Cinequest’s closing Spotlight event includes a conversation with the Bay Area-based directors of “Boys State,” a documentary about teens tasked with creating a government under a program sponsored by the American Legion. (Courtesy A24)

Cinequest’s closing Spotlight event includes a conversation with the Bay Area-based directors of “Boys State,” a documentary about teens tasked with creating a government under a program sponsored by the American Legion. (Courtesy A24)

Cinequest offers spotlight screenings with filmmaker chats

South Bay film-VR fest offers dozens of movies and special programs

More than 100 films from 55 countries are in the lineup of the South Bay-based Cinequest film festival — virtual this year — which continues through March 30. Programming includes Spotlight presentations with comments from filmmakers and actors accompanying the screenings. They include:

“My Zoe”: Actor, director and writer Julie Delpy (“Before Sunrise,” “Two Days in Paris”) speaks about her film about an ambitious scientist who resorts to extreme measures to keep her daughter in her life after a tragic accident. (5:30 p.m. March 22)

“Falling”: Viggo Mortensen writes, directs and stars in the story of a gay man with a family in Southern California who’s challenged when his homophobic 80-year-old father, a farmer, comes to visit. (5:30 p.m. March 23)

“76 Days”: Director Hao Wi accompanies a screening of his acclaimed documentary detailing the struggles of patients and frontline medical professionals battling COVID-19 in Wuhan. (5:30 p.m. March 24)

“Rams”: The Maverick Spirit Award presentation features a conversation with actor Sam Neil about his latest comedy in which he plays one of two estranged brothers in remote Western Australia who are at war over flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline. (5:30 p.m. March 25)

“Summertime,” by “Blindspotting” director Carlos López Estrada, follows slam poets on one day in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Sundance)

“Summertime,” by “Blindspotting” director Carlos López Estrada, follows slam poets on one day in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Sundance)

“Summertime”: The film by “Blindspotting” director Carlos López Estrada follows the journey of 25 young slam poets on a single day during a Los Angeles heat wave. (5:30 p.m. March 26)

“Thaen”: Directed by Ganesh Vinayakan, the film, in Tamil, tells the story of an uneducated young rural beekeeper facing seemingly unsurmountable challenges when his wife is diagnosed with a rare disease. (5:15 p.m. March 27)

“Drunk Bus”: The dramedy by John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke starring Charlie Tahan and Kara Hayward follows the exploits of guy who has the night shift driving college students around campus, and the Samoan punk rock security guard named Pineapple he befriends. (5:15 p.m. March 27)

“This Is Not a War Story”: Executive producer Rosario Dawson, actor-directorTalia Lugacy, actor-producer Sam Adegoke and actor-veteran Eli Wright discuss the film, which follows a ragtag group of veterans in New York who deal with the aftermath of war by creating unusual art. (4:15 p.m. March 28)

“Together Together”: Writer-director Nikole Beckwith speaks following a screening of the dramedy starring Ed Helms as a middle-aged app designer who wants to be a father, and the connection he makes with the twentysomething woman (Patti Harrison) he hires to be a surrogate. (5:30 p.m. March 29)

“Boys State”: The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival is a documentary about 1,000 teens from Texas participating in an American Legion-sponsored program designed to learn about democracy – and their attempts to create a representative government. Bay Area directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss will attend. (5:30 p.m. March 30)

Tickets to Cinequest Showcase screenings are $11.99; visit https://www.cinequest.org/.

Movies and TV

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