Seven new films — documentary, drama and comedy — will premiere at the 21st annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival that opens Tuesday and continues through March 15 at venues around San Luis Obispo County.
“For our festival’s 21st anniversary, we are proud to have assembled a lineup of never-before-seen films, as well as movies and documentaries that are making their first North American, West Coast or Californian debuts,” said Wendy Eidson, festival director.
“As our festival comes of age this year, so, too, does our commitment to supporting original and independent filmmakers, directors and producers and to exposing audiences to their inspiring, funny, thought-provoking, and unforgettable stories.”
Here’s a look at the films premiering at the festival:
“Fear No Fruit” (97 minutes), 7 p.m. Wednesday, Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre, Cal Poly.
This film chronicles the career of “Queen of Kiwi” Frieda Caplan, the first woman to break into the L.A. wholesale produce business who introduced more than 200 exotic fruits and vegetables to the United States.
It culminates at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where the tireless 91-year-old received an honorary doctorate in June 2014.
Caplan and producer/director Mark Brian Smith will attend the screening for a question-and-answer session.
“Dream On” (99 minutes), 10 a.m. March 13, Downtown Cinemas, San Luis Obispo.
In an epic road trip, political comedian John Fugelsang retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville and investigates the perilous state of the American Dream after decades of rising income inequality and declining economic mobility.
“Out & Around” (85 minutes), 7 p.m. March 13, Mission Cinemas, San Luis Obispo.
When Jenni and Lisa vowed to follow a life of adventure together, they had no idea their promise would lead them to leave their 9-to-5 jobs, pick up a video camera and travel through Asia, Africa and South America in search of the people who are leading the movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
The subjects of the documentary, Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols, with directors Ryan Suffern and Lauren Fash, producers Susan Graham and Megan Oliveira, and executive director of the “It Gets Better” Project, Ted Farley, will attend for a question-and-answer session.
“Sabre Dance” (14 minutes), 7:30 p.m. Thursday La Perla Del Mar, Shell Beach
After giving a performance to the people of Spain, world-famous composer Aram Khachaturian is showered with praise and even gets an opportunity to meet Salvador Dali in this delightful and quirky short comedy.
“My Name Is David” (USA. 82 minutes), 4 p.m. March 14, Downtown Cinemas, San Luis Obispo.
An obsessive-compulsive workaholic with a severe addiction to prescription drugs finds an abandoned package that could be the key to his happiness — or the catalyst that spirals his world completely out of control — in this dramatic film.
Director Christopher Gallego Wong and co-writer and actor Keith Powell will attend for a question-and-answer session.
North American premiere
“The Emissary” (15 minutes), 7 p.m. March 13 Palm Theatre, San Luis Obispo.
Emmy-award winning actress Margo Martindale (“August: Osage County”) plays the lead in this film loosely based on Bellini’s opera “Norma” and inspired by the final days of opera legend Maria Callas.
West Coast premiere
“Girl on the Edge” (105 minutes), 6 p.m. March 13, Fremont Theater, San Luis Obispo.
Hannah Green — a seemingly normal teenager with a tragic past — is targeted, manipulated and victimized by an online predator through a dating app and struggles to regain stability in her life with the help of an unconventional adolescent treatment program that uses equine therapy to empower its troubled girls.
Director Jay Silverman and actress Taylor Spreitler will attend for a question-and-answer session.
“Hollywood Don’t Surf,” 6 p.m. on Surf Nite in SLO, Thursday, Fremont Theatre, San Luis Obispo.
The ultimate celebration and dissection of surfing as highlighted in Hollywood movies, this feature-length documentary looks at surf films through the lens and insights of various movie titans, A-list directors, stars and surf legends and raises the question, “Will Hollywood ever get it right?”
Following the screening, co-diriector Greg MacGillivray will present the fourth annual Spotlight Award to writer and director John Milius.
Also scheduled to attend are “Big Wednesday” cast members Gary Busey, William Katt, Lee Purcell, Denny Aaberg, Darrell Fetty and Rick Dano and legendary surfers Ian Cairns and Peter Townend.
For more information about the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and to purchase tickets, visit SLOfilmfest.org.