Cinequest 2024: Silicon Valley's largest film fest focuses on uplifting filmmakers and A.I.

Silicon Valley’s biggest film festival held its opening night ceremony Thursday night in San Jose. Cinequest Film and Creativity Fest will screen dozens of films over the next two weeks, debuting films from multiple movie genres.

"I really love exploring new things here in San Jose. So that’s why I’m here. I’m excited to check things out. This is my first time here," said Brenda Martines Salcedo of San Jose. 

Hundreds of people gathered at the California Theater on Thursday night for the Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival in downtown San Jose. This year’s festival included a forum on artificial intelligence and how it will impact filmmaking.

"So, I’m of the belief that human intelligence cannot be replaced but A.I. can be your second brain. A personalized way to help you be better in your life, but we’ll all have to deal with it," said Halfdan Hussey, Cinequest Co-founder & CEO. 

The theme at Cinequest this year is Uplift, bringing hope and excitement back to filmmaking after a strike brought much of the industry to a halt last year. "The Island Between Tides" opened the festival, directed by Andrew Holmes and Austin Andrews and featuring David Mazouz.

"We just felt like we could really tell a thrilling story that’s about family drama at its core," said Andrew Holmes, co-director of "The Island Between Tides."

"This is somebody who, basically, since he was a baby, has been tormented by seeing things that he’s not sure if they’re real," said David Mazouz, actor in "The Island Between Tides."

Born and raised in the Bay Area, both director Chris McGilvray and cinematographer Isaiah Flores will showcase the documentary "Eden" at Cinequest, coming full circle with their dreams of filmmaking.   

"You have sort of an idea of how a vintage is going to play out. It might last for 10 years; it might last for 30 years. When you open up that bottle it’s always surprising. This film actually does have that element to it," said McGilvray. 

"As a high schooler, I volunteered at Cinequest and helped sell tickets and helped wrangle people and all that and always dreamed of becoming a filmmaker," said Flores.

Cinequest will showcase films here at the California Theater until March 17 and for more information about the films and how to get your tickets visit their website.