Actor Josh Brolin (Dune, No Country for Old Men) will lead the Narrative Feature jury for the SLO International Film Festival’s 2024 30th Anniversary edition.

Brolin recently reprised his role as Gurney Halleck in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, the sequel to the six-time Academy Award-winning film Dune, Villeneuve’s relaunch of one of the most celebrated science fiction properties of all time. Brolin has long had ties to the Central Coast, growing up on a ranch in Paso Robles. He received the Festival’s King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking in 2017.

In 2009, Brolin was nominated for an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and received awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review for his portrayal of Dan White in Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed biopic Milk. His additional Best Picture Oscar-nominated films include Denis Villeneuve’s Dune; the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2011; and 2007’s No Country for Old Men, also from the Coen Brothers, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Other film experts joining Brolin on the Narrative Feature jury include Netflix production finance executive Christopher Tung; Wendy Guerrero, president of the Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival; and director Nardeep Khurmi (Land of Gold). Collectively they will choose the winner of the George Sidney Independent Film Competition Narrative Feature Film award.

Narrative feature films in competition include Slamdance winner Good Bad Things, telling the story of Danny, a young man with muscular dystrophy, who steps out of his comfort zone and into the world of online dating. Starring Abigail Breslin, The Italians is a quirky dramedy about family, love, forgiveness, and Italian cooking. Mountain Boy, an adventure film about family and friendship, is a stunning journey through clear blue seas, high mountains, and golden sunsets of the United Arab Emirates. Riley shares the story of an ambitious and disciplined high school athlete who, still closeted, grapples with his sexuality under the pressures of high expectations for his athletic pursuits and social pressures. The cross-cultural drama Tokyo Cowboy follows a brash businessman who arrives in Montana having convinced his Tokyo bosses he can turn a profitless U.S. cattle ranch into a premiere-performing asset.

Other juries for the 2024 Film Fest include filmmakers, producers, and directors.

The jury for Documentary Feature includes Tatiana Faris from IFC Films and documentary filmmakers Nancy Svendsen (Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest) and Jesse Rudoy (Dusty & Stones). Documentary features in competition include Sundance winner Sugarcane about an investigation into abuse and missing children at an Indian residential school that ignites a reckoning on the nearby Sugarcane Reserve. Told with surprising humor and great candor, Jailhouse to Milhouse is an intimate portrayal of Pamela Hayden, the recognizable voice behind the iconic Simpsons character Milhouse. The spirited Let the Canary Sing takes the audience on a nostalgic exploration of the life and career of legendary pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Narrated by Danny Trejo, The Michoacan File explores the origin, history, and impact of Mexican food in modern society.

Short Narrative jurors include filmmaker Bernard Badion (The Van), executive producer Lissa Khoshbakhti of Disney Launchpad, and Fanshen Cox, founder of TruJuLo Productions.

Indigenous Latine filmmaker Alejandro Miranda Cruz (Decolonizing Dinner), director Lauren Tyler Brimeyer (Until the Rain Comes Back), and festival programmer and filmmaker Natalie Gee comprise the Short Documentary jury.

With a slate of more than 125 narrative features, short films, documentary features and shorts, music videos, and festival favorites from the last 30 years, the SLO Film Fest has a broad spectrum of content on offer this year for serious cinephiles, devoted film buffs, and casual movie fans.

Beau Bridges, the star of Camera, will attend the West Coast Premiere of the film at the festival. Filmmakers from more than 70 filmmaking teams also will attend throughout the week, including co-directors Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan (Ghostlight); director Zainab Shaheen and producer Nancy Paton (Mountain Boy); director Benjamin Howard and lead actor Jake Holley (Riley), director Haroula Rose (All Happy Families); producer Andria Wilson Mirza and writer/director Fawzia Mirza (The Queen of My Dreams); and director Michelle Danner (The Italians).

More than 57 films—in the categories of Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Student Film, Music Video and Animated Film—will participate in the George Sidney Independent Film Competition. Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase Films are eligible in the same categories.

George Sidney and Central Coast films also will be eligible for Audience Awards in five categories.

Passes are now on sale for the festival, which runs Thursday, April 25 through Tuesday, April 30, with an encore presentation in Paso Robles (and virtually) May 1–5. All passes must be picked up in person at the box office, 851 Higuera St. in downtown SLO.