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Jesse Eisenberg to Receive Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award

Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival | March 3 to March 15, 2020

Jesse Eisenberg will receive Cinequest's Maverick Spirit Award at this year's festival

Jesse Eisenberg's event will culminate the 2020 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival on March 15th at 6:00pm at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA

Cinequest will bestow the Maverick Spirit Award to Jesse Eisenberg preceding a screening of "Resistance," a portrait of WWII hero Marcel Marceau.”
— Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival
SAN JOSE, CA, USA, February 12, 2020 / -- Cinequest will bestow its highest honor, the Maverick Spirit Award, to Jesse Eisenberg preceding a screening of the highly anticipated Resistance, a portrait of WWII hero Marcel Marceau. The event will culminate the 2020 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival on March 15th at 6:00pm at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA / Silicon Valley.

Previous Maverick Spirit Award recipients include Nicolas Cage, Elle Fanning Franco, Rosario Dawson, Harrison Ford, J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sir Ian McKellen, Alec Baldwin, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Neil Gaiman. Please view the The Story of Cinequest Video.

About Jesse Eisenberg : A product of Queens, New York, Jesse Eisenberg got into acting at a young age, making a few commercials and playing small TV and film roles when he was still in his early teens. With his portrayal of Nick in the 2002 Dylan Kidd indie Roger Dodger (awarded the initial Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Feature Film), filmmakers and critics began to take notice. He began to work steadily in a string of films, notably Noah Baumbach’s highly praised The Squid and the Whale. In 2009, he starred with Kristin Stewart in the quirky and much under-rated Adventureland, a coming of age comedy-drama that gave the young actor a chance to showcase the wide range of his skills. Though the film enjoyed only modest financial success, it did provide Eisenberg with even more opportunity. His next film, Zombieland, which also came out in 2009, not only blew the doors off the box office, it also garnered rave reviews for its hilarious depiction of post-apocalypse America and the sweet strength of the film’s ensemble cast (Woody Harrelson, Abagail Breslin, Amber Heard, Billy Murray, and Emma Stone).

Eisenberg’s deadpan, comedic chops were never in question, but his dramatic turns had always been in supporting roles. That is until David Fincher’s The Social Network, where he was cast as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Armed with a crackling screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, Eisenberg knocked the role out of the park and was duly recognized with a host of accolades, including Golden Globes and Academy Awards Best Actor nominations. His choice of parts and projects quickly expanded. Never one to shy away from challenges, in 2013 Eisenberg took on the dual role of Simon James/James Simon in an ambitious adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella The Double. Though the film, in very limited release, went largely unseen, Eisenberg’s performance was praised by critics as a deft balancing act of portraying both the milquetoast Simon James and his polar-opposite doppelgänger James Simon, who effortlessly usurps the hapless main character.

In 2015, Eisenberg starred in The End of the Tour, as David Lipsky, a Rolling Stone writer who interviewed the novelist David Foster Wallace (played by Jason Segel) for five days in 1996, just after publication of Wallace’s tour de force, Infinite Jest. Eisenberg had long been an admirer of the brilliant, but troubled author and immersed himself in the role. He spent considerable time with Lipsky, making sure he would present an honest portrait of the journalist and his relationship with Wallace. The film is beautifully nuanced and literary in tone, with the two writers engaged in a rhythmic, ritualistic dance of discovery, power, mischief, and ultimately connection. The movie going public didn’t quite know what to make of it and the box office was poor. But critics were completely captivated by the film and almost unanimous in their praise. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers lauded it as “riveting, mesmerizing.” “As the details accumulate, so does the power of the film, an illuminating meditation on art and life. . .That's what makes the movie, elevated by two extraordinary actors, an exhilarating gift."
Eisenberg’s latest venture, Resistance (which Cinequest is proud to present as our Closing Night feature) takes another ambitious turn for the actor. He brings to life a young Marcel Marceau, the fabled mime, utilizing his many talents as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Before Marcel Marceau came into being Marcel Mangel was a young, struggling Jewish actor with no desire to get involved in the war. But fate drew him into a group of heroes in the shadows who fought the Nazis and helped thousands of orphaned children cope with their horrific circumstances. It is another stellar Eisenberg achievement.

But acting is only one of Eisenberg’s many interests/passions. He has written pieces for The New Yorker, published a collection of short stories (Bream Gives Me Hiccups and Other Stories) and has had three of his plays produced. It’s quite a bio, especially for such a young artist. What he does next is anyone’s guess; he’s far from predictable. But whatever he takes on, it will definitely be interesting and, of course, wildly entertaining.

About Cinequest:
Cinequest fuses innovation with the arts to empower great creations and to connect audiences, youth, artists, and innovators with these creations and with each other—forging community, joy, and our future. Set in Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness, impact, and legacy result from applying this powerful integration of creativity and technology to democratize opportunity and to transform lives. Cinequest does this through the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, Mavericks Studio, and Picture The Possibilities global youth programs.

The 30th edition of the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival occurs March 3 – 15 in San Jose and Redwood City, CA (Silicon Valley)

We're commemorating CINEQUEST's 30th Anniversary by celebrating the power of creativity today and the future of CINEQUEST itself! All of us who bring you Cinequest are elated with the experiences, events and community involvement that will stir and uplift your hearts, spirits, and minds! Thus we've chosen the theme "Elation" and we hope you feel all the power of this special 2020 year!

Candace Levers
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The Story of Cinequest