Toucan Tip #7: Independent Film Festival @ Comic-Con

Get ready to celebrate the 23rd year of an amazing film event featuring 57 captivating movies across 7 diverse popular arts genres. Join filmmakers from around the globe and enjoy an exciting lineup of panels, including the renowned Comic-Con Film School.

The 23rd year of this fantastic event features 57 great films, from 7 different popular arts genres including Action/Adventure, Animation, Comics-Oriented, Documentary , Horror/Suspense, Humor, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. 

We have participating filmmakers from all over the world, including Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

The schedule also includes the return of the popular ongoing panel series Comic-Con Film School, a daily series of how-to panels on filmmaking, plus additional film-related panels on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

On Sunday, the CCI-IFF Awards will be presented, followed by screenings of the award-winning films. 

This year’s judges are film journalist, producer, and curator Leslie Combemale, actress, director, producer & writer Juliet Landau, and film, television, and video game actor Phil LaMarr.


The CCI-IFF takes place in the Marriott Marquis and Marina Hotel, next door to the Hall A side of the Convention Center. The Film Festival room is on the second level of the Marriott Grand Ballroom 6.


Phil LaMarr

Juliet Landau

Leslie Combemale

Phil LaMarr A Los Angeles native, and Yale University alum, Phil has thrilled audiences for decades with his TV and film work on projects such as Pulp Fiction, Futurama, Samurai Jack, Static Shock, MAD tv, Family Guy, Justice League, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as video games series including Metal Gear Solid, Injustice, and Mortal Kombat. In addition to developing the animated adaptation of the webcomic Goblins and writing on the sitcom Extended Family, Phil is performing monthly on stage with improv comedy group The Black Version in Hamster & Gretel, the Craig of the Creek movie,  Invincible, new episodes of Futurama, and playing the role of Sherlock Holmes in Audible’s series Moriarty.

Juliet Landau is an actress, director, producer & writer. As an actress, highlights include Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer & spin-off Angel, co-starring in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood as Loretta King, recurring as Rita Tedesco on Amazon’s Bosch and recurring as Cordelia on TNT’s Claws. Juliet will soon be back recurring as Rita again, this time on season 3 of Bosch Legacy. Juliet’s visionary, multi-award-winning feature, A Place Among the Dead, had its worldwide streaming and Blu-ray release October Friday the 13th 2023. The picture stars Juliet with Gary Oldman, Ron Perlman, Robert Patrick, Lance Henriksen, and Anne Rice, appearing for the only time ever in a scripted movie. The release plan was an extended period of worldwide, interactive, screening events and film festivals to build the conversation and prestige. This worked in spades! A Place Among the Dead was submitted to 21 festivals, and, not only did it get into all 21, but swept every major category at every festival. Juliet reprised Drusilla, starring as the Big Bad opposite many original cast members in Audible’s recent audio original Slayers: A Buffyverse Story. She just recorded two seasons of a new Big Finish audiobook series that was written for her. She worked with BF before on Doctor Who audiobooks in conjunction with the BBC. Other acting work includes starring in over 20 films, appearing in many more, guest-starring frequently on television, extensive voiceover work, and extensive work in the theater. Juliet previously directed two short subjects: Take Flight with Gary Oldman and Dream Out Loud with Guillermo del Toro, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Rian Johnson. She and her husband Deverill Weekes are in the throes of making The Undead Series … the only documentary series ever to gather the A-list of the genre together in one place. Every one of the talented artists from A Place Among the Dead came back to participate in the series, as did Tim Burton, Willem Dafoe, and many other notables. Juliet is a member of The Actors Studio, Women in Film, Film Independent, The Alliance of Women Directors, BAFTA, and is an alum of Sundance Collab.

Leslie Combemale is a film journalist and film critic, producer, and curator/gallerist. Her writing, which is focused on women and diversity in film, can be seen on the Motion Picture Association’s The Credits and on the Alliance of Women Film Journalists site, where she is senior contributor. She has a passion for screen artisans, celebrating them as owner of ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery, now in its 31st year. She also exclusively represents the art estate of John Alvin, creator of movie posters for Blade Runner, E.T., Willow, The Lion King, and over 250 other films. An expert on the history of animation and film, she is dedicated to amplifying the careers of animators important to classic animated features and tv shows, production artists integral to tentpole franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings, as well as filmmakers bringing smaller indie features to the screen. She has produced panels at conventions and film festivals around the world since 1999, including at Comic-Con International. Since 2015, she has produced the Comic-Con panel Women Rocking Hollywood, which highlights the projects and careers of female filmmakers, and has featured Gina Prince-Bythewood, Hanelle Culpepper, Victoria Alonso, Catherine Hardwicke, Nisha Ganatra, and dozens of other talented women in film.

Join us over the next week as we post more Toucan Tips to help you enjoy and better navigate Comic-Con 2024!

Bookmark Toucan for the latest Toucan Tips as we zip towards Comic-Con 2024, July 25–28 at the San Diego Convention Center!