Sunday March 11, 2018 was the last day of Cinequest at the California Theatre of San Jose. The film festival primarily takes place in a theater with a long running history of performances.
In 1878, the original California Theatre was built on South Second Street in San Jose. In the book, “An Anthropology Of San Jose: Reflections of the Past” the authors indicated that on the theater’s opening night, “in May of 1879, treated San Joseans to a performance of Evadne, with a cast made of local amateurs, including Mercury editor J.J. Owen, Attorney Charles M. Shortridge, the city school’s superintendent and various others. The theater manager was Charles J. Martin, a three-term mayor of San Jose”. Indeed a lot of local city politicians were present for opening night 140 years ago.
The original California Theater, like many structures built in the 1800s, was destroyed by the ravages of fire in July 2, 1892.
A new California Theatre was built which is were the Cinequest Film Festival currently takes place. Yearly they have a Maverick Spirit Award for a single reconsidered actor. For the year 2018, Nicolas Kim Coppola, an actor who goes by the alias of Nicolas Cage, was awarded the Maverick Spirit Award.
In February 2018, Halfdan Hussey, the Director, CEO and Co-Founder of Cinequest, was interviewed by Arturo Hilario from the El Observador newspaper. Hilario asked Hussey why the word “Impact” was chosen as the theme for the film festival that year and he responded:
You’re gonna get a chance to access films that are not on Netflix or never will be. These are films that come from around the globe, [that] are not distributed in to the United States.
The experience of these movies, the reason that I got into the world of art is because personally … you have great experiences that impact your life. You connect to the stories, the people, to cultures, to other ways of life that you can relate to or that are so different from yours that you can have an empathetic experience and expand on your horizons. So, it’s a very exciting things, that type of impact with art. And then another type of impact with Cinequest is that you’re with people.