The 2023 Coronado Island International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, November 8th and runs through Sunday, November 12th with a packed schedule of movie delights.
Here we present 8 Reasons to Attend 8th Annual CIFF!
Oscar winner Geena Davis accepts her 2022 CIFF Award from Leonard Maltin by Joel Ortiz

THE LEONARD MALTIN INDUSTRY TRIBUTE AWARDS GALA is the jewel in CIFF’s crown, honoring multiple industry luminaries for their contribution to the Art & Science of Cinematic Storytelling. This year’s Legacy Award will be presented to 3x Oscar nominee Diane Ladd, who will also be present for a Q+A about her new movie, ISLE OF HOPE, screening on Sunday, Nov 12.

Festival Host Leonard Maltin presides over the tributes, which will take place in the Commodore Ballroom at Loews Coronado Bay Resort on Saturday, Nov 11. (Champagne reception at 6pm, dinner & ceremony at 7pm)


Forget the multiplex, Coronado’s enchanting Village Theatre first opened its doors in 1947 and has since been refurbished with Art Deco flair. In this stylish, intimate setting you can view wildly varied narrative and documentary features and picture yourself sharing popcorn with movie legends like Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise and Emma Stone, all of whom have visited Coronado over the years.

Actress Jacqeline Bisset and Leonard Maltin, 2022 by Amanda SanMartin

In this world of solo streaming, it’s a wonderful thing to gather together and savor a shared cinematic experience. Attend CIFF and you will join 120+ filmmakers, industry executives and entertainment leaders, as well as hundreds of film lovers eager to experience new voices and visions.


Coronado Island extends for one scenic mile from Beach to Bayside and the four primary CIFF screening venues are a short walk apart. If you are attending the Kick Off Bash + Taste of the Festival at the Nautilus Ballroom you will enjoy a yacht-studded view of Glorietta Bay Marina. A ten minute cruise along the glittering shores of Silver Strand will take you to the the glamorous Awards Gala at Loews Coronado Resort. Easy breezy bliss!


Coronado is synonymous with Marilyn Monroe courtesy of Some Like It Hot, but did you know Gone With The Wind’s Olivia de Havilland has unique connections to the island? Join Moderator Leonard Maltin and historian Tim Reid for a special presentation featuring sensational film, music, and photography. (Sunday, Nov 12 at 10am)


If you have an appreciation for iconic fashion, you won’t want to miss Designing Hollywood: Studio Wardrobe in the Golden Age. Coronado author and fashion historian Christian Esquevin will be celebrating costume designs from late 1910 to the 1960s, including William Travilla’s iconic dresses for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Oscar-winning Walter Plunkett’s stunning work on An American in Paris. (Thursday, Nov 9 at 10am)


Film can give us the opportunity to explore new worlds and perspectives, from South Korea’s romantic rumination PAST LIVES to DANCING IN A-YARD, a documentary following US prison inmates working with a modern dance choregrapher. Panel discussions and Q&As offer CIFF attendees the chance to engage and ask questions in pursuit of deeper understanding.

Enjoy these conversation starters:

BLACK BARBIE: Through intimate access to a charismatic Mattel insider, Beulah Mae Mitchell, this documentary looks at the cross section of merchandise and representation as Black women strive to elevate their own voices and stories.

UNDERGROUND ORANGE: a LGBTQ film that follows a Californian backpacker who finds himself entangled in a polyamorous relationship with a gang of young actors who plot to kidnap the US Ambassador to Argentina.

MAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORY: This San Diego Premiere is a tender and intimate portrait of visionary and innovator Tyler Perry: his harrowing but faithful road to the top of an industry that didn’t always include him.


CIFF is offering a stunning array of short films in ShortFest, including ANIMATION, a 77-minute curated selection of whimsical, dramatic, artistic and creative shorts that use animation techniques to challenge and delight the imagination. Includes Q+A with Filmmakers.


These 3 films are already creating an anticipatory buzz. Get your tickets now!

HUMANITY STOKED: A documentary about the beauty in overcoming the challenges facing humanity, as seen by icons of pro skating, science, art, music, activism, and education, all of whom share experiences and perspectives shaped by their love of skateboarding.

BONUS: Vans & Wahoo Pre-Party and Q&A with cast members and director

MAY DECEMBER: Netflix San Diego Premiere of the new Todd Haynes movie starring Natalie Portman as an actress prepping to portray a woman (Julianne Moore) at the center of a real life tabloid romance scandal 20 years prior. The film is an exploration of truth, storytelling, and the difficulties (or impossibility) of fully understanding another person.

BONUS: Tribute Honoree and movie make-up artist Heba Thorisdottir be in attendance for the Q+A

THE TASTE OF THINGS: The CIFF opening night film is a sumptuous and tender romantic drama about two French gourmet cooks expressing their passion for life and each other through food, starring Juliette Binoche.

BONUS: Ticket includes After Party at Tavern. Cocktail Attire requested.

HOSPITALITY: Looking for a charming hotel or authentic French cuisine after watching The Taste of Things? Check out our comprehensive list Coronado Accommodations and Dining Options, many of which will make you feel like you stepped onto a movie set!