Thesps join lineup of Maverick award recipients

SAN JOSE — Val Kilmer, William H. Macy, James Woods and Stephen Frears are late additions to Cinequest, the San Jose Film Festival unspooling Feb. 27 through March 9 at various South Bay venues.

They join the event’s 13th annual lineup of in-person “Maverick” award recipients, which this year will also include thesp Lupe Ontiveros and veteran animator Ralph Bakshi.

Fest kicks off with the premiere of Brad Gottfried’s comedy “The Movie Hero,” in which protag Jeremy Sisto suffers from sort of an anti-“Truman Show” delusion: He thinks his entire life is a movie.

Gala closer on the 9th is preem of Brent Huff’s “100 Mile Rule,” an improvisationally-based laffer about traveling salesmen that duly stars Michael McKean, familiar from such prior improv-farce highpoints as “Best in Show” and “This Is Spinal Tap.”

Awards will be given out at Cinequest’s conclusion in three juried categories: Emerging Mavericks/New Visions (open to shorts and features from first- or second-time helmers), Best Feature (chosen from a pool of sixteen) and Best Documentary (ten).

17 world preems

Seventeen world-preeming features include a number of digitally shot titles, reflecting fest’s longtime interest in new technologies. This year will also bring three days (March 6-8) of seminars on digital filmmaking, sponsored by Panasonic and Sony Electronics.

Among preem features are Sonia Valentin’s Puerto Rico drama “Bitter Sweat,” Joe Brewster’s psychological thriller “The Killing Zone,” Luane Beck’s lesbian romance “Intentions,” Christian J. Otjen’s Mark Hamill-starring suspenser “Reeseville,” Jiang Cheng’s Chinese drama “Violin,” German odd-couple tale “Zodiac Sign” and docu on ’70s blaxploitation legend Rudy Ray Moore “The Legend of Dolemite.”

Annual Latino Film Showcase sidebar will be highlighted by Ontiveros’ (“Chuck and Buck”) appearance on March 5, which includes screening of her recent indie hit “Real Women Have Curves.” Bakshi, notorious for creating the adult cartoon “Fritz the Cat” (and maker of the 1978 animated “Lord of the Rings”), will show his controversial ’75 parody of U.S. race relations, “Coonskin,” on March 8.

Brit helmer Frears will discuss his long trans-Atlantic career (“Gumshoe,” “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” upcoming “Dirty Pretty Things”) on March 4.

James Woods pays tribute to his “Legendary Intensity” on March 1, while the versatile Kilmer will be feted with an on-stage interview March 1. Most recent sked addition Macy will have his “Grace and Subtle Brilliance” honored at a noontime affair on March 8.

Past Cinequest Maverick honorees have included Sir Ian McKellan, Spike Lee, Kevin Spacey, Rod Steiger, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elmer Bernstein and Werner Herzog.

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