are proud to honor him with this year’s Auteur Award” said Tonya Mantooth, Executive and Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival.

In addition, the festival has announced that they have added Garth Davis’s LION, starring Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel as a Special Screening during the fest.

Also, director Theodore Melfi returns to the San Diego International Film Festival with a first look at footage from his new film HIDDEN FIGURES (Fox 2000). Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz will lead a discussion with Melfi following the footage presentation, discussing how this highly anticipated film came to life.

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.  The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

SDiFF is proud to screen a diverse range of narrative, documentary, spotlight and short films. Screenings will be held in the newly renovated historic Balboa Theater and Regal Theaters in Downtown San Diego, and ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla. Now in its 15th year, the San Diego International Film Festival will run from September 28th through October 2nd in San Diego, CA. The most up to date festival information is available at www.sdiff.com.

Passes are currently on sale to VIP members and the general public. In addition to screenings and events, passes provide access to the official festival lounge and parties where pass holders interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. Individual tickets to The Night of the Stars Tribute are currently on sale.

For more information regarding passes/tickets, press accreditation, industry passes, or sponsorship opportunities, please visit SDiFF.com.  San Diego International Film Festival is produced by the nonprofit, San Diego Film Foundation.

More additions will be added to the program and announced soon.

About the San Diego International Film Festival
Founded in 2001, the San Diego International Film Festival, currently produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, is the region’s premier showcase for outstanding U.S. and international independent filmmaking. The five-day event is an entertaining, enlightening and educational gathering that embraces the region’s diverse cultural landscape, enhances the arts community and expands the economic vitality of San Diego. Learn more about the San Diego Film Festival at www.sdiff.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.

About the San Diego Film Foundation
The San Diego Film Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that produces the annual San Diego International Film Festival. Its mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking through producing an annual film festival, developing stimulating film-related events throughout the year, supporting and nurturing student filmmaking programs in local schools, supporting the development of the local filmmaking industry, and enhancing the economic growth of San Diego.


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