Hardwood and Hollywood

SDIFF 2017 Opening Night is a Hit

san diego film festival

SDIFF Opening Night (Photo by Mike Bitanga)

The 2017 San Diego International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet on opening night with the crowd-pleasing film, Marshall. The film is about a young Thurgood Marshall, played by the talented Chadwick Boseman, as he fights through one of his early, career-making cases.

SDIFF screened the film at the historic Balboa Theatre in Downtown San Diego, where filmmakers and film lovers shared their passion for cinema.  The crowd was hooked on Marshall, as the court room drama drew cheers and laughs from the audience throughout. It truly transported the audience to that time and place.

sdiff Marshall

SDIFF Balboa Theatre (Photo by Mike Bitanga)

After the film, the executive producers of Marshall took the stage to discuss the journey of getting this film made. At first, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman was hesitant to do another biopic, after playing James Brown and Jackie Robinson, and needed some inspiration. Executive Producer Jonathan Sanger mentioned what inspired Boseman.

“Initially, he didn’t want to do another bio-pic. We put him in touch with Thurgood’s family, John Marshall, who’s Thurgood’s oldest son. After they had a conversation, he changed his mind.”

The entire cast was impressive, including Josh Gad as Sam Friedman, Thurgood’s co-counsel. The chemistry between the two actors made for an enjoyable film.

“There was a great camaraderie and relationship that developed between Chad and Josh that just developed over the course of the film and made it really work,” Sanger told the audience.

San Diego International Film Festival

SDIFF After Party (Photo by Mike Bitanga)

After the film and Q and A, SDIFF threw an after-party on the rooftop of the Westgate Hotel. There was live music by the Stiletto’s, as well as DJ Mark Eazy. Attendees also enjoyed complimentary food and casino gaming tables, compliments of Hollywood Casino. It was an ideal kick-off to a five-day celebration of cinema.

SDIFF continues throughout this week. There’s over 120 films to choose from, and some amazing panels to attend. Tomorrow the main event for SDIFF will be the VARIETY Night of the Stars Tribute, where Patrick Stewart will receive the Gregory Peck Award for Excellence in Cinema. Click here for tickets to individual screenings and panels, or for a festival pass that gets you into several events.

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Mike Bitanga

Staff Writer/ Senior Editor at Hardwood and Hollywood
Mike spends most his time and money on movies because of his strong belief that there's more truth in fiction. In the past, he's written for the Patch and Culture Mob news websites, particularly for the arts/entertainment and sports sections. He's also a published author, and an aspiring screenwriter. Show some love or call him out: https://twitter.com/MikeBeetang

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