Category Archives: sedona film fest

English comedy ‘Tamara Drewe’ premieres in Sedona on Jan. 11

“Tamara Drewe” — a new British comedy directed by Academy Award-nominee Stephen Frears — makes its Northern Arizona premiere in Sedona on Tuesday, Jan. 11. This one-night special engagement is presented by the Sedona International Film Festival.  There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres.

“Tamara Drewe”  has been an audience favorite and critical hit at the Cannes, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Based on Posy Simmonds’ beloved graphic novel of the same name (which was itself inspired by Thomas Hardy’s classic Far From the Madding Crowd), “Tamara Drewe” is a wittily modern take on the romantic English pastoral. Tamara Drewe’s present-day English countryside — stocked with pompous writers, rich weekenders, bourgeois bohemians, a rock star, and a great many chickens and cows — is a much funnier place.

Stonefield and Winnards are neighboring farms in the lush, lovely West country of England. The quaint village of Ewedown has become the weekend getaway for wealthy Londoners and aspiring writers seeking quiet and inspiration. Famous novelist Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) presides with his wife Beth (Tamsin Greig) over the Stonefield Farm writers’ retreat, where the visiting writers are treated to Beth’s fabulous cooking and Nicholas’s self-regarding pomposities. Nicholas churns out best-sellers and indulges in extramarital dalliances.

The neighboring farm, Winnards, was the birthplace and ancestral home of Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), a handsome son of the soil who works for Beth as a gardener and handyman. When Andy was a boy, his hard-up family sold Winnards to the wealthy Drewe family from London as a country home, and now he lives in a cottage at Stonefield. As a local, Andy resents the newcomers playing landed gentry, but he and Beth are fond of each other and work hard together to keep Stonefield going.

When Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) sashays back to the bucolic village of her youth, life for the locals is thrown upside down. Tamara — once an ugly duckling — has been transformed into a devastating beauty.

The new Tamara is a knockout, and a minor celebrity for her column in a London paper. Andy thinks back fondly to his teenage affairs with schoolgirl Tamara, but now that she is a gorgeous journalist, he considers her way out of his league — and probably too snooty and citified for his tastes anyhow. It’s not just Andy who falls under Tamara’s spell, though; she has a knack for besotting anyone with her big brown eyes, flirtatious smile, and perfect looks. The only man around who seems to studiously ignore and snub Tamara is Nicholas — who watches her with binoculars when nobody’s looking.

As infatuations, jealousies, love affairs and career ambitions collide among the inhabitants of the neighboring farmsteads, Tamara sets a contemporary comedy of manners into play using the oldest magic in the book: sex appeal.

Producer Alison Owen recalls, “I saw the opportunity with ‘Tamara Drewe’ to do an interesting independent film that had great characters, drama, comedy – but intelligent comedy – and also some social comment running through it as well.”

Tamara Drewe, the character, has undeniable appeal – but what appealed to director Stephen Frears about “Tamara Drewe” the film script and graphic novel? “The script makes me laugh, it’s very, very funny, and very sexy and a very contemporary, modern film.

Frears is one of the UK’s most critically-acclaimed directors who has worked with some of the world’s best talent both in front of and behind the cameras. Most recently he worked with Michele Pfeiffer in “Chéri”, based on the French novel by Colette, and Helen Mirren for his award winning film “The Queen”.He also is a favorite with Sedona Film Festival audiences for directing Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins in “Mrs. Henderson Presents”. He received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for both “The Grifters” and “The Queen”.

The title sponsor for the event is Futures for Children. The series is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona, and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Tamara Drewe” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Sedona Film Festival hosts free premiere of family comedy ‘Nativity!’ on Dec. 10

Nativity poster
"Nativity!" is a heart-warming and hilarious tale of the true meaning of Christmas. The feel-good British comedy is great family entertainment that all ages will enjoy. The Sedona Film Festival is presenting the Arizona premiere of the film Friday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. in the new Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the exclusive Arizona premiere of the award-winning family holiday comedy “Nativity!” on Friday, Dec. 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. The new, state-of-the-art, 750-seat theater venue is located at Sedona Red Rock High School. The screenings are free and open to the public and are presented by the Sedona International Film Festival in this one-night-only special engagement. Free tickets are available now and can be reserved by calling 282-1177.

The film festival is proud to announce that this is “Community Appreciation Night” where everyone is admitted free of charge as a way of thanking Sedona for its year-round support of the film festival.

“This is our holiday gift to Sedona and our way of saying thank you for the generous support our members and this community has shown us all year long,” said festival director Patrick Schweiss. “It is a fun, family-friendly film, appropriate for all ages, and we are proud to present it in the new, extraordinary Sedona Performing Arts Center.

Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food or cash donations for the Sedona Community Food Bank for this special event.

Produced by BBC Films and Family-Approved by the Dove Foundation, “Nativity!” is a heart-warming and hilarious tale of the true meaning of Christmas. Starring Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins, in the upcoming film “The Hobbit”, BBC TV´s “The Office” and PBS´ Masterpiece Mystery “Sherlock”) and Ashley Jensen (“Ugly Betty”), the film is great family entertainment that all ages will enjoy.

Receiving tremendous box-office success during its theatrical release in the UK, the film was hailed by Variety as “entertainment that gives family fare a good name . . . will have a long future as a yuletide favorite.” “Nativity!” is a feel-good British comedy that will jingle everyone´s bells!

This holiday season, St. Bernadette’s Elementary School teacher Paul Maddens is charged with producing the school’s musical nativity play. Competing against the fancy rival private school and his arch rival Gordon Shakespeare for the honor of best reviewed show in town, the stakes are raised when Paul idly boasts that his ex-girlfriend Jennifer, a Hollywood producer, is coming to see his show with a view to turning it into a film. The only trouble is, they haven’t spoken in years.

With one “little white lie” escalating events out of control he becomes a local celebrity and at the center of quarreling parents and over-excited children desperate in their bid for fame and fortune. Maddens’ only hope is to get back in touch with Jennifer and lure Hollywood to town so that everybody’s Christmas wishes come true.

Overnight, Maddens finds himself at the centre of a perfect storm comprising the mayor, the media, a posse of pushy parents, and an army of pint-sized potential Marys and Josephs.  All St Bernadette’s is floating on a cloud of stardust and the children are bursting with Christmas spirit.

But can Maddens possibly persuade Jennifer to bring Hollywood to Coventry and make their dreams come true or will his tangle of lies finally catch him out?

“This is the perfect way to ring in the holiday season with a laugh-out-loud, feel-good, joyous celebration of a movie that all ages can enjoy,” added Schweiss. “We promise a few holiday surprises and fun additions to the evening as well. We hope entire families will come and experience this great film in this extraordinary new venue.”

This free community appreciation film premiere is made possible from grants by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona, and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Nativity!” will be shown at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 10 at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free. Free tickets are available now and can be reserved by calling 928.282.1177 or by visiting the Sedona Film Festival office at 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, in West Sedona.  The lobby box office will open at 5 p.m. the night of the show. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Powerful and thought-provoking ‘Stone’ premieres in Sedona Nov. 30

Robert De Niro as parole officer Jack Mabry in "Stone"

The thought-provoking drama “Stone” makes its Northern Arizona premiere and exclusive one-night only engagement in Sedona on Tuesday, Nov. 30, presented by the Sedona International Film Festival.  There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres.

A seasoned corrections official and a volatile inmate find their lives dangerously intertwined in “Stone”, a thought-provoking drama directed by John Curran and written by Angus MacLachlan. “Stone” features powerful performances by Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro and Oscar-nominee Edward Norton, and a startlingly raw, breakout performance from Milla Jovovich as the sexy, casually amoral woman they both desire. Golden Globe-winner Frances Conroy completes the superb ensemble as Madylyn, Jack’s devout, long-suffering spouse.

As parole officer Jack Mabry (De Niro) counts the days toward a quiet retirement, he is asked to review the case of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), in prison for covering up the murder of his grandparents with a fire. Now eligible for early release, Stone needs to convince Jack he has reformed, but his attempts to influence the older man’s decision have profound and unexpected consequences for them both.

“Stone” skillfully weaves together the parallel journeys of two men grappling with dark impulses, as the line between lawman and lawbreaker becomes precariously thin.

Set against the quiet desperation of economically ravaged suburban Detroit and the stifling brutality of a maximum security prison, this tale of passion, betrayal and corruption examines the fractured lives of two volatile men breaking from their troubled pasts to face uncertain futures.

According to the film’s co-producer Jordan Schur, “Stone” is situated squarely in life’s grey areas. “The title character, played by Edward Norton, is a convicted arsonist who can also be perceived as a murderer,” he says. “He seems like the one who has committed the most serious sins, but because nothing about the situation is black and white, we sympathize with Stone and even root for him a little bit. On the other hand, Jack, played by Robert De Niro, seems to be the good guy, but he’s breaking a lot of moral laws. The film presents a story where these compromised characters intersect.”

A true ensemble production, “Stone” gives each of its four stars the chance to explore a rich and layered character, full of contradictions and surprises.

“The characters were what made us want to make the film,” says co-producer Holly Wiersma. “They are all sympathetic, but they’re all very flawed. You’re always trying to figure them out.”

The first to commit to the project was legendary leading man Robert De Niro. With two Oscars to his name, the first for his breakthrough role in “The Godfather Part II” and the second for playing boxer Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull”, De Niro has delivered some of the finest performances in modern American cinema.

De Niro’s Jack Mabry is a conflicted character, a man whose actions are at odds with his words. “Jack does some despicable things,” says Wiersma. “But he also needs to be someone people feel they know and like. Without someone accessible playing that role, it becomes much harder to watch. We knew that De Niro would bring a certain amount of sympathy to it. Jack’s a charming man, but he does not do charming things in this picture.”

The title sponsors for this special premiere film event are Ultimate Energy, LLC. and A Spa For You. The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona, and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Stone” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 928.282.1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Award-winning thriller ‘Winter’s Bone’ premieres in Sedona Oct. 19

Winter's Bone poster
“Winter’s Bone” features Ashlee Thompson as Ashlee, Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly and Isaiah Stone as Sonny. Ree struggles to keep her siblings together as she hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth about their missing father.

The Sedona International Film Festival presents the exclusive Northern Arizona premiere of the award-winning thriller “Winter’s Bone” on Tuesday, Oct. 19.  There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres and is part of the festival’s Tuesday “Best of Fest” Cinema Series.

Winner of more than 20 international awards in prestigious film festivals around the world, “Winter’s Bone” has been garnered the attention of critics and audiences around the world and quickly has catapulted to the best-reviewed, highest rated film of the season. USA Today raves “Four Stars! A riveting thriller” and says that Jennifer Lawrence, the film’s star, deserves an Oscar nomination. Entertainment Weekly calls the film “Grade A! One of the most true-blooded epics of Americana you’re ever likely to see.” The Wall Street Journal touts the film as “Spectacular! A classic.”

Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. She knows her father is involved in the local drug trade, but anywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people’s business. She refuses to listen.

Ree pushes on, putting her own life in danger, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.

Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, “Winter’s Bone” is directed by Debra Granik and adapted for the screen by Granik and Anne Rosellini. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Sheryl Lee and Tate Taylor.

“I read ‘Winter’s Bone’ in one sitting. I had not done that with any book in a long time. I wanted to see how this girl, Ree, was going to survive,” said director Debra Granik. “It felt like an old fashioned type of tale, with a character I couldn’t help but root for, and with an atmosphere my mind was actively trying to conjure.”

“Ree is focused on her commitment to see her brother and sister through their childhoods. She is willing to fight to keep her family from falling apart. I see her as a lioness trying to protect her pride. She is also a teenager who experiences helpless feelings when adults around her make deadly choices, and are drawn down into a way of life that destroys them,” added Granik.

“Like many a movie hero, Ree must struggle. We don’t get to see much of her teenage side.  Throughout the story she is single-minded in what she needs to do. The search for her father is all-consuming. In this heightened context, we see that Ree does not take “no” for an answer. In matters of justice, I love characters who don’t take no. I want to know how they get that resolve. We may not know what fuels Ree, but we want to witness a girl who shows this much strength of character.”

“ ‘Winter’s Bone’ is what we’ve been waiting for: a haunting film  that grabs hold and won’t let go,” raves the New Yorker. “Suspenseful, surprising and subtle with as memorable and vivid a heroine as you are likely to see,” says The New York Times.

The Associated Press calls “Winter’s Bone” a masterpiece, and New York Magazine calls the film “Incredibly powerful! The year’s most stirring film.” The film is rated R and has a runtime of 100 minutes.

The title sponsor for this event is Art for Sedona’s Sake. The series is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona, and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Winter’s Bone” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 928.282.1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

High-spirited comedy “White Wedding” premieres on Sept. 28

“White Wedding” poster
The Sedona International Film Festival presents the exclusive Northern Arizona premiere of the outrageous comedy “White Wedding” on Tuesday, Sept. 28. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. The award-winning film is part of the festival’s Tuesday “Best of Fest” Cinema Series.

Critics from around the world are raving about “White Wedding”, calling it the must-see comedy of the year. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and National Public Radio all agree that this is one enjoyable romp through wedding preparation bliss with South Africa as the backdrop of a universal story that will resonate with all cultures. Audiences agree and have given the film top award honors at prestigious festivals around the globe.

Set against South Africa’s beautifully varied landscapes, this high-spirited comedy is a feel-good movie about love, commitment, intimacy, friendship and all the maddening obstacles that can get in the way of a happy ending. The film is a forward-looking farce set in the new South African cultural mixing pot, as the nation strives to be defined as more than their shared political history.

Ayanda (Zandile Msutwana) is just days away from her lifelong dream of a modern ‘white wedding,’ complete with a dazzling dress, dozens of bridesmaids, a flamboyant wedding planner and large reception at a fancy hotel. The only problem is that her husband-to-be, the sweet, committed Elvis (Kenneth Nkosi), is 1,800 kilometers away with his childhood friend and best-man Tumi (Rapulana Seiphemo).

What should be a simple, straightforward trip gets seriously derailed, forcing Elvis, Tumi and Rose (Jodie Whittaker), a footloose English doctor they meet along the way, to tackle directional mishaps, car accidents, a tag-along goat, and a potentially dangerous encounter with a bar full of redneck Afrikaners.

Meanwhile, poor Ayanda is watching her dream unravel as she wrestles with problems of her own — from questioning whether there’s any truth to Elvis’ preposterous excuses of why he might not arrive on time, being caught between European and African wedding traditions and dealing with the unexpected arrival of Tony (Mbulelo Grootboom), her slick old boyfriend with a questionable agenda.

In the end, the two lovers learn that celebrating their union is more about the journey than getting to the church on time. “White Wedding” subtly interweaves South Africa’s history as bride, groom, friends and lovers are forced to look at the meaning of marriage, fidelity, honesty and the two sides to every story.

“We set out to make a movie that lots of people would want to watch. We are unashamedly in the business of entertainment,” said director Jann Turner. “Nevertheless, it is about South Africans and the way we react to one another with so much prejudice and baggage. If you’re forced to meet by circumstance like the people in the film and you see beyond the accent or the white or the black face then you discover the humanity and the similarities in one another and get over the intolerance. It sounds terribly grand but it only made sense in retrospect. We didn’t set out to make a film about our common humanity, we set out to entertain.”

“White Wedding” hopes to define a new generation of South African cinema that brings black and white audiences to the big screen and makes them feel good about themselves.

The title sponsor for this event is Maia Kinkaid. The series is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona, and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“White Wedding” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 928.282.1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Film Festival welcomes legendary actress and dancer Marge Champion for screenings of ‘Showboat’ on Sept. 7

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to welcome legendary actress and dancer Marge Champion to town for special screenings of “Showboat” on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne will be hosting the films and conducting live Q&A discussions with Ms. Champion following both screenings. Showtimes will be at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. This is part of the film festival’s “Living Legends” series.

“This is a big coup for Sedona and for anyone who is a Marge Champion and ‘Showboat’ fan,” said Patrick Schweiss, festival director. “To get to experience this film the way it was meant to be seen — on the big screen — and then get to meet Ms. Champion herself and enjoy a Q&A with classic movie master Robert Osborne goes beyond description. It is Hollywood movie magic at its finest … live, right here in Sedona!”

Riverboat entertainers find love, laughs and hardships as they sail along on the Cotton Blossom riverboat in “Showboat”, which was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Musical Score and Best Cinematography. Ms. Champion stars as Ellie May Shipley in the classic, lavish musical.

From novel to Broadway smash to three film versions to stage revivals, like “Old Man River”, “Showboat” just keeps rolling along. Produced by Arthur Freed and directed by George Sidney, this 1951 version of the saga of riverboat lives and loves has glorious stars (Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Marge and Gower Champion) in Technicolor radiance. A made-from-scratch 170-foot paddle wheeler, timeless songs, extravagant dance numbers and an equally timeless outcry against racial bigotry, “Showboat” has stood the test of time and remains one of film’s — and Broadway’s — most beloved musical extravaganzas.

The Cotton Blossom, owned by the Hawk family, is the show boat where everyone comes for great musical entertainment down south. Julie Laverne and her husband are the stars of the show. After a snitch on board calls the local police about Julie (who’s half- African-American) being married to a white man, they are forced to leave the show boat because down South interracial marriages are forbidden. Magnolia Hawk becomes the new show boat attraction and her leading man is Gaylord Ravenal, a gambler. The two instantly fall in love and marry. Magnolia and Gaylord leave the Cotton Blossom for a whirl-wind honeymoon and begin to live in a fantasy world. Magnolia soon faces reality quickly, that gambling means more to Gaylord than anything else. Magnolia confronts Gaylord and after he gambles away their fortune he leaves her — not knowing she is pregnant. Magnolia is left penniless and pregnant, and is left to fend for herself, and make a new start. Two of her friends — dancers Ellie May Shipley and Frank Schultz (Marge and Gower Champion), take her to audition for stage manager Jake Green and help turn her life around.

A celebrated dancer, actress, and choreographer of stage, screen and TV, Marge Champion, together with her then-husband and partner Gower Champion, excelled at the “story dance”, a combination of dance and pantomime, which they performed to great renown on Broadway, in several films, and on television. Ms. Champion was a human figure model for the heroine of Disney’s animated “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), and later modeled for the blue fairy in “Pinocchio” (1940). She made her film debut in “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” (1939) and went on to star in dozens of films, television shows and Broadway musicals. In 1975, Ms. Champion won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for creating the dances for the celebrated TV-movie “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom”.

Ms. Champion, who turns 91 just days before her Sedona appearance, is still dancing daily and is featured in the short film “Keep Dancing” which will play before both screenings of “Showboat”. After celebrated careers, legendary dancers Ms. Champion and Donald Saddler became friends while performing together in the Broadway Show Follies (2001). When the show closed, they decided to rent a private studio together where they have been choreographing and rehearsing original dances ever since. At 90+ years old, they continue to pursue their passion for life through their love and mastery of dance. “Keep Dancing” seamlessly blends 9 decades of archival film and photographs with present day footage to tell a story through dance of the passing of time and the process of aging.

“Keep Dancing” director, Greg Vander Veer, will join Ms. Champion and Mr. Osborne for the Q&A discussions.

The title sponsor of this special event is L’Auberge de Sedona Resort. Additional support is provided by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Showboat” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 each or $9 for Film Sedona members. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177.

For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

See “The Extra Man” tonight in Sedona under the stars!

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present “Cinema Under the Stars” at Tequa featuring the exclusive Arizona premiere of the sophisticated, moving and offbeat comedy “The Extra Man” on Friday, July 16.  There will be one screening of the film outdoors at the Tequa Marketplace courtyard in the Village of Oak Creek.

A live concert performance by Meadowlark — the duo of Rick Cyge and Lynn Trombetta — will kick off the evening at 7 p.m. Come early, bring lawn chairs and blankets … and enjoy the sounds of these renowned performers! The film will follow the concert at approximately 8 p.m.

“Just like last month, this promises to be an extraordinary night of music, film and fun as we celebrate summer with the second of our ‘cinema under the stars’ events,” said festival director Patrick Schweiss. “Where else can you experience an incredible concert and an award-winning film under the beautiful Sedona night skies?”

The Sedona premiere of “The Extra Man” marks the film’s debut two weeks before it’s U.S. theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles. The comedy features a stellar ensemble cast led by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, Katie Holmes and Academy Award and multi Golden Globe nominee John C. Reilly.

A sophisticated and moving comedy, “The Extra Man” follows Louis Ives (Paul Dano), a lonely dreamer who fancies himself the hero of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.  When a deeply embarrassing incident forces him to leave his job at an exclusive Princeton prep school, Louis heads to New York City to make a fresh start.

He quickly finds a nine-to-five job at an environmental magazine, where he encounters an entrancing, green-obsessed co-worker Mary (Katie Holmes). But it’s Louis’ new home life that really sparks his imagination. He rents a room in the ramshackle apartment of Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), a penniless, wildly eccentric but brilliant playwright.  When Henry’s not dancing alone to obscure music or singing operettas, he’s performing — with great panache — the duties of an “extra man”, a social escort for the wealthy widows of Manhattan high society.

These two men, separated in age by more than forty years, develop a volatile mentor/apprentice relationship. Through a series of urban adventures where they encounter everything from a leaping lion to a wildly jealous hirsute neighbor, from drunken nonagenarians to a shady Swiss hunchback, Louis and Henry form a memorable bond that bridges their differences.

“Anyone who has lived in New York City has met someone like Henry Harrison,” said writer Jonathan Ames, who penned the novel that the film is based on as well as co-wrote the screenplay. “Impossibly charming and sophisticated, despite having no fixed income or easily discernible job, Henry is the kind of person who knows how to get into the opera for free, wangle invites to the poshest of parties, and winter in Florida with the jet-set. In other words, he’s just the kind of mentor that shy, passionate, would-be writer Louis Ives needs when he moves to Manhattan to pursue his literary dreams.”

The mentor-protégé relationship between Henry and Louis is at the heart of “The Extra Man”, brought to the big screen by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, the Oscar-nominated team who directed the indie hit “American Splendor”.  The New York Times raves that “The Extra Man” is “hands down Kevin Kline’s funniest role in years.”

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Tequa Marketplace restaurants. In addition, movie snacks and concessions will be available to benefit the Sedona Boy Scout Troop 48. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and beach towels.

The title sponsors for the event are Tequa Marketplace and the Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition. The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“The Extra Man” will be shown outdoors at Tequa Marketplace in “Cinema Under the Stars” on Friday, July 16 at 8:00 p.m., with a pre-film concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. This event will go on rain or shine! In case of monsoon rains or bad weather, the event will be held in the Hilton Sedona Resort Ballroom, adjacent to Tequa Marketplace.

Tickets are $12 or $9 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at Tequa beginning at 6 p.m. that evening. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Get ready for the 2010 Sedona International Film Festival!

Michael Moore, special guest at the 2010 Sedona International Film Festival

Starting tomorrow, Harkins Sedona Six Theatres hosts the 16th annual Sedona International Film Festival! This year’s festival features special guests Michael Moore and TCM’s Robert Osborne. Enjoy 145 of the best independent films over six full days as Sedona proudly takes center stage from today until February 28th.

Tonight is Preview Night. The Arizona premiere of Italian documentary feature film “Terra Madre” is at 5:00pm followed by a special free event at 7:30, the Pachamama Alliance Presentation with Neal Rogin and Mark Dubois.

For more information, and to buy passes, visit sedonafilmfestival.com.

Award-Winning Documentary "The Cove" Debuts in Sedona 9/1

Film Festival Presents Critically-Acclaimed Oscar Hopeful

Producer to Attend and Host Q&A

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the debut of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary “The Cove” on Tuesday, Sept. 1. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. The film kicks off the festival’s four-week “What’s Up, Doc?” Documentary Series featuring award-winning documentaries from festivals around the world.

“The Cove” is taking the world by storm and quickly becoming one of the best reviewed films of the year. The documentary garnered more than 30 top audience choice awards from prestigious film festivals around the globe, including Sundance. Roger Ebert rates the film four stars and calls it a “certain Oscar contender.” The New York Times says “The Cove” is “an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller – one of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement.”

Producer Fisher Stevens will be in Sedona to present “The Cove” and host Q&A discussions following both screenings.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhrAPw_Z1X4&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]
“The Cove” Movie Trailer – CAPTIVATING!


In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. At last, the truth of “The Cove” comes to the fore in an act of covert filmmaking that turns a documentary into a gripping action-adventure thriller – and a heart-pounding call for help from the world’s oceans.

“The Cove” begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O’Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation “Flipper.” But his close relationship with those dolphins – the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day – led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again.

This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling – and the consequences are so dangerous to human health – they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it.

Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an “Oceans Eleven”- style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed.

The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.

Director Louis Psyihoyos, one of the world’s most sought-after photographers and a co-founder of the Ocean Preservation Society, first encountered – or rather didn’t encounter – Ric O’Barry while attending a marine conference at which O’Barry was supposed to be a keynote speaker. When O’Barry was banned at the last minute by the event’s sponsor, Sea World, Psihoyos’ curiosity was piqued. What he couldn’t have known is that this curiosity would lead him to seek out O’Barry, and eventually compel him to undertake an incredible filmmaking adventure – as he and his crew used high-tech military grade equipment, bold free divers and a fearless sense of urgency to carry out a perilous underwater shoot that was entirely under cover.

He could not have foreseen that his crew would, in the process, expose not only the hidden truth about dolphin hunts but also a major human health hazard, government corruption, the declining state of our oceans and one man’s emotional battle for redemption.

“Hollywood could hardly have contrived a more dynamic scenario,” raves David Edelstein from National Public Radio. Mary Pols from Time Magazine says “The Cove… puts Hollywood capers like Mission: Impossible to shame.” And Kenneth Turan with the Los Angeles Times calls the film “a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking.”

Producer Fisher Stevens, who will be in Sedona to present “The Cove”, is also an accomplished director. Stevens has appeared in more than 40 stage productions including the Tony award-winning Torch Song Trilogy, as well as more than 50 films and television programs. He will host a Q&A discussion following both screenings.

The title sponsor for the event is Go Electric, Sedona Electric Vehicles; the supporting sponsor is Vora Financial. The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Sedona.

“The Cove” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $8 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177.

For more information, visit: http://www.sedonafilmfestival.com/.