Lineup announced for March's Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose and Redwood City

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In Silicon Valley, the organizers behind one of America's most popular film festivals have unveiled their programming lineup, which includes a focus on some of the biggest issues facing our community.

The Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival has seen a lot of change over its 30-year history, much like San Jose and the greater Bay Area. While the event has always been deeply connected to technology, organizers this year are tackling the topic of homelessness.

"It's scary... the rate of people that are becoming homeless daily," said Cinequest co-founder Kathleen Powell. "It's not going to go away unless we all get involved in it and in order to do that, we have to be empowered with knowledge."

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Some of the films being premiered during the two-week event in March will touch on this very subject. The festival will also run public service announcements before many of the shows in an effort to educate others about this growing problem in the Valley.

"The more folks that get out there and tell amazing stories and help engage and drive change, the better off we all are," Powell added.

More than 600 unique experiences are planned in San Jose and Redwood City this year, including 130 World and U.S. film premieres, as well as dance, comedy, fashion, music, and more, over a 13-day period. Virtual and augmented reality will also be a highlight.

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"When you come to the festival, you talk to people about films, you become engaged with people about films," said Michael Rabehl, the festival's programming director. "It's not just going to a movie, sitting there, and you leave and go home."

Nearly 900 actors, artists, and innovators from more than 50 countries will be presenting their work at the festival. Organizers say it's a prime opportunity to reach more than 100,000 people who attend each year.

"All the experiences we create around the films, also with all the technology... there's gotta be a story involved with it," added Rabehl. "Everything we try to do to put it together, tells a story."

The 30th edition of CINEQUEST kicks off Mar. 3 in San Jose and Redwood City. Click here for the full lineup.

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