Bay Area Filmmakers to Watch in the 2023 Cinequest's Summer Festival

Bay Area Films to Watch in the 2023 Cinequest Summer Festival

Are you ready to feel Energized? That’s the theme for the 2023 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival taking place this summer from August 15 – August 30 in Silicon Valley. You can catch everything from film screenings, red carpets, live events, and evening meetups to keep the conversation going after watching a film.

Kicking off the festival will be two opening nights inside the California Theater in San Jose on Tuesday, August 15, and the ShowPlace ICON Theatre in Mountain View on Thursday, August 24. 

Within 15 days, Cinequest’s 253 films (82 World or US premieres) will show all across Silicon Valley. Curious to know which local films are debuting at this festival? Keep reading below and check them out when they’re in town! 

7000 Miles

A pilot comes to terms with living their life how they want but at the cost of revealing her grandmother’s secrets. Is it worth it?*

Brothers Broken

Two brothers from the Bay Area were well on their way to fame with their band, People! However, things took a turn once they decided to join Scientology. Brothers Broken follows how the band and brothers reconnected after all the lost years.** 

Call Me Mule

Follow John Sears, AKA Mule, as he travels throughout the American West to maintain his nomadic lifestyle, all while his three mules are by his side.*

East Bay

“East Bay is an extremely funny and deceptively intricate comedy about the enormous pressure people are under to be happy and successful in this life—which for all we know, might be a massive simulation.”* 

The Secret Song

“The film shows the dynamism and adaptability that all teachers find and bring forth in the classroom, and how a sense of belonging helps us surmount hardships and adversity.”*

A Boat for My Brother

“After the tragic death of his little brother, Johnnie Oberg sets out to put on a Viking funeral in his honor, an ode to their late father’s Swedish heritage. A custom-built boat, flaming arrows, and a California lake steeped in childhood memories sets the stage to make this wistful last wish a reality, we hope.”

The Crossing Guard

“A Dad risks his life by volunteering as the crossing guard at his kid’s school.”

La Macana

Become a fly on the wall as divorced couple Carmen and Franco work together to support their daughter when she gets her period for the first time. 

Last Call

“In the throes of early pandemic lockdown, the threat of closure looms large over San Francisco’s historic queer bars. As the caretakers of these spaces look after their deserted venues, phantoms of the past and future begin to bleed into the present.”


“Based on stories from my grandfather, Nisei follows the journey of two Japanese-American brothers during World War II, Minoru and John Miyasaki. Stripped of their citizenship and placed in internment camps, they volunteer for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Japanese-American unit that sacrifices everything to prove their loyalty to a country that doesn’t want them. Torn between country and family, they must face the enemy overseas and adversity back home.”

Odd Dog

A little boy wants a dog, but his mother prefers a cat. A couple of years later, let’s just say the pet dream comes true for the boy and the mother with an “Odd Dog.” 


Vina is the lead queen in the Santacruzan festival but struggles to tune out the voices of the community who make negative comments about her appearance. Watch as her sister helps Vina quiet the voices and embrace her natural beauty while giving her the historical context and origins of the remarks. 

* Silicon Valley Premiere | ** United States Premiere

Tickets are available on the Cinequest’s website: purchase here.

August 14, 2023

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