OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023


Andy Thomas, Senior VP, Business Development at Evans Hotels Joins the Board of the San Diego Film Foundation

Press Contact:  Susan Clausen
Clausen Communications

San Diego: For Immediate Release: Tonya Mantooth, CEO and Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival www.sdfilmfest.com announces the addition of tourism professional Andy Thomas, Senior VP, Business Development at Evans Hotels to the Board of the San Diego Film Foundation.

According to Mantooth, “We are excited to see the transformation the Festival has undergone with its programming, reach into the community and economic impact on the city. Our emphasis moving forward is to be one of the catalysts for San Diego’s economic recovery. Festival tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism and as an international film festival in such a desirable location we are uniquely positioned  to significantly grow our out of town audience.  As our organization continues to broaden its reach, we are thrilled to have such a leader in the tourism community and active patron of the arts as Andy Thomas join our Board.

Mr. Thomas is an alumnus of the University of Denver for Hotel Management as well as Regis College. He is a board member for San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees for the La Jolla Playhouse, a member of the Agilysys Customer Advisory Board, Board member and Director of Marketing for the Rob Benzon Foundation, a member of CA Travel.   In the past, he has held advisory rolls for Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, San Diego Tourism Authority Marketing Committee, and San Diego Business Association Tourism Development Group and a past recipient of the Gold Key Award for “Sales Person of the Year”.

Thomas shared “I have been involved with the San Diego International Film Festival for 10 years and long admired their work. Storytelling and art play a vital role in our community – and supporting organizations that tell important stories is a passion for me. Having a thriving arts community not only engages us as people – it strengthens our city as a mecca for cultural tourism. I look forward to helping the San Diego International Film Festival continue to grow their footprint in our city to share stories that engage our community in conversation, and draw visitors to our city.”

About The San Diego International Film Festival:

The San Diego International Film Festival is the region’s premier film event and one of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit. The Festival offers a totally unique film experience; including world premieres, never before seen studio releases and the best in independent filmmaking. We believe cinema is a catalyst for positive change. The festival programming is diverse – however everyone has a genre that speaks to their heart – including us. With a passion for social impact topics, we’ve focused the lens on curated independent films that explore the issues affecting our world including homelessness, prejudice, pollution of the world’s rivers, animal and environmental extinction, sustainability, sex-trafficking, military stories and more.

About the San Diego Film Foundation:


Our mission is to use the experience of film to explore issues of global impact, to create dialog, and ultimately to develop empathy and understanding in an increasingly diverse and complex world.  We leverage these important conversations via our partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Unified School District to use cinematic storytelling to help educate future leaders on key issues affecting our communities and world. Our newest partnership is with UC San Diego Extension to create a Social Impact Film Channel on the UCTV platform that will support the United Nation’s ‘17 Sustainable Development Goals to Transform our World’.  The festival will curate films from around the globe to help further conversations and understanding of these U.N. goals and hopefully inspire action.

A 501c.3. The San Diego Film Foundation brings the finest independent cinematic storytelling from around the world to San Diego each year. We present films that make a difference through a variety of events and programs. We have a created robust infrastructure to continue sharing film and discussion safely including:

  • MySDFilmFest Annual Membership Program
  • The San Diego International Film Festival Channel
  • The San Diego International ShortsFest (Debuted May 21-23, 2021)
  • FOCUS on Impact Film Tour for High School Students Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)
  • 2022 San Diego International Film Festival (October 2022)