It is that time of year when skiers take advantage of spring conditions and movie buffs converge to watch cutting-edge indie films from around the world. In only its second year, the Sun Valley Film Festival is quickly carving a niche as a premier destination to enjoy world-class cinema for the whole family. Last month, USA Today ranked Sun Valley in its “10 great places for a fabulous film festival.” According to the article, “It’s small and low-key. It is a little more secluded, and not as crowded as Sundance.” No wait-list lines, friendly locals and major stars in attendance make this festival an incredible fun-filled weekend.
One of the highlights from Thursday’s festival kick-off was actress Mariel Hemingway’s new documentary, ‘Running from Crazy.’ Hemingway, granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway, explores her family’s troubled history with mental illness. The documentary is directed by two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple and Oprah Winfrey is the executive producer. After the screening, Hemingway took the stage for a well-deserved bow. It is so brave of her to profile her family’s turmoil with depression in order to help other families cope with it.
On Friday, the “Coffee Talk” series launched into action with Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. He wrote the screenplays for ‘Traffic,’ ‘Syriana,’ and ‘Rules of Engagement.’ He has a summer blockbuster ready to hit theatres nationwide titled, ‘After Earth’ starring Will Smith. It was fascinating listening to his war stories regarding his inspiration for the film, ‘Syriana’ starring George Clooney and Matt Damon. Aspiring screenwriters had a real treat as he revealed that many of his ideas for the script were from actual real-life experiences with high-level government officials.
Sun Valley Film Festival announced the First Annual ‘Wild to Inspire Short Film Competition’ with Nat Geo Wild and the African Wildlife foundation. The competition will give independent documentarians the chance to win an apprenticeship in wildlife with an acclaimed National Geographic Filmmaker in Africa. Films should be no more than 5 minutes long. The ‘Wild to Inspire Short Film Competition' will accept submissions from April 1 through October 1, 2013. Filmmakers can enter and get contest rules by visiting the Vimeo page at https://vimeo.com/groups/wildtoinspire.
For details regarding other events this weekend, please visit the Sun Valley Film Festival website http://sunvalleyfilmfestival.org/.