Movie lovers will be descending on downtown San Jose for the next two weeks with the start of the Cinequest Film Festival.

The 24th annual edition opens with a couple of fun events that are getting the spotlight-and-red-carpet treatment Tuesday night at the California theater: Don McKellar's comedy, "The Grand Seduction," and the presentation of the Maverick Innovator Award to cellphone inventor Martin Cooper.

After that, it'll be a regular carnival of parties, special events and nearly 200 screenings at Camera 12, the San Jose Rep and the California. VIPs who pony up $500 for an all-access pass will be hanging out at the Blackbird Annex, though the serious moviegoers will be spending all their time in the dark. Either way, it's possible during the fortnight you might spot some of the Maverick Spirit Award winners, including actors Matthew Modine and Christopher Meloni, writer Neil Gaiman and Manresa Chef David Kinch.

The schedule, individual tickets and passes are available at www.cinequest.org. See you out there.

EGGS-CITEMENT IS BACK: Love -- or at least mating -- is in the air at the rooftop nest box of San Jose City Hall's resident Peregrine falcons, Clara and Fernando. At least two eggs were spotted in the nest over the weekend.

You can keep an eye on things at the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group's live "Nest Cam" at www2.ucsc.edu/scpbrg/nestcamSJ.htm.


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NIGHT WITH BEETHOVEN: Classical pianist Angela Hewitt will perform an all-Beethoven program, including four sonatas, Thursday night at the Le Petit Trianon theater in downtown San Jose. The fundraising concert is being presented by the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State and the American Beethoven Society.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert range from $25 to $100, with the high-end price including a post-concert reception with Hewitt. She will also conduct a master class Saturday with the winners of the Young Pianists Beethoven Competition on Saturday morning at San Jose State's concert hall. The 9:30 a.m. competition, featuring six California high school finalists, is free and open to the public.

For more information on these events, go to www.sjsu.edu/beethoven and click on "Events & the Community."

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.