43rd annual Mill Valley Film Festival will go on, pandemic or not

The Mill Valley Film Festival will go on in 2020, pandemic or not.

The 43rd annual festival will run from October 8-18.

Film festival founder Mark Fishkin says there had been a lot of uncertainty about whether to hold the internationally acclaimed event this year, mainly because of all the unknowns surrounding the opening movie theaters.

"If anybody asked a question the typical answer was 'I don't know.' and that certainly was true when we were deciding whether to have a festival and what would that look like," said Fishkin.

The festival will look far different than in the past. Most of the films will be streamed online.

But the festival is also planning to construct a more than 50-foot outdoor movie screen at the Marin County Civic Center Lagoon, with enough space for 280 cars.

In past years the festival attracted more than 60,000 people to the festival. That meant a boost to the Marin night spots.

This year there will be fewer people venturing out. But it could still provide a boost to the struggling restaurants.

"We are going to be promoting all our restaurants and encouraging our movie-goers to go pick up a dinner, pick up a coffee after the movie," said Joanne Webster, director of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce.

The festival will include about 100 films, presentations, discussions, and interviews.

Tickets go on sale online to the general public beginning September 27.