News Release

Poppy Jasper Film Festival announces 2023 lineup

Event scheduled for April 13 to 19 with screenings in San Juan Bautista, Hollister, Gilroy and Morgan Hill.

Information provided by Poppy Jasper International Film Festival


The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (PJIFF) announced today its full film lineup for its 2023 edition. This year’s festival will take place from Wednesday, April 12 to Wednesday, April 19.

The complete PJIFF program includes features, documentaries, shorts films, and panels. The feature films are “Antarctica”about two life-long friends whose lives get flipped upside down as they hit senior year; “Bolan’s Shoes” starring BAFTA-nominated British actor Timothy Spall tells us the story of a tumultuous journey from the height of T. Rex mania in 1970s Liverpool to the present-day poignancy of what would have been Marc Bolan’s 75th birthday; and “Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game” that tells the story of Roger Sharpe, the GQ journalist and real-life pinball wizard who in 1976 single-handedly overturned New York City’s 35 year ban on pinball machines. The documentaries are “The Creative High”that follows nine artists in recovery from addiction and how they are transformed by creativity in their turbulent search for identity and freedom; “Roots of Fire” is about five award-winning musicians who push against stereotypes of the American South and move the music of their ancestors forward; and “Jack Has A Plan” about a man who has had a terminal brain tumor for 25 years and decided to end his life, his friends and family struggle with the decision.

“We are honored that this year we can continue to bring the best of global cinema to our community to shine a light and celebrate these talented filmmakers,” said Festival Director Mattie Scariot. “From drama, horror, animation to comedy, we have a program that has something for everyone.”

The comprehensive shorts programs offer a variety of films from around the globe including Brazil, Iran, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The festival will be showcasing the short films “The Outing” from the United Kingdom starring Elizabeth Rider from the smash hit series “Line of Duty” and Julie Hesmondhalgh from British television drama “Coronation Street”; Iran’s animated short films “Fobi” by director Elham Aminian and “The Sprayer” directed by Farnoosh Abedi; and “Chipper” starring Brad Carter from “Yellowstone” and Jayson Warner Smith from “The Walking Dead” among others.

The festival will open with its Youth and Student Festival Day on April 12th showcasing student films from across the world followed by the local filmmaker showcase on April 13th.

The legendary Poppy Bash will be held on Friday, April 14th at Capos Event Center in Gilroy, CA. The evening will include a musical presentation by Grammy Award winner and President of Paramount Worldwide Publishing and Music artist Randy Spendlove.

“Each year our film festival acknowledges local and regional community members, as well as distinguished artists, actors, and writers for their contributions. By giving out Icon awards we identify leaders in the film community with the hope that they will continue to inspire others,” said Scariot.

Kat Dyson, award-winning guitarist and composer, will be awarded with PJIFF Icon Award during the evening as well. Dyson has shared the stage with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Natalie Cole, Mick Jagger, Sting and Stevie Wonder to name a few.

On Monday, April 17th the festival will have its Mexico Day where it will showcase films celebrating the language and culture of Mexico as well as presenting its Icon Award to producer, actor, screenwriter and costume designer Lupe Valdez. As one of the founding members of El Teatro Campesino, Valdez has been a key participant in the evolution of Chicano film and theatre for over fifty years.

On Tuesday, April 19th the festival will have its LGBTQ+ Day that will showcase the short films “After Sunset, Dawn Arrives,” directed by Andy Yi LI, “Boifriend” directed by Rebecca Marquardt, “Promise” directed by Lane Michael Stanley, “Make Me King” directed by Sophia Olins, “You’re Alright Hun” directed by Katie-Ann McDonough, “Tiny Mad Animals” directed by David Maybrick, “BoyCam” directed by Rodrigo Sena, Arlindo Bezzerra and Emani Silveira and “The Tendency” directed by Mobin Pekand.

To commemorate PJIFF five local breweries, representing each of the hosting cities, are working together to craft a special beer to mark the occasion. The breweries participating include Brewery Twenty-Five, Kelly Brewing Co., Settle Down Beer, Promised Land Brewing Co., and Mad Pursuit Brewing Co.

Award-winning British actor Ian Puleston-Davies who stars in “Bolan’s Shoes” will be attending the festival and will participate in the Q&A after the screening on Saturday, April 15.

Tickets and passes are now available on PJIFF’s website with a special super early bird price available until March 10.

Summary of events:

260 films from 30 countries, in San Juan Bautista, Hollister, Morgan Hill and Gilroy, Sunday, April 16, and Monday, April 17 the festival will be at the Mission Farms RV Barn in San Juan Bautista.

Saturday, April 15, and Tuesday, April 18, the festival will be at The Granada Theater in Hollister.

The festival will be presenting Lupe Valdez with an Icon Award on Monday, April 17.

For questions or sponsorship opportunities please contact Fran Fitzharris, at [email protected]

BenitoLink Staff