Sept. 18 2013 10:47 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

From the documentary Tales of Masked Men

Film buffs don't have to travel to chilly Park City, Utah, to watch cool independent films. With the return of the Barrio Film Festival, happening from Friday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 22, they need only make their way to the Museum of Photographic Arts (1649 El Prado) in Balboa Park.

"When we began the Barrio Film Festival, we envisioned two things: one, to bring films to the barrio, but, two, and more importantly, to highlight the work done by barrio artists and filmmakers themselves," co-organizer Ana Morales says.

"We feel it is important to support this effort because we are bringing a relatively new and fresh dynamic to the San Diego art scene, showcasing local or homegrown filmmakers, artist and musicians," she adds.

Put on by The Roots Factory, with some help from MoPA, the fest includes 15 films screened during the course of two days. That includes the Spanish-language Lucha Libre documentary Tales of Masked Men, the graffiti documentary Bombing Arizona and the doc on exploring the tasty Mexican ice cream, Tepoznieves.

It isn't just cinema; the film festival is an all-out party featuring art and live music all weekend long. 

A kick-off party with music from Arise Roots and Eskera will be held at Til-Two Club on Friday night. On Saturday, there will be a Barrio Art Crawl that includes a free group-art show at The Roots Factory (1878 Main St. in Barrio Logan) and interactive video installations at The Spot (1835 Main St.) from 1 to 5 p.m. After Saturday evening's screenings, head to the Ken Club (4079 Adams Ave. in Kensington) for an after-party with live music from Cumbia Machin and Viento Callejero. An awards gala will be held on Sunday at The Spot, as well. So many activities!

Tickets for screenings are $10. Get all the details


Tequila is a misunderstood and often-abused liquor. But there's a reason folks who really get to know tequila fall in love with it. Find that out at the Spirits of Mexico Festival, happening through Sept. 22 in Old Town. The highlight of the fest is a tasting event from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, where you can try hundreds of tequilas, mezcals and lesser-known agave-based spirits. Tickets are $60 to $75. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Tequila Trail event, you can sample tequilas and dishes from various Old Town restaurants. Tickets are $35. If free's your preferred price, head to The Art of Tequila, an exhibition on view through Sept. 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Barros Studio Gallery (2802 Juan St.).


A music festival next to the beach is never a bad idea, primarily because it has its own built-in headlining attraction. But the Carlsbad Music Festival—which comes with the tagline "adventurous music by the beach"—offers something more compelling to compete with sand and sea. This year, the festival's lineup includes more than 50 jazz, classical, experimental and pop artists—including choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth, string group Calder Quartet and jazz guitarist Peter Sprague—in venues throughout the village. The festival takes place Friday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 22, in Carlsbad Village. Village Music Walk performances are free; tickets to individual venues can be purchased at

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5