It’s a little early for Dia de los Muertos, but City Heights gets a jump on the celebration. Photo credit: Bala Manivasagam, via Wikimedia Commons

Two San Diego festivals make the scene this weekend, one for those who appreciate films, the other for those who continue to make room in their hearts for those they’ve lost. Great news though –  both the San Diego International Film Festival and a community Dia de los Muertos celebration aren’t just virtual – they’re in person!

The film festival, continuing through Sunday, gives fans multiple options this year, from evening drive-in showings at Westfield UTC to scheduled virtual screenings, on-demand options and streamed filmmaker panels. One-day passes start at $39, while single drive-in shows cost $49 per car.

Curators offer more than 70 features, documentaries and shorts, including those made by San Diego creatives, and others with a focus on the military, activism, and if you just can’t get enough right now, baseball. Daily streams begin Friday at 11:30 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The featured drive-in shows, starting at 6:30 p.m.:

  • Friday: Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, Do Something, about the activism of the late singer-songwriter. He died nearly 40 years ago at the age of 38.
  • Saturday: Blithe Spirit, a remake of the classic comedy from 1945, starting Judi Dench, Dan Stevens (the live-action Beauty and the Beast) and Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby).
  • Sunday: Love Sarah, billed as “culinary cinema,” depicts a young woman in London pursuing her dream of becoming a bakery owner.

City Heights goes where few, if any neighborhoods have gone this year – hosting a street festival at 11 a.m. Saturday. Why? In honor of Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. The Mexican holiday celebrates our memories of those who’ve passed. Go to University Avenue and 41st Street to see performances from the Fern Street Circus and the San Diego Guild of Puppetry and vote for your favorite altar. Organizers have called for masks and social distancing at the event.

If presidential politics 2020 style makes you yearn for another time, let the Roustabouts Theatre Co. take you back via Roosevelt: Charge the Bear. The play tells of former President Theodore Roosevelt’s entry into the job, upon the assassination of his predecessor William McKinley. Think times were simpler then? ‘Tis not necessarily so. Cost for access to the stream, available through Nov. 2, starts at $25.

The theme for Sunday’s 2020 Walk to Defeat ALS 2020, “Walk Your Way,” refers to the many different ways supporters can participate virtually to support the cause. A minimum donation of $90 is requested to qualify for a walk t-shirt. Share your favorite stroll by using #SanDiegoWalktoDefeatALS on social media.

Tune in at 2 p.m. Sunday for a topical and poignant 2019 performance from the San Diego Master Chorale. “Seven Last Words of a Dying Man” from composer Joel Thompson depicts his vision of “the final words of Black men killed by authority figures.” The chorale performs with the San Diego State University Symphony Orchestra. Access to the stream costs $20.

– Staff reports

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