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Film Festival presents Live from New York’s 92nd Street Y on Oct. 28

Julia Child
“On Julia Child at 100: An Appreciation” will be featured on “Live from NY’s 92nd St. Y” on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre via a live simulcast. In this centennial year of Julia Child’s birth, Judith Jones, Laura Shapiro and Alexandra Leaf come together to celebrate America’s first lady of French food.
New York’s famous 92nd Street Y returns to Sedona on Sunday, Oct. 28 when the Sedona International Film Festival hosts the live simulcast of “On Julia Child at 100: An Appreciation” featuring Judith Jones, Laura Shapiro and Alexandra Leaf. The special simulcast event will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the festival’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre, live as it is happening in New York.

In this centennial year of Julia Child’s birth, Judith Jones (vice president and senior editor at Alfred A. Knopf and editor of Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking) and Laura Shapiro (culinary historian and author of the prize-winning Julia Child biography) come together to celebrate America’s first lady of French food. Alexandra Leaf, a culinary historian and cookbook author, will also join in the conversation. This event is part of the Ruth Stanton Illustrious Women Series, supported by The Ruth Stanton Foundation.

Judith Jones is Senior Editor and Vice President at Alfred A. Knopf. She joined the company in 1957 as an editor working primarily on translations of French writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. She had worked before that for Doubleday, first in New York and then in Paris, where she was responsible for reading and recommending The Diary of Anne Frank. In addition to her literary authors, she developed a list of first-rate cookbook writers including Julia Child. She published Ms. Child’s first book and was her editor ever after.

Laura Shapiro was a columnist at The Real Paper (Boston) before beginning a 16-year run at Newsweek, where she covered food, women’s issues and the arts and won several journalism awards. Her essays, reviews and features have also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Gastronomica, Slate and many other publications. She is a frequent speaker and panelist on culinary history, and contributed a regular column on a wide range of food topics to gourmet.com, the Gourmet magazine website.

Alexandra Leaf, author, lecturer and culinary historian, is a well-respected figure in New York food circles. Drawn to subjects that range from contemporary wedding cake trends to wine and chocolate pairings, Leaf brings a unique perspective to her work. She pioneered the teaching of culinary history at The New School University where she has been a guest instructor since 1996. Leaf is a former chair of the Culinary Historians of New York and she is on the board of The New York Food Museum.

Now in its tenth year, “Live from NY’s 92nd Street Y” brings the world’s most compelling people to over 50 cities across North America via a unique live, interactive satellite broadcast program. The Sedona Film Festival is the official host of program in Northern Arizona. Join some of the world’s most fascinating people for compelling and thought-provoking interactive discussions on the issues and events that affect our lives. Most of the programs provide opportunities for questions and answers with the presenters where participants from remote locations can ask questions as if they were in the New York audience.

Live from NY’s 92nd Street Y: “On Julia Child at 100: An Appreciation” will be shown live on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Billy and Cheryl Geffon.

Tickets are $15 (general admission) or $12.50 for Film Festival members and are available in advance at the festival office. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. Call 928.282.1177 for tickets and information or visit www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

Award-winning drama ‘Albert Nobbs’ debuts in film festival series March 6

Albert Nobbs posterThe Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona debut of the epic new drama “Albert Nobbs” on Tuesday, March 6 as part of the festival’s Tuesday Cinema Series. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres.

 

“Albert Nobbs” was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role for Glenn Close, Best Supporting Actress for Janet McTeer and Best Achievement in Makeup. The film also garnered three Golden Globe nominations — Best Actress and Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, which was co-written by Glenn Close.

 

Award-winning actress Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men’s clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making.

 

Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson and Brendan Gleeson join a prestigious, international cast that includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker and Pauline Collins.

 

Rodrigo Garcia directs from a script that Glenn Close — along with prize-winning novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop — adapted from a short story by Irish author George Moore.

 

Glenn Close’s connection to the character of Albert Nobbs stretches back almost three decades to her 1982 performance in Simone Benmussa’s theatrical interpretation of the short story.

 

“I think that Albert is one of the truly great characters, and the story — for all its basic simplicity — has a strange emotional power,” said Close, whose turn in the Off-Broadway production prompted rave reviews and garnered the actress an Obie Award.

 

Even as Close’s career skyrocketed the character remained with her. “There’s something deeply affecting about Albert’s life,” the actress continues. “She never stopped continuing to move me. I became very busy in my career, but always thought that Albert’s story would make a wonderful movie.”

 

Close has worked continuously on story ideas across the intervening years, developing a passionate attachment to the character of Nobbs — a woman living in 19th century Britain, who has survived by disguising herself as a man and becoming a waiter. As the story begins, we find her working at Morrison’s, a reputable hotel in Dublin, where she has been for past 17 years.

 

“Albert doesn’t want to end up in the poorhouse,” explains Close. “At that time, Ireland was extremely poor. Around the corner from the hotel was abject poverty. She knows that without her job that’s where she could end up. And she knows anyone can get fired at any moment. There is a sense of fear among all the hotel workers.”

 

When the audience meets Albert, the character has played her role as a male servant in Morrison’s Hotel for so long that she has lost her own, true identity. “She doesn’t even know her real name,” Close says. “She was an illegitimate child, raised by a woman who was paid to take care of her and who never revealed Albert’s true identity. So Albert, who already didn’t know who she really was, disappeared into the guise of a waiter when she was fourteen years old.

When we meet her thirty years later, she is isolated and invisible, albeit an impeccable servant, having lived in hotels her whole life.”

 

“Through all these years of working on ‘Albert Nobbs’ I knew that there was humor in it, even if other people didn’t see it,” said Close. “It’s not leaping off the page – it’s not that kind of humor. It comes through the character and nuance and situation. I knew when people saw all these characters together that it is really fun. There are some beautiful moments.”

 

The title sponsor for this film premiere event is the Arizona Psychoanalytic Society, a local chapter of APA, Division 39.  The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the Sedona Community Foundation and the City of Sedona.

 

“Albert Nobbs” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, March 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, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit:www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

 

Award-winning “Hood to Coast” makes Arizona premiere on Feb. 1

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to team up with the Sedona Marathon to present the Arizona Premiere of “Hood to Coast,” an award-winning documentary playing to rave reviews across the country. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. on a special night, Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres.

 

Admission is only $5 per person or free with a donation of non-perishable food items for the Sedona Food Bank.

 

The director and producer of the film, Christoph Baaden, will be in Sedona to host the film and conduct a Q&A session after both screenings.

 

“Hood to Coast” follows four teams on an epic journey to conquer the world’s largest relay race. A 67-year-old heart attack survivor returns to conquer the race that nearly killed her, a family in mourning runs to honor the memory of their beloved, a group of film animators test the limits of their athleticism (or lack thereof), and a group of aging jocks show they still know how to have a good time.

 

A celebration of personal determination and the power of family, “Hood to Coast” proves that you’re never too old or too young to attempt the extraordinary.

 

The Hood To Coast Relay has taken place annually since 1982. The idea was that 12 people would divide themselves into two groups of six, run three legs of 5-to-7 miles each, and cover the nearly 200-mile distance from the mountain to the ocean. It was an adventure designed for hard-core runners — in 1982, only 8 teams ran. But within a decade, the race had grown to the point where they had to cap the number of teams at 1,000 (with 12,000 runners), making it the world’s largest relay race.

 

“We have always been drawn to character-driven films that reveal the world through the eyes of seemingly everyday people, showing something special about their perspective that is not otherwise apparent,” said Baaden. “The Hood to Coast Race provided a common ground for us to follow four running teams, each at different phases of their lives, and with differing motivations for committing to such a grueling event.”

 

Each team, however, shares a yearning for something larger—whether it’s healing, personal achievement, extreme play, or a dive into the unknown.

 

Beyond all of their stories, the filmmakers aimed to illuminate something that we all experience in one form or another: the drive to put oneself into uncharted territory with the potential to expand and inform the rest of one’s life.

 

“Our goal was to uncover the small triumphs, the subtle absurdities and the personal victories of each of our subjects — illuminating the fundamental human traits that reliably emerge in the context of such unbounded determination and tenacity,” added Baaden.

 

At its core, the film focuses on the resilience of the human spirit, and like in any good road

movie, the journey is more important than the finish line.

 

“This film will inspire you to your very core, and meeting Christoph in person will truly make this an evening to remember. You will be filled with the kind of emotions that will make you want to stand up and cheer,” said film festival director Patrick Schweiss. “It is an honor to partner with the Sedona Marathon and bring such a moving, triumphant film to our city to kick off the big marathon weekend.”

 

Baaden, who will host the film and Q&A discussion, is a film and television professional as well as the Executive Director of Film For Thought, Inc. Born in Germany, he worked in Berlin as a TV Producer until 1999 when he moved to the US to study Film and Television Production. An Emmy winner, he has been hired by Sony, Universal Music Group, the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel and the History Channel as editor, director and producer. Baaden ran the Hood to Coast race for the first time in 2007 and it changed his life.

 

The title sponsor for the event is the Sedona Marathon. The film screening is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the Sedona Community Foundation and the City of Sedona.

 

“Hood to Coast” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Admission is only $5 per person or free with a donation of non-perishable food items for the Sedona Food Bank. Seats are limited. Tickets can be reserved in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite A3, or by calling (928) 282-1177.

 

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

 

‘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.

 

Film Festival welcomes legendary actress and dancer Jane Powell for screening of ‘Seven Brides’ tonight!

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to welcome legendary actress and dancer Jane Powell to town for a special screening of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne, will be hosting the film and conducting a live Q&A discussion with Ms. Powell following the screening. Showtime will be 7:00 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School. This is part of the film festival’s “Living Legends” series.

“This is a big coup for Sedona and for anyone who is a Jane Powell and ‘Seven Brides’ 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. Powell herself and enjoy a Q&A with classic movie master Robert Osborne goes beyond description.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved in advance by calling 282-1177.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1955. It won the Oscar for Best Musical Score and won the hearts of movie lovers around the world. It has become one of the most endearing classic movie treasures and a timeless favorite of audiences for the past 55 years.

Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel), the eldest of seven brothers, comes to town to trade and announces to the shopkeepers that he is in the market for a wife. He quickly becomes enamored of Milly (Jane Powell), a pretty, hard-working young woman who cooks for the local boardinghouse. Explaining that the responsibilities of running a farm do not allow for a lengthy courtship, Adam proposes to Milly that same day, and they are married right away. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover his six brothers — all living in his cabin.

Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness: kidnap the women they want!

The legendary Jane Powell — a pert, petite musical film star of the late 1940s and 50s — began in films in 1944 after hosting her own radio show from the age of 11. Soon, she was at MGM as a perk teen in “A Date With Judy” (1948) and “Nancy Goes to Rio” (1950). With her chirpy girl-next-door charm and operatic singing voice, Powell was in some ways a successor to Deanna Durbin, who retired in 1948. She hit her stride in the early 1950s in such musical classics as Stanley Donen’s “Royal Wedding” (1951) — replacing the ailing Judy Garland — and as the lead in Donen’s “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” (1954). Powell’s last film at MGM was “Hit the Deck” in 1955 and her last starring film to date was “Enchanted Island” (1958).

Ms. Powell kept busy during the late 50s and early 60s on TV, including a remake of the Vincente Minnelli musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1959). She made a stage comeback when she replaced Debbie Reynolds on Broadway in the 1973 revival of the musical “Irene.”

Looking wonderful in her later years, Ms. Powell was a relaxed guest on interview specials recalling the MGM of old and was most welcome hosting a series airing classic movie musicals on PBS. In 2009 she toured with Robert Osborne and Michael Feinstein and a host of other leading ladies in a show which celebrated MGM movie musicals.

“Now, Mr. Osborne is poised to bring his dear friend and Hollywood legend Jane Powell to Sedona for the enjoyment of our audiences,” added Schweiss. “It is Hollywood movie magic at its finest … live, right here in Sedona … and in our brand new performing arts center!”

The title sponsor of this special event is Marion Herrman, one of the founders of the film festival and lifetime board members. The lodging host sponsor 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.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” will be shown at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 each or $9 for Film Sedona members. Tickets can be purchased 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.

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.

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.