Josh Brolin and Heather Graham coming to SLO International Film Festival

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

SLO International Film Festival 2024

Josh Brolin

Brolin leads the Narrative Feature Jury

—The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) has announced that actor Josh Brolin is leading the Narrative Feature Jury for the film festival’s 30th Anniversary. Actress, writer, and director Heather Graham is set to be honored with the King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Brolin, a former honoree, grew up on a ranch in Paso Robles and recently reprised his role as Gurney Halleck in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two,” the sequel to the six-time Academy Award-winning film “Dune.”

Other narrative feature jurors include Netflix Production Finance executive Christopher Tung; Wendy Guerrero, President of the Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival; and Director Nardeep Khurmi (“Land of Gold”).

SLO International Film Festival 2024

Heather Graham

‘Heather Graham— unwavering support for the independent film industry’

Heather Graham receives her award during an official ceremony on Saturday, April 27, at the Hotel San Luis Obispo. Festivities commence with a noon reception, followed by a “Conversation with Heather Graham.” A screening of her film, “Chosen Family,” which she wrote, directed, and stars in, is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the historic Fremont Theatre.

In “Chosen Family,” Graham portrays Ann, a yoga teacher grappling with familial challenges and a turbulent dating life. Relying on her friends, portrayed by Julia Stiles, Andrea Savage, Thomas Lennon, and Odessa Rae, Ann navigates life’s complexities. “Chosen Family” made its world debut at the 2024 Santa Barbara Film Festival, with Graham slated to star opposite Tom Hopper in “Place of Bones,” set for release in 2024.

Graham gained recognition early in her career with a breakout role in Gus Van Sant’s “Drugstore Cowboy,” earning her an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She continued to make her mark with unforgettable performances in films such as “Boogie Nights,” “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and “The Hangover.”

Expanding her repertoire, Graham delved into writing, directing, and producing. Her film “Half Magic,” released in 2018, received critical acclaim.

“Heather Graham embodies unwavering support for the independent film industry, earning her status as a beloved icon whose presence we deeply treasure and admire,” said SLOIFF Executive Director Skye McLennan. “We are honored with the privilege of not only acknowledging her remarkable contributions but also reveling in the spirit of this extraordinary woman. As the festival has been led by women for three decades, we’re honored to celebrate our anniversary with an incredible talent.”

Over a hundred films and Beau Bridges

The festival features over 125 narrative features, short films, documentary features and shorts, music videos, and festival favorites from the last 30 years. Additionally, Beau Bridges, the star of “Camera,” is attending the West Coast premiere of the film at the festival. Filmmakers from over 70 filmmaking teams will be in attendance throughout the week.

The film festival’s lineup kicks off on opening night with the critically acclaimed “Ghostlight” and concludes with the Sundance comedy breakout “Thelma.”

The Documentary Feature jury includes Tatiana Faris from IFC Films, and documentary filmmakers Nancy Svendsen (“Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest”) and Jesse Rudoy (Dusty & Stones).

Short Narrative jurors include filmmaker Bernard Badion (“The Van”), Executive Producer Lissa Khoshbakhti of Disney Launchpad, and Fanshen Cox, Founder TruJuLo Productions. Indigenous Latine Filmmaker Alejandro Miranda Cruz (Decolonizing Dinner), Festival Programmer and Filmmaker Natalie Gee, and Director Lauren Tyler Brimeyer (“Until the Rain Comes Back”) comprise the Short Documentary jury.

Over 57 films, in the categories of Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Student Film, Music Video, and Animated Film, will participate in the George Sidney Independent Film Competition. Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase Films are eligible in the same categories. George Sidney and Central Coast films will also be eligible for The Audience Awards in five categories.

Narrative feature films in competition include Slamdance winner, “Good Bad Things,” starring Abigail Breslin, and “The Italians,” a quirky dramedy about family and love.

Documentary features in the competition include Best Directing Sundance winner “Sugarcane” and “Jailhouse to Milhouse,” an intimate portrayal of Pamela Hayden, the voice behind the iconic Simpsons character, Milhouse.

The festival, celebrating its milestone 30th anniversary, is held in San Luis Obispo from April 25-30 with an encore presentation in Paso Robles. Virtual viewing is from May 1-5. Festival passes are on sale now. For the full schedule and passes, visit or call (805) 546-3456.


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