The Secret Film Festival Revealed

A little bit about the Secret Film Festival at the Del Mar for all the people who don't want to stay up all night and watch movies.


I've been going to the Secret Film Festivals at the Del Mar since the beginning, since it was called the Mystery Movie Marathon.That was seven years ago. Only $13 gets you in for five or six movies from midnight to noon, All the movies are usually indie (independent) movies that haven't made their debut in Santa Cruz yet.

I buy my tickets in advance, weeks in advance. You have to. I'm always first in line, I might have been second once. Getting there hours early to wait.This year we got in line at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, long before they brought the sign out. Whether it is cold or wet or whatever, we wait. Something that will help you make it through the whole thing is getting plenty of sleep. I try to sleep all day the day of. And bringing/wearing pjs is a must.

They sold out around 11:30 p.m. Its always kinda sad after that. You see a lot of people show up in pjs with their pillows and backpacks full of food, to be told the horrible sentence, "Its sold out."

They let in at about 11:50 p.m., but sometimes they are late. When we all run in and save our seats. You gotta get good seats if you wanna sit there the whole 12 hours.


The concession stand is open all night and they always have special eats for the occasion. All very affordable Here are some of the options:

PBj Sandwich
Nutella and jelly sandwich
Chocolate covered espresso beans
Cereal and milk

After everyone is settled. Scott goes up front and greets us all and tells us the rundown for the night.

There are six movies and one short film.  There are 10-minute breaks between each movie and we have in and outs with your ticket stub. You get your raffle tickets between the 5th and 6th movie. And that for the 2nd, 3nd, 4th and 5th movie, we could make a choice and either watch the one downstairs or the other movie upstairs. And then he tells us where the movie is made, how long it is and a little hint, and then it starts.


The movies were:
1. God Bless America.
2. Pac Man short film
3. Comic Con Documentary
4. Juan of the dead
5. The Sound of Noise
6. The Raid
7. Goon

A little about each movie:

God Bless America is a dark comedy about a man who is fed up with how rude we've all become and starts to make a change with a gun. Its funny cause of everything that goes wrong.

The Pac Man short film is about an old school video game with a new age twist.

The Comic Con documentary is movie about the different people who go to Comic Con and their dreams. The best part is seeing all the different costumes and hearing why people go.

Juan of the Dead is a humorus Cuban zombie flick about a few friends just trying survive and make a little money at the same time. It's a very funny movie. Has a good ending.

The Sound of Noise is about a cop trying to solve five music-related crimes. At the same time he is trying to fix his hatred for music and his need for silence. It was a great abstract movie keeping you thinking out of the box.

The Raid is an Indonesian action movie full of kung-fu kicks, blood and machete fights. Great action movie. Really keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Goon is based on a true story about a guy who isn't smart but knows how to fight. He goes to a hockey game and gets into a fight which gets him offered a hockey deal. Great story with a hint of love.

All amazing and completely worth it. I recommend all of them. I only fell asleep once, right around 4 a.m. Same time every year.


Now the ones that made it till the end get to do the raffle. There were 10 prizes this year.

I actually won the seventh prize and it was a Del Mar sticker and a DVD of the movie Troll Hunter. They played it last year at the Secret Film Fest. And my sister won second place, getting a poster, a Del Mar Sticker, a pass getting into the next four midnight movies with a friend for free, and a box set of seasons 1 and 2 of Party Down.

This was a perfect way to spend $13 and a great way to see new movies.

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