Coronado Island Film Festival

The 2023 Coronado Island Film Festival held their Industry Tribute award gala dinner on November 11th honoring 5 accomplished individuals as Tribute Honorees. As noted by Merridee Book, CEO & Artistic Director of the Coronado Island Film Festival, the honorees represented a cross selection of individuals whose artistic contributions have impacted not only the film industry, but our culture at large. The evening was more than an awards presentation; it was an honor to recognize the creative genius of the honorees who collectively have made the world a better place, sharing their music, vision, voices, and artistry by producing innovative work that connects us all through a shared appreciation for cinematic storytelling.


The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) is a 501 (c)(3) charitable corporation in good standing whose mission is to welcome makers and lovers of film from all over the world to the storied seaside village of Coronado, California to celebrate the magical art of visual storytelling. Coronado’s enduring love affair with Hollywood began more than a century ago at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, our festival’s Presenting Sponsor. Launched in 2016, CIFF quickly established itself as a unique, walkable, destination film festival. Through year-round events and screenings, Q & A’s, workshops, live performances, informative panels, celebrity tributes, and awards presented by juries of respected industry pros, the festival continues to attract filmmakers at every level of their craft, celebrities, and various industry notables who come to experience the best of independent, studio and student films in an intimate and welcoming environment.


Over the bridge from downtown San Diego, a world-class destination awaits presenting a world-class celebration for cinematic art! We invite filmmakers from across the globe to a festival that is, at once, both cosmopolitan and intimate, a rare combination that allows for an indelible experience that lasts long after the lights go up.


CIFF has screened a blend of notable independent films alongside Oscar-nominated features. Past films have included CODA, C’mon C’mon, King Richard, Best Families, Julia, Nomadland, The French Dispatch, Nomadland, The Finest Hours, 45 Years, Darkest Hour, Green Book, Roma, Widows, The Favourite, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Clemency, A Hidden Life, One Child Nation. Our Shorts have included 2021 Oscar-winner Queen of Basketball, Just Hold On,  2020 Oscar-nominated Live Action Short Nefta Football Club and the 2019 Oscar winner, The Neighbors’ Window.


NETWORK + CONNECT  Our connections to the industry are deep and filmmakers have access to industry leaders in a casual unassuming setting. CIFF has established an esteemed Industry Jury team that selects and awards cash prizes. Industry South of LA is thriving with filmmakers, writers, producers, content creators artists in hair, make-up, set design —  working professionals in the entertainment, film, television, video, industry at all levels of the craft and production. CIFF showcases and honors their talent.  


CIFF’s festival-goers applaud the vision of filmmakers who use film as a platform to educate, illuminate, and entertain the world. The four-day pedestrian-friendly festival offers a slate of more than 80 films cultivated from a diverse selection of genres, plus compelling panels, lively workshops and of course, parties! Mingle with industry leaders including our Host and Honorary Jury President, film critic and author, Leonard Maltin, whose Celebrity Tribute has become a festival highlight, honoring emerging talent, composers, cultural icons, humanitarians and legendary actors whose contributions have impacted the film industry in an indelible way. Past honorees include Richard Dreyfuss, Nancy Utley, Ann Blyth, Alexandre Desplat, Alex Wolff, Cloris Leachman, Dean Cundey, John Toll, Lois Burwell, Diane Warren, Kris Bowers, Michelle Philips, Stephen Bishop, Andy Garcia, and Jacob Trembly.


Coronado’s film legacy and enduring love affair with Hollywood began back in the earliest days of filmmaking when “movie people” were irresistibly drawn to the legendary hospitality of the iconic Hotel del Coronado, the festival’s presenting sponsor, built at water’s edge in 1888. Coronado Beach is consistently ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. by numerous travel magazines and blogs. The island’s perfect weather and close proximity to Los Angeles have continued to make it a favorite Hollywood go-to spot since the days when industry pioneers such as Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin strolled the town’s avenues, followed in time by the likes of John Wayne, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and Tom Cruise in the release of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Photography by Robert O'Neill

Coronado Island Film Festival