The Reel Deal


Now in its 13 year, the ever-expanding San Diego Film Festival (SDFF) is set to roll out the Finest City red carpet once again. Features, documentaries, exclusive premieres and short films fill the roster, as do panel discussions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

Writer/director/producer Judd Apatow, who’s being honored with SDFF’s Visionary Filmmaker award (see sidebar), is one of the celebs scheduled to attend, perhaps with his actor wife, Leslie Mann.

So grab a bag of popcorn and a good seat (at Reading Cinemas in the Gaslamp, or ArcLight Cinemas at UTC), October 2 through 6. In the interim, read about six standout films below and rest assured - even if flicks ain’t your schtick, you might bump into a movie star at one of SDFF’s signature after-parties.

(German with English subtitles)
A hotshot lawyer in Germany gets bored of being all good-looking and married, so he decides to moonlight as a high-end gigolo. Because subtitles can be a real deal-breaker for moviegoers, the filmmakers packed the thriller with political intrigue, blackmail and so much sex they could have named their movie Phallus-y. (Showtime: Fri., Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m., Reading Cinemas, Gaslamp)

This Thing with Sarah
After getting dumped by his smoking-hot girlfriend, a super-needy, heartbroken dude wears a lot of sweatpants, gets hassled by his friend into searching for a rebound, and then starts a nostrings-attached relationship with a slightly less-hot girl with a sexy accent. (Spoiler alert: her name’s Sarah!) Bet you can’t guess if they fall in love. (Showtimes: Fri., Oct. 4, 8:00 p.m.; Sat., 10/5, 2:00 p.m.; ArcLight Cinemas, UTC)

Antarctica: A Year on Ice
Have you ever wanted to live on the world’s coldest continent? Watching this documentary will help you experience exactly what it’s like to spend an entire year in Antarctica... minus having actually to endure the numbing cold, crushing boredom, months without sunlight and inevitably crappy food, of course. (Showtime: Sat., Oct. 5, 12:30 p.m.; Reading Cinemas, Gaslamp)

Chez Upshaw
Illeana Douglas and Kevin Pollak costar as proprietors of a struggling bed and breakfast on the verge of bankruptcy. Because there’s no budget for remodeling, they follow the next logical course of action: turning the place into a haven for assisted suicide to cash in on the death of others. (It’s a comedy, by the way.) (Showtime: Sat., Oct. 5, 2:30 p.m.; ArcLight Cinemas, UTC)

If you’ve never seen the guy who rollerblades in slow-motion down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, here’s your chance to catch him on the big screen. This 18- minute short tells the true story of Dr. John Kitchin, who traded in his medical career for skates, sun and sand. (Showtime: Sun., Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m.; Reading Cinemas, Gaslamp)

For Shorts and Giggles
This sextet of comedic shorts showcases hilarity ranging in topic from an out-ofwork superhero sidekick who moonlights as a teacher to what would happen to horror films if their characters were capable of making intelligent decisions (hint: they wouldn’t make any money). (Showtime: Sun., Oct. 6, 3:00 p.m.; Reading Cinemas, Gaslamp)

(Find more showtimes and party info at

Nice Judds

SDFF has named Hollywood A-lister Judd Apatow the 2013 recipient of its Visionary Filmmaker award. Well known for directing smashing-success comedies including Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow will appear October 3 at Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, where film critic Jeffrey Lyons will present him with the award.

Here are just a few of the films that put Apatow and countless comedic actors on the movie map.

Anchorman (producer)
Anchorman 2 (producer)
Bridesmaids (producer)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (producer)
Funny People (writer/director/producer)
Get Him to the Greek (producer)
Knocked Up (writer/director/producer)
Pineapple Express (writer/producer)
Step Brothers (producer)
Superbad (producer)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (writer/director/producer)
This is 40 (writer/director/producer)