SDFF is bookended by two high-profile films.
“Wild,” right, the adventure-as-healing-process starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, opens the fest.
Closing the event: “You’re Not You,” a tale of female friendship starring Hilary Swank as a classical pianist diagnosed with ALS. Co-stars Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel will attend.
In between, SDFF will feature gala presentation screenings, which include Lynn Shelton’s “Laggies,” starring Chloe Grace Moretz as a teen who befriends an older woman (Keira Knightley) fleeing her responsibilities, with Sam Rockwell playing Moretz’s single dad.
Moretz also pops up, as a sex-trafficking victim, in Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer,” starring Denzel Washington and Marton Csokas, while Knightley does double duty starring opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game,” a biopic about Brit computer pioneer Alan Turing. And Witherspoon stars in Philippe Falardeau’s drama “The Good Lie.”
Film critic Jeffrey Lyons is not only returning as host of the festival, but will also help program individual screening titles and honorees at the awards tribute. Films are screened both in San Diego and La Jolla, and the festival’s Celebrity Tribute (Judd Apatow was honored last year) will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.
“Our newest award is the Gregory Peck Award, as Peck grew up in La Jolla, and his daughter Cecilia Peck will present the first one to Alan Arkin,” says Tonya Mantooth, SDFF VP and director of programming.