Outstanding food helped pave the way for even better spirits as the Coronado Island Film Festival kicked off Nov. 8. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

Voices and laughter seep into the atmosphere outside the Taste of the Festival Kick Off Bash on Coronado like butter on bread.

Or, more like the seared ahi sitting on sauteed vegetables from the Brigantine, one of the 17 Coronado culinary venues, including The Henry, Buona Forchetta and Peohe’s, that could be sampled at the kick off bash. 

It’s Nov. 8, the start of the Coronado Island Film Festival, and the food and music were a big part of the first celebration of the long weekend. 

All along the edge of the Nautilus Room at the Coronado Community Center were tables filled with pasta, tacos, raw fish, seared fish, lemon bars and tiramisu. 

Lively souls danced to New Cadillacs

A couple hundred people mingled in and around the room, sitting and standing at tables strewn throughout, with a few lively souls dancing in the front to tunes from the New Cadillacs. 

CEO and Artistic Director Merridee Book at the Taste of the Festival Kick Off Bash. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

CEO and Artistic Director of CIFF, Merridee Book, made an appearance on stage to address the room, thanking Carolynn Towbin, the honorary chair for this year’s CIFF gala, for arranging the party and to say some words about the festival. 

“This is the most enriching group of films we’ve ever had,” Book said to the crowd, as sneak peeks of the films played in the background. 

The energy flowed from the tables in the room to outside the Coronado Playhouse, where samples of Casa Azul tequila and gin and tonics were waiting for those in attendance. 

Fairy lights lit up the courtyard

Fairy lights lit up the courtyard, with the help of patio heaters surrounded by people seeking warmth with fire and drink.

The sky was clear and dark, cool and still. 

As the night ended, the front of the Nautilus turned into a dance floor as the stragglers found their way to the music.

End of the bash started the festival

The end of the bash signaled the start of the festival as films start playing at 10 a.m. on Nov. 9, starting with the Local Spotlight category showcasing films from local talent.

Badges for those attending the festival can be picked up at the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at 1019 7th St. in Coronado.

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Madeline Yang is a reporter for The Coronado News, covering the City of Coronado, the U.S Navy and investigating the Tijuana/Coronado sewage issue. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with her Bachelors in Journalism with an emphasis in Visual Storytelling. She loves writing, photography and videography and one day hopes to be a filmmaker. She can be reached by phone at 916-835-5843.