- The Cinequest Film Festival is held annually in late February/early March, stretching almost two weeks long.
- Cinequest website
- Reservations are optional, but recommended for more popular films and weekend evenings.
This growing film festival screens in downtown San Jose's Camera 12 Cinemas and at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Some films are shown in the beautifully-restored California Theatre, which was said to be the finest theater in California on its opening day in 1927 and is now considered one of the best-preserved late 1920s motion picture houses in the country. Seeing a film here is a special treat.
Attendance at Cinequest grows every year, and even midday performances on weekdays can be well over half full. Crowds build on weekends.
- To be sure you get a seat, arrive at least half an hour before your film starts.
- Pay attention to where you park. Cinequest validates for many downtown parking lots, but if you get the wrong validation card, you'll end up paying full price when you exit.
- If you want to get to the head of the line and can afford it, donate $100 to Cinequest and you'll get a special express pass.
Likes and Dislikes:
Cinequest is developing into one of the country's premiere film festivals, with a particular emphasis on new film-making technologies.
We rate Cinequest 4 stars out of 5 for its wide range of films and groundbreaking programs, screening over 100 films each year, many of them worldwide or U.S. premieres.
How to Get There:
Cinequest is held in downtown San Jose, with the main venue on Third Street between San Carlos and San Fernando Streets.
Tickets and Reservations:
Unlike watching a film at the local cineplex, one of the big treats at Cinequest is that you'll often find the film makers on hand at Cinequest, ready to talk about their work and answer your questions. You'll also get a chance to see actors and others who receive the annual Maverick awards, which in the past have been given to the likes of Minnie Driver, Kevin Spacey, Ben Kingsley and legendary independent film producer Christine Vachon.
If you can't get to Cinequest or can't see all the films you want to or attend the seminars, you can buy some of them on DVD through Cinequest online or rent them through Netflix.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of reviewing this event. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.