By: Iride Aparicio

Pictures by: Antonio Gadong

Co-Founder and Executive Director of CINEQUEST
Co-Founder and Executive Director of CINEQUEST

SAN JOSÉ, CA – The Launching of CINEQUEST  Film Festival 2014, with “CONNECT” as its theme, was announced  to the press  by its Co-Founder and Executive Director, HALFDAN HUSSEY in an elegant reception held at the Athletic Club in San José on January 28th . On that night it was announced that the 24th  Film Festival will open on March 4th at the California Theatre with DON McKELLAR’s comedy “The Grand Seduction” and will close on March 16 at the same theatre with the film, “Small Time.”

In his opening speech, HUSSEY, who is also a renown writer, film director, and community leader recognized as one of the 25 people who dramatically changed Silicon Valley over the past 25 years, thanked those present, reminded the press that they were going to be the first ones to see the premier movies in the festival and asked for a  round of applause for those who made the reception possible .

Continuing speaking to the audience in a projected movie showing some of the  highlights of previous festivals, HUSSEY said  that the mission of CINEQUEST  has been and continues to be  the innovation and empowering of  youth;  mentoring them to create short movies to envision an idea they have of  making this world a better place. "In creating a movie, they learn to bring any picture in focus," he said.  This year in "Pictures the possibilities" CINEQUEST had a global youth program in which young students learned to make movies and will present them to the audience. A short testimonial of a young student, also presented as a film, made us aware that by making a movie, students learned that when they helped others, they also helped themselves.  

“If you can see it and dream it, you can make it happen.”added HUSSEY speaking enthusiastically.  “Welcome to the word of possibilities. " He went on to inform the audience that for the Film Festival this year 700 artists from different countries are going to join us and that maybe one hundred thousand people from every walk of live will be here in San José during those weeks.

CINEQUEST 2014 includes events and lots of parties. Forums, and events showcasing the visions, the technologies and the creativity to reshape our future and many films, some that will uplift and inspire, others that will make us laugh, dramatic films that will reveal life as lived around the world, and romantic tales, showing the glories of falling in love.

The highlights announced on that night for CINEQUEST 2014 were:

“ The First Maverick Innovator Award” that will be given to two people:

MARTIN COOPER, the inventor who believed that people wanted to connect with each other when being mobile, and to make it possible created the cell phone.

Actor MATTHEW MODINE for his “Appumentary”  (App.) based on a book he wrote which was based on o STANLEY KUBRICK’s Vietnam’s war, masterpiece Full Metal Jacket. In his app, MODINE gives his audience access to a diary he wrote and the photographs he took in ways never imagined possible as he creates a re-imagined, interactive audiovisual experience for his viewers which allow them to look at the movies in a fresh awe-inspiring way. 

The Maverick Spirit Writer Award will go to:

NEIL GAIMAN, the award winning creator of  “The Sandman”  comic book series and a series of books.

Two- star chef  culinary artist CHEF DAVID KINCH of Los Gatos restaurant Manressa,  & Attorney turned- farmer CYNTHIA SANDBERG. Both of them will be featured also in the film “The Farmer and the Chef.”

This year, believing that it is time to turn the spotlight on those people who have the power to impact the minds of their readers, CINEQUEST will have a Media Legacy Awards recognizing the pivotal role that journalists play in connecting the audience with films.

The First Media Legacy Awards will go to three film critics:

ERICK KOHN, KENNETH TURAN of Los Angeles Times, and HARRY KNOWLES, who pioneered movie coverage online, with “Ain’t It Coll News, his website.

CINEQUEST will present over 179 films this year some of them world premiers.

KYLE BURT   introducing the CINEQUEST staff to the audience
KYLE BURT   introducing the CINEQUEST staff to the audience

In a brief talk, KYLE BURT, the Publicity Manager of CINEQUEST introduced "his Team," and gave the audience the names of the different stars, which will appear in person or in the different fims, mentioned that for their parties they used home-grown people, meaning local restaurants and local wines and mentioned that the most important part of the festival is the opportunity it gives people to connect with each other.

CONNECT  the theme of CINEQUEST 2014, is about connecting with each other with the power of film, and as HUSSEY said before, " The power of film is that it gives us the opportunity to understand people with different ideas, to understand the world.”

CINEQUEST Film Festival with its fims, forums and parties will give those visiting San Jose a unique opportunity to connect with each other and exchange ideas.  To create, to innovate, to empower.

For more information about CINEQUEST go to