The 2nd Annual Sun Valley Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with an insightful and inspirational Q&A with actress-director Jodie Foster. The event titled “Coffee Talk” is quickly becoming a signature event at the fledgling film fest. Walking up to the entrance of the NexStage Theatre, the petite Ms. Foster looked at the line snaking around the block, “Are you guys waiting to see me?” Absolutely and what a treat it was to hear her talk about her celebrated acting career starting at 3-years-old and culminating with her passion for directing.
When Foster opened the floor up to questions, the star-struck crowd asked the standard regimen she has answered a million times. Sifting through the “Do you feel that you missed out on your childhood?” to “What was your favorite movie to act in?” questions, Foster shared pearls of wisdom to aspiring filmmakers in the room. Her face lit up when talking about one of her true passions – directing. “When you wake up at three in the morning with an idea you can’t get out of your head, you just know that you have to tell a story about it.” Foster went on to say, “I make personal films and I am attracted to stories of loneliness and people desperately searching for real connections in their lives.”
Foster went on to say that if you look at a director like Martin Scorsese’s body of work, you start to see his vision. She commented, “Taxi Driver is one of the greatest movies ever made.” She considers the film ‘Silence of the Lambs’ as the best work she has ever done and that ‘Little Man Tate’ is her proudest directorial effort. She gave some valuable advice to young filmmakers in the audience. She said, “When you’re on a movie set, sitting in your hotel room and you think you have it all figured out on your laptop for the next day’s shoot, you don’t. You need to be social and get together with the actors and crew who can contribute so much to the whole filmmaking process.”
At the closing award ceremony, Foster presented the Vision Award to director Sean Baker for his indie film, ‘Starlet’ starring Dree Hemingway. This award recognizes the producer’s ability to keep a feature-length narrative in focus during the journey of the project. Other awards included:
One in a Million Winners – Documentary: ‘Uprising’ by Fredrik Stanton; Narrative: ‘First Winter’ by Benjamin Dickinson. (For films made under a million dollars).
Audience Award Winner – ‘Stuck’ by Stuart Acher (For a film selected by audience votes).
Gem State Award Winner – ‘Craters of the Moon’ by Jesse Millward (For work that best reflects the beauty and diversity of the Gem State)
Hot Shot Winner – ‘The Test’ by Anthony DiBlasi (Best short film).
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2nd Annual Sun Valley Film Festival. I reviewed Sean Baker’s film, ‘Starlet’ back in December. Here is my review: http://www.examiner.com/review/starlet-movie-review/. Baker has a promising career ahead of him. ‘Starlet’ opens in theatres May 9th.
At the closing ceremony, Jodie Foster was presented with a key to the City of Sun Valley by Mayor DeWayne Briscoe. Foster is a real class act. She wanted to help out with the film festival because of her love for Sun Valley. She told the audience, “Remember what this festival is like now because it is going to get big one day.” In only its second year, Sun Valley is quickly becoming an essential destination on the film festival circuit.