Posted by Larry Gleeson
Wendy Eidson to stay on as Artistic Director
San Luis Obispo, CA (May 28, 2020) – The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival announced today that after a year as Associate Director, Skye McLennan has been named Festival Director. Wendy Eidson continues with the organization as Artistic Director, the job she was originally hired for in 2005.
“I am so thrilled to announce Skye’s promotion and look forward to continue to work with her. She brings a wealth of festival experience, new ideas and a youthful perspective to our organization as we continue to add to the reputation we have earned across the country as an important regional festival,” said Eidson. “We all recognize how important it is to bring in people with enthusiasm and innovation to keep an organization fresh and relevant and she brings all of that and so much more to the table.”
McLennan grew up in Templeton, CA and went on receive her degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She also studied TV Documentary in Denmark at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. A dual citizen of Australia and the United States, after college she moved to Sydney, Australia and worked extensively in film production design on short films, features, advertisements, music videos and documentaries.
She first became involved in film festivals in high school. Her first volunteer position was with the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Over the next ten years she went on to work with major film festivals including the Sydney, Sundance, Tribeca and San Francisco International Film Festivals. Since moving back to SLO County, she has been involved in the wine industry in both marketing and winemaking. In 2017, she launched her own rosé label, Rebel Skye. In her job as Associate Director this past year, Skye introduced new ticketing software, procedures and website improvements, as well as working with Wendy on programming and overall planning.
McLennan said, “It is an honor and a privilege to continue working alongside Wendy, our board and staff in my hometown of San Luis Obispo. While a difficult time for our industry, I continue to be amazed by the incredible creativity, ingenuity and dedication to sharing film with audiences. With the help of my incredible team, we look forward to coming back bigger and stronger to continue our mission of bringing diverse stories and entertainment to San Luis Obispo County.”
With a long held reputation as a beloved destination film festival, SLO Film Fest earned further kudos as one of the very first film festivals to go online following the effects of the pandemic across the country. MovieMaker Magazine cited the fest, known for its beautiful location, parties mixing filmmakers with film fans, and unique melding of surf culture and wine country, for leading the way for other film festivals to pivot to the virtual space. From the magazine, “San Luis Obispo is known for tranquil Central California weather, wine and beer, and a festival that boosts a personalized Filmmaker Concierge for moviemakers and other special guests. SLO also offers the truly unique Surf Nite in which surfers and ocean-lovers unite for an event that’s like a cross between a ’60s surf movie screening and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.”
Since then, SLO Film Fest has continued to share films online, with a Best in the Fest virtual presentation featuring popular films screened at the film festival from the past ten years, with a new film introduced each week. So far, Tom Walters’ 2014 winner (and locally produced) BOTSO, Mark Hayes’ 2018 winner SKID ROW MARATHON and Gabriela Cowperthwaith and Tor Myhren’s 2011 winner CITY LAX: AN URBAN LACROSSE STORY have been added to the lineup. These films are available to watch on a variety of platforms, some free, some for a small fee.
Plans are currently underway for the 2021 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Organizers will announce new dates and plans in the coming months.
ABOUT SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo’s laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the film festival’s thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility. At the SLO Film Fest, “Movies Matter!”