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Edward James Olmos, Jon Chu, James Russo and Jaime Murray added to lineup of Stars attending Cinequest

The stars will roll into Cinequest Film Festival, always a bastion for the discovery of new and emerging talent and innovations, at the palatial California Theatre for their premieres.

Previous Maverick Spirit Award winner, Edward James Olmos, will return to Cinequest for the World Premiere of America on March 3, 2011, at 7 p.m. at the California Theatre. Olmos stars in and executive produces the powerful story of a courageous woman who flees Puerto Rico to start life anew in New York City. The inspirational evening will commence with authentic Aztec Dancers from Movimiento Cosmico, the World Premiere screening, followed by a moderated conversation with Edward James Olmos, Director Sonia Fritz and the cast.

Saturday, March 5th will be another day overflowing with spectacular people and soul-stirring events. A Red Carpet event will commence at 5:30 p.m. at the California Theatre to celebrate the World Premiere of Samuel Bleak. The cast, which will be present at the event, include: Jaime Murray (Samuel Bleak, Dexter), Deborah Kara Unger (Samuel Bleak, The Game), James Russo (Samuel Bleak, Public Enemies), Dustin Schuetter (Samuel Bleak, Dedd Brothers), Robert Miano (Samuel Bleak, General Hospital); Keith David (Samuel Bleak, Crash), Carlucci Weyant (Samuel Bleak, Dedd Brothers) and Christine Kelly (Samuel Bleak, Loving the Bad Man). Also in attendance for this Red Carpet event is Jon Chu, Director of Step Up 3D and Alyson Stoner, star of Step Up 3D.

Following this Red Carpet event, an Emerging Maverick Award event will be held at the San Jose Repertory Theatre at 7 p.m. for Alyson Stoner. The evening will begin with an elaborate and passionate dance performance by Wrawsome Dance Crew to celebrate Alyson Stoner's remarkable dance achievements, followed by the award ceremony and moderated conversation with Stoner.

Opening Night will include John Turturro's documentary Passione, which begins at 7 p.m. at the California Theatre on March 1, 2011. Following the film, Turturro will receive the coveted Maverick Spirit Award and a moderated conversation will unfold to discuss Turturro's countless achievements.

March 2, 2011, at 7 p.m. at the California Theatre, I AM will screen with director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar) in attendance. The film has won the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award, and Dr. David Sobel, Kaiser Permanente, will be presenting the award to Shadyac.

To close the festival, Soul Surfer, which tells the inspirational true story of Bethany Hamilton and her courage to return to the ocean after a shark attack, will premiere at the California Theatre on March 12, 2011 at 7:15 p.m. AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) who portrays Hamilton in the movie will be presented with the Emerging Maverick Award from Jeff Clark, founder of Mavericks Surf Contest. Bethany Hamilton will also be at this memorable event to be presented with the esteemed Life of a Maverick Award, from Clark.

Additional spectacular people attending: Jon Chu (Step Up 3D); Alyson Stoner (Emerging Maverick Award Recipient, Step Up 3D); Lymari Nadal (America, American Gangster); Yancey Arias (America, Kingpin); Edward James Olmos (America, Battlestar Galactica); Tom Shadyac (I Am, Ace Ventura); Jamil Walker Smith (Make a Movie Like Spike, SGU Stargate Universe), Malcolm Goodwin (Make a Movie Like Spike, American Gangster), and Steve Mazan (Dying to do Letterman, Comedian).

In addition to the stars, the Cinequest experience features a widely diverse, global community of spectacular people. Cinequest, based in the Silicon Valley, experienced aggressive audience growth even in down economies and expects attendance to reach 90,000 artists, innovators, students, executives and lovers of cinema.

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