Coronado Island Film Festival Announces Top New Festival Award

In the midst of a year that will surely be remembered as one like no other, Coronado  Island Film Festival is pleased to add a significant new award to this year’s festival  lineup: The Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, the first of which will be presented by Maltin  himself during a unique live-stream awards ceremony on Saturday, November 14. This  event will be available online and open to worldwide viewership.  

The inaugural award will be presented to filmmaker Chloé Zhao for her groundbreaking  achievement on Searchlight Pictures’ upcoming feature film, “Nomadland.” Zhao  directed, wrote, edited and co-produced the film, which stars Academy-Award-winning  actress Frances McDormand in an astonishing performance as a woman in her sixties  who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey in a van  through the American West, becoming a modern-day nomad. Most of the people  appearing in the film with McDormand are non-actors, real life nomads, who live on the  road.  

“Nomadland” will be CIFF’s opening night film, set to screen at the South Bay Drive-in  Theater in Imperial Beach on Thursday, November 12. Tickets are “per car” and are  available now at The film had its world premiere at the Venice  Film Festival, where it won the top honor, the Golden Lion, as well as Toronto Film  Festival’s Audience Award.  

“The Maltin Award will be our festival’s top award from this year forward, and we  wanted it to have a name worthy of the honor,” says festival executive director Merridee  Book. “We all agreed it had to be Leonard – he’s been a giant part of our festival since  day one. Each year we will select one individual whose cinematic achievement has lifted  up and inspired the film industry and world-wide audiences alike,” adds Book.  

Leonard Maltin, CIFF’s esteemed Festival Host and Honorary Jury President, is a  respected film critic, author and historian who is also recognizable for his thirty-year run  on television’s Entertainment Tonight and frequent appearances on Turner Classic  Movies. His popular class at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles always  has a waiting list. He is a generous and trusted advisor to CIFF and a tireless participant 

in festival activities. He and his wife Alice have become beloved CIFF friends and  “honorary Coronadans.”  

The festival’s annual star-studded Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute dinner + award  presentation, hosted at Hotel del Coronado, the festival presenting sponsor, is the most  highly anticipated signature event each year. “Until this year, of course,” says Book; “this  year Leonard will be hosting our Jury Awards via live-stream, but we truly cannot wait to  return to The Del’s iconic Crown Room that is so fitting for our prestigious awards gala!” 

“This year is our fifth anniversary year, with a lot of good momentum and local support  going, and it would have broken our hearts to cancel,” adds festival founder Doug St.  Denis. “We wanted to honor the valiant filmmakers who found a way to tell their stories  against all odds after so much has been cancelled due to COVID.”  

CIFF 2020 has entered the virtual world with open, experimental hearts, and they invite  you to join in this new and exciting experience. Visit the festival website for virtual  access pass and ticket information on the variety of films available, Shorts fest, panels,  culinary cinema, a Veterans Day live-stream event on Wednesday Nov. 11 and more.  


The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit  foundation in 2015 to bring the best in cinematic storytelling from the US and abroad  under the auspices of a four-day festival dedicated to screening films from emerging and  established filmmakers and studios. CIFF quickly established itself as a unique, walkable,  destination film festival. Through 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 industry notables who come to experience the best of independent, studio  and student films in an intimate and charming seaside location in Coronado, California. 

THE PERFECT FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE | CIFF has screened a blend of notable  independent films alongside Oscar-nominated features. Past films have included The  Finest Hours, 45 Years, Darkest Hour, Green Book, Roma, Widows, The Favourite, Jojo  Rabbit, Marriage Story, Clemency, A Hidden Life, One Child Nation, and 2020 Oscar nominated Live Action Short Nefta Football Club and the Oscar winner, The Neighbors’  Window.

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