Palo Alto Film Festival returns with new attractions and venues

Cathy Rong, Author

The Palo Alto International Film Festival will return to the city for its second year, showing independent films from Thursday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 30, at five different venues in Palo Alto.

PAIFF celebrates the convergence of technology and art in the heart of Silicon Valley, and boasts 50 films, 20 speakers, four parties, four free outdoor films and local wine bars.

The Palo Alto International Film Festival is a relatively new festival that aims to blend art and technology through workshops, talks, and films. [photo: Palo Alto Institute]

PAIFF will feature several changes from last year’s festival, including an outdoor theater venue located along High Street and remastered classic films such as “Dial M for Murder” from Alfred Hitchcock and “E.T the Extraterrestrial” shown in 3D. Twenty speakers will talk at the Talenthouse venue; topics range from Disney Animation to Netflix to Hacktivists, all presented by industry professionals.

PAIFF initially started when the Palo Alto Institute learned that Palo Alto was the original birthplace of film. Leland Stanford, the founder of Stanford University, commissioned a photographer to prove that a horse ran with all four hooves off the ground, and that series of photos eventually became the first film clip. Hearing of Palo Alto’s history, PAI asked, “Why isn’t there any event to celebrate?”  PAIFF started with the intention of celebrating both art and innovation, “bridging the gap between Silicon Valley and Hollywood,” according to

There will be a pre-screening of “Looper”, a new sci-fi movie starring Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt that is expected to be one of the best futuristic movies of the year, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Be sure to check out “Renga”, the world’s first 100-player co-op laser game. The game’s objective is to find the way home and the audience must work collectively to build a ship, confront their enemy and journey home. “Renga” will be shown at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29; filmmakers will be present at both showings.

For more information on the PAIFF, visit their website:
“Bridging the gap between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.”