.Cinequest Screens Across San Jose

Each year, for the span of two weeks, the city of San Jose becomes an unlikely hub for international filmmakers, actors, producers and cineastes, when Cinequest turns the whole city into a film festival. 

Normally held in March, 2023’s Cinequest is currently in full swing in August instead. The reason for this should by now be familiar.

“Everything to do with the pandemic and the rippling effects of that,” says festival director Halfdan Hussey.

By now, Cinequest has been through worse. Its 30th anniversary was scheduled for March, 2020, with half of it becoming canceled due to COVID. The following year, it premiered online as Cinejoy (a side-festival that continues to this day).

Now fully back in person, this year’s festival includes 235 films from 50 countries. Marquee openings include works by famous actors like Constance Wu and Jennifer Esposito, as well as up and coming voices in film from the Bay and beyond. There are thrillers, comedies, family dramas, queer stories, documentaries and even a horror film consisting of human-sized puppets. Beyond the movies themselves, the festival includes Q&A’s, afterparties, meet-ups and other industry events. Best of all, tickets remain at pre-COVID prices.

“Most of the events and screenings, you get a lot for a little,” Hussey says.

A full accounting of all 200+ films would be impossible in the space available, but this selection of highlighted films offers a glimpse into the span of filmic work on display this year—a span that runs deep and wide.

For Hussey, though, the most important part of the fest remains gathering people from all communities and allowing them to experience something together.

“You can get streaming films on any site, but you can’t get what Cinequest offers,” Hussey says. “It brings people together in a place. They share an exciting thing called a discovery, watching a premiere movie. The experience grows into something that is super special.”


Aug 15-30

Participating Theaters:

California Theatre  

345 South First Street 

San Jose, CA 

Hammer Theatre 

101 Paseo de San Antonio 

San Jose, CA 

3 Below Theater & Lounge 

288 S. 2nd Street 

San Jose, CA 

ShowPlace Icon Theatre & Kitchen 

2575 California St Suite 601 

Mountain View, CA 94040 


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