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June 22, 2024
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Seen and heard at the Poppy Bash

PJIFF celebrates 18th year with Poppy Bash at Gilroy gala

An upbeat gala for the 18th annual Poppy Jasper International Film Festival unfolded Friday night in downtown Gilroy.

Around 200 people filled the Capos Event Center on April 12 for the three-hour Poppy Bash event, which included awards, snippets of dozens of this year’s films, gourmet food, live music, a lot of laughs and a bundle of thanks passed around to supporters and sponsors.

“When I was asked to be the director of the festival, I thought ‘you know what? I see something in all of you, I see something that connects us all in our community and around the world,’” PJIFF Director Mattie Scariot told the audience.  “I’m just so excited to bring in over 270 films from 30 countries to a festival where you can be seen and be heard as filmmakers. You are doing amazing things.”

On its website, PJIFF states: “The mission of the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival is to change the way we see each other through film. We promote inclusion, champion diversity, and empower all people, including people of color, women, and all of those who have been historically marginalized, to tell their stories through film and the digital arts.”

The festival is 14 days of online film screenings, speaker panels, awards, gala’s, food and fun. Meetings and events are sprinkled around the historic downtown districts of Morgan Hill, Hollister, San Juan Bautista and Gilroy.

This year’s festival started April 10 and continues through April 17. Venues for hundreds of films include The District theater in Gilroy, Granada Theater in Hollister and the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. 

On stage April 12, Scariot was joined by musician, record producer, songwriter, Grammy Award winner, and president of Motion Picture Music at Paramount Pictures, Randy Spendlove; Lyle Workman, guitarist, composer, session and touring musician, and music producer; Nacho Maya, local photographer; Dan and Nancy Nelson, owners of Tempo Kitchen and Bar in Gilroy, among others.

Around 200 people attended the April 12 Poppy Bash at Capo Event Center in Gilroy to celebrate the 2024 Poppy Jasper International Film Festival. Photo: Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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