San Diego International Film Festival To Mix Studios and Indies

by Mark Rabinowitz

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, along with Cruise's producing partner Paula
Wagner, have joined the honorary advisory board of the inaugural San Diego
International Film Festival
(SDIFF). The three join a board rife with
Hollywood studio and independents, alike. The other members of the board
come from the studio executive ranks, as well as directors, actors and
writers. Members on the studio or specialty division side include Sony
Pictures Entertainment
president and COO, John Calley; president and CEO of
United Artists, Lindsay Doran; Casey Silver, chairman of Universal Studios
Motion Pictures Group
, and Lindsay Law, president of Fox Searchlight, while
indies include directors John Sayles, Atom Egoyan and Ang Lee.

Festival director Jo Moulton told indieWIRE that the festival is going to
attempt to bridge the indie-studio gap. Pointing to the makeup of the
advisory board, she added "we have a combination of indies and majors that
are interested in our event." According to Moulton, the festival plans to
program a combination of some studio films and a large number of indies,
with the total number of films screened set to be in the 60-70 film range,
including student films and shorts, in both 35mm and 16mm formats. Moulton
added that she didn't like it when filmmakers had to fly across the country
to a festival, only to find that they had one 10 AM screening. The SDIFF is
"shooting for a minimum of three screenings per film."

[For more information about the festival, check out their web site @, or call 619.558.3456]