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‘These Amazing Shadows’ premieres in documentary series finale Sept. 6

Sedona Film Festival presents a nostalgic tribute to classic movies; meet the film’s editor who will be in town to host this special screening

Tim RothWhat do the films Casablanca, Blazing Saddles and West Side Story have in common? Besides being popular, they have also been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and listed on The National Film Registry. “These Amazing Shadows” tells the history and importance of the Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of both film, and indeed the American experience itself.

“These Amazing Shadows” makes its Arizona premiere in Sedona on Tuesday, Sept 6 as the finale of the Sedona International Film Festival’s eight-week “Docs That Make a Difference” series. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres.

The editor of the film, Alex Calleros, will be in Sedona to host the special event and conduct a Q&A discussion following both screenings.

“Anyone who is interested in movies will love ‘These Amazing Shadows’,” said Sagan Lewis, the film festival program director. “This informative documentary not only entertains — it inspires!”

“These Amazing Shadows” is a nostalgic and moving documentary rich with imagery, interweaving clips from America’s most-beloved films (and many rarer treasures) with moving personal tales of how specific films have reflected our culture and changed lives.

The film includes interviews with the Librarian of Congress (Dr. James Billington), famous directors (including Christopher Nolan, John Lasseter, Rob Reiner, John Singleton, Amy Heckerling, and John Waters), producers (Gale Anne Hurd and James Schamus), archivists, admired actors (Tim Roth, Debbie Reynolds, Peter Coyote), and members of the National Film Preservation Board.

“These Amazing Shadows” explores the cultural impact and historical significance of American films and shows us how American cinema is truly our “family album.” The documentary explores why film endures as one of the most important mediums of art and entertainment and describes what is being done to preserve America’s film heritage. It also shows how films create deep emotional connections with audiences.

“American film really transformed the way in which a young nation learned to express itself, express its exuberance, expose its problems, and reflect its hopes,” said Dr, James Billington, the Librarian of Congress: It wasn’t simply a form of entertainment; it was living history — audio-visual history of the Twentieth century.”

For over a century, American movies have forged emotional connections with millions of viewers, providing a portal to our past, defining our present, and imagining our future. American films helped shape a global cultural language, connecting audiences across borders and different belief systems. And, just as our ancient ancestors shared stories to connect and thrive, we too share stories…retelling in our movies the mysterious experience of being alive. “These Amazing Shadows” shows us how movies are part of our history, part of our culture … and part of ourselves.

The Hollywood Reporter calls the film “Inspiring and elegantly assembled”, and Vanity Fair labels it “film montages to end all film montages!” Critics agree that “These Amazing Shadows” is a class act and terribly fun to watch … a film that will make any film geek swoon and will make a film geek out of anyone else!

Join the film’s editor Alex Calleros for a nostalgic look back at movies and the impact film has had on all of us as he joins us here in Sedona for this very special screening and Q&A.

The title sponsor of the event is Turner Classic Movies, whose host Robert Osborne brings classic films to life every week. Osborne has also become a treasured friend of the Sedona Film Festival, bringing a host of classics to the annual festival each year and coming here to share his vast knowledge of film.

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.

“These Amazing Shadows” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 6 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, 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite A3-4, or by calling 928.282.1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com

Film Festival presents Oscar-nominee ‘Incendies’ in Sedona on July 12

Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film makes Northern Arizona premiere in festival’s Tuesday Cinema Series

“Incendies” —Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film — makes its Northern Arizona premiere in Sedona on Tuesday, July 12. 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.

“Incendies” — from Canada — has also garnered major awards as well as audience and critical acclaim at prestigious film festivals around the world including Sundance, Venice, Toronto and Telluride.

The Huffington Post calls the film “a great thriller”. Richard Corliss from Time Magazine says, “ ‘Incendies’ is a real movie! The film boasts an epic sweep, an emotional intensity and a few plot surprises.”

When notary Lebel sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan to read them their mother Nawal’s will (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes – one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn’t know existed.

In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal’s retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into a family history of which she knows next to nothing.

Simon is unmoved by their mother’s posthumous mind games. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in search of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew.

With Lebel’s help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman.

An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s hit play, “Incendies” is a deeply moving story that brings the extremism and violence of today’s world to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the uncanny power of the will to survive.

“When I first saw the play, I had the same impression as when I saw ‘Apocalypse Now’ — astonished!” said writer/director Denis Villeneuve. “The script was like a punch in the jaw and I emerged from the theatre on shaky knees. Right away I knew I was going to make it into a movie.”

Incendies has a script like a great classical composer’s score: it directly inspires striking images. Moreover, Wajdi’s staging is riddled with very powerful theatrical images, of a rare beauty.”

“An extraordinary film! Lubna Azabal’s performance is beyond my powers of description,” said David Edelstein of New York Magazine.

Joshua Rothkopf from Time Out New York raves, “Five Stars! A Jaw-dropping new drama! A mighty movie is in our midst.”

The title sponsor for this event is 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.

“Incendies” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, July 12 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, 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite A3-4, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.