VR, Bay Area Stories Highlight Silicon Valley's Cinequest

Virtual Reality and the Bay Area headline this year’s Cinequest film festival in Silicon Valley, which kicked off Tuesday.

The festival’s Bay Area lineup includes five feature films, 17 short films and 12 virtual reality experiences playing at theaters in San Jose and Redwood City from Feb. 28 to March 12.

This year, Cinequest will present its Maverick spirit award to two artists – Jane Lynch of “Glee” fame and “Up in the Air” filmmaker Jason Reitman.

The festival will feature 129 world and U.S. premiere films featuring Amanda Seyfried, Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Nathan Lane and James Franco, among others.

The Cinequest VR Canteen (located at Pagoda Lounge at Fairmont San Jose) will provide a meeting ground for audiences to share their VR experiences as well as to meet, connect and converse with virtual reality artists.

Spotlight films:



Michiel Huisman ("Game Of Thrones"), Hera Hilmar ("Da Vinci's Demons"), Josh Hartnett ("Penny Dreadful"), and Sir Ben Kingsley ("Schindler's List"), star in an epic romance set during WWI and directed by Joseph Ruben ("Sleeping With The Enemy").

THURSDAY 3/2; 7 P.M. (CAL)


Bel Powley ("The Diary Of A Teenage Girl"), Nathan Lane ("The Birdcage"), Gabriel Byrne ("The Usual Suspects"), and Vanessa Bayer ("Saturday Night Live") star in director Susan Johnson's brilliant comedy and adaptation of Caren Lissner's novel.

FRIDAY 3/3; 7 P.M. (CAL)


An inspiring and uplifting journey as Google and executive producer Ridley Scott ("Alien," "Blade Runner") join forces to celebrate the culture, the passion, and the people of India.

SATURDAY 3/4; 6:45 P.M. (CAL)


Ivan Sen's engaging and provocative sequel to Mystery Road (Cinequest, 2014), follows a rugged Australian detective as he peels back the layers of lies surrounding the disappearance of a young girl.

SUNDAY 3/5; 7 P.M. (CAL)


When tragedy befalls an Indian-American entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, he attempts to come to terms with his lingering questions and his own life.

MONDAY 3/6; 7 P.M. (CAL)


Another brilliant film by director Thomas Vinterberg ("The Hunt," "The Celebration"), "The Commune" is an emotionally charged, riveting dive into the depths of love, jealousy, and possession.

TUESDAY 3/7; 7 P.M. (CAL)


Rooney Mara ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") and Ben Mendelsohn ("Rogue One") face off in a potent psychological thriller of unhealed wounds.



Sam Neill ("Jurassic Park"), Jack Lowden ("Dunkirk"), Peter Mullan ("Trainspotting") and Ophelia Lovibond ("Guardians Of The Galaxy") star in the timeless and inspirational tale of the real-life founders of the modern game of golf.

THURSDAY 3/9; 6:45 P.M. (CAL)


Oscar Isaac ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), Charlotte Le Bon ("The Walk"), and Christian Bale ("Batman Begins"), star in Academy Award-winning director Terry George's ("Hotel Rwanda") tale of love, loyalty and survival.

SATURDAY 3/11; 7 P.M. (CAL)


Walter Hill ("48 Hours," "The Warriors") will present one of the craziest films this year, starring Michelle Rodriguez ("Avatar," "The Fast and the Furious") as a killer who's had the ultimate revenge played upon her - waking up to find she's undergone gender reassignment surgery.

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