Are you ready for another year of immersive creativity? The Santa Cruz Film Festival returns for their 20th anniversary year, from October 6th to October 9th. In a historic move, the SCFF will be screening in Scotts Valley, CA for the very first time.

See the full weekend schedule here >>

1. Sam Now, directed by Reed Harkness

SCFF’s opening night will present the West Coast premiere of Sam Now, directed by Reed Harkness, with subject Sam Harkness and producer Jason Reid both in attendance.

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SYNOPSIS: Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half brother Reed use their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing.

2. Beat the Shift, with director Drew Adams

SCFF’s closing night on Sunday, October 9th will feature Beat the Shift, with director Drew Adams in attendance.

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SYNOPSIS: A landfill worker yearns to reconnect with his estranged son while side-stepping his parole officer. Meanwhile, vagabond teens search for a new life while scamming men on dating apps. Filmed in Santa Cruz on Super 16mm, Beat the Shift tells a story of working-class struggle fueled by Silicon Valley’s massive economic sprawl.

Tickets for all films at the Santa Cruz Film Festival are on sale now on their website. Opening and closing nights events are $25 each event per person, including after party. For non-opening or closing night events, tickets will be free with a suggested donation of $10.

Special Events

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Special events include an outdoor screening of Foodie for the People and Tales From The Long Memory on Friday, October 7th at 7:00PM at the Tannery Arts Center, which are about the local activism of Jozseph Schultz and Utah Phillips, respectively. Additionally, “Surf Film Saturday” will be a special day-long series of diverse surf films on Saturday October 8th at the Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building.

Cinephiles will not want to miss Exposing Muybridge, the biography of trailblazing 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge on Saturday, October 8th at 2:30 PM at the Colligan Theater (with director and UCSC alumnus Marc Shaffer in attendance), and the debut of Cognitive, an nonlinear psychological thriller with shades of neo-noir and titles reminiscent of Saul Bass (Friday, October 7th at the Colligan Theater, with director Evan Richards in attendance).

About Santa Cruz Film Festival

Since its founding 20 years ago, SCFF has provided a first-rate platform for independent filmmakers in Santa Cruz and on the West Coast and brought Santa Cruz audiences into conversation with independent filmmakers worldwide. Our films this year include local and international works from 10 countries. Selections include social and environmental documentaries, dramas, comedies, suspense, and thrillers.

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