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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.