‘America’s Finest Film Festival’ returns Aug. 2 to San Diego


By Kristina Houck

San Diego likes to think of itself as America’s finest city. During the second America’s Finest Film Festival on Aug. 2, it will certainly be the most featured city, with the focus on films created by San Diegans, filmed in San Diego or about San Diego. And held in San Diego.

“We’re getting people excited about living in San Diego by showcasing the beauty and diversity of our region,” said Jonathan Zaidman, executive director of The 1to1 Movement, which hosts the festival.

Launched in 2012, the 1to1 Movement aims to connect people to conservation through education, campaigns and community engagement. Zaidman co-founded the San Diego-based organization with Amanda Tatum, the nonprofit’s director of education.

In the past 2 1/2 years, the organization has reached more than 12,000 students in San Diego County through its educational programs, Zaidman said. From classroom presentations to after-school programs, the nonprofit visits K-12 students across the region to promote environmental sustainability.

The 1to1 Movement also leads campaigns to promote positive change in the community. The Last Straw Campaign encourages bars and restaurants to provide straws only upon request. It also encourages consumers not to use straws.

“This is a really simple introduction into conservation that anyone can take part in,” Zaidman said. “We’re really adopting comprehensive conservation measures that people can jump into right away.”

Last, the nonprofit engages the community through its annual events. In addition to Film Fest, The 1to1 Movement hosts an annual art show that features artists who use repurposed materials.

“Our key focus is to create the cleanest, greenest, healthiest and most vibrant community,” Zaidman said.

Nearly 500 people attended the inaugural Film Fest last August.

This year’s festival will showcase 20 short films, as well as a Maker’s Fair, featuring jewelry, clothes, furniture and more crafted by San Diego artisans. A reception will be held between screenings, featuring Karl Strauss beer, wine, cocktails and local food.

The 1to1 Movement’s America’s Finest Film Festival will take place from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive in San Diego. Tickets cost $14 in advance and $18 at the door.