Cinequest 2016 (part 1)


With the help of my awesome friend, ZARIN. I was invited to be a part of Cinequest’s Photography Team for this year’s film festival. Cinequest is an annual independent film festival hosted here in the heart of Silicon Valley; in the city of San Jose, California. It first began in the year 1990 and has been growing ever since! I first came across Cinequest last year (I can not remember exactly sure how, to be honest) and would I have never expected to be presented this opportunity to gain some experience in the field and as well to network. Although this position is unpaid, Cinequest provided me with a VIP pass and it grants me the access to all the independent films I can watch, all the beer and cocktails, I can drink (only after my shift of course). So I can not really complain. My first-day  objective was to cover the VIP lounge (the Continental) from anytime from 10am- 5pm but I arrived some time after 3pm and then cover the red carpet inside the California theater from 5pm – 7pm which I did not leave until 7:40pm because of the last few models that were on the carpet. Anyways, the VIP lounge was nearly empty upon arriving. I made my way towards the back, where the Cinequest backdrop and the giant Red Bull coolers were at and started snapping away taking pictures for the sponsor (Red Bull). I eventually made my back inside and sat at the bar and ordered a cocktail.


This is Samy, he is a bartender at the Continental and he made me this weird cocktail. The taste was like any other cocktail I have ever tasted; it was bad but it was not the most bomb cocktail ever, it was sort of in the middle (ehh). Anyways, Samy was a cool guy, he made me feel at ease and forget about my anxiety for this being my first major event. But what really distracted me from my axniety was this Irish fella named Lee.


This guy was throwing bottles up in the air spinning around and catching them without looking up. Lee knew how to entertain a crowd, even though I was the only one there at the bar. After two drinks, it was time to head over next door the California theater and start snapping away.

At first, I was roaming around from left and right trying not to in front of actual professional photographers and their massive equipment set up. It was not until Sahsa (Cinequest publicist) came and directed me towards my spot which was right after the red carpet before entering the theater room. I stood my ground and prayed to “Based God” so that I could capture some decent photos by the end of the night.Based God heard my cry for help and blessed me with nearly 25 decent photos! Stay tuned to see my red carpet photos!