3rd Annual Sun Valley Film Festival Wraps; LITTLE ACCIDENTS, BLUE RUIN and ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE Among Winners
Boise, ID -- The 3rd annual Sun Valley Film Festival wrapped up a successful, fun-packed festival over the weekend with a jumping Saturday night awards party hosted by actor Michael Weaver and a rousing set by Nashville rockers Those Darlins entertained the crowd with the winners pogoing and moshing their way into the night. Sunday saw a final Coffee Talk with filmmaker Kevin Smith on hand to delight a packed house at the nexStage Theater, as well as present an encore 20th anniversary screening of his landmark film CLERKS.
"We couldn't be happier with this year's festival," said SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan, continuing, "Our pass sales doubled over last year and we had close to 150 filmmakers and other special guests in attendance. The SVFF is really earning a reputation as a special place for film artists to gather and we've focused on developing a film festival that is intimate, insightful, and inspiring, and people seem to really appreciate that."
Producers Jason Berman, Anne Carey, Tom Fore, and Summer Shelton picked up the festival's top Vision Award for LITTLE ACCIDENTS, which recognizes a producer's ability to keep a dramatic, feature length film in focus during the journey of the project while the dramatic and documentary One-In-A-Million" awards for feature length films made for under $1,000,000 went to BLUE RUIN and ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE respectively. The festival's Audience Award went to Mike Myers' directorial debut, SUPERMENSCH and earlier in the week, Paula Sewell won the High Scribe screenplay competition for her animated script LE CHAT NOIR, after which a scene was performed by actors Joshua Leonard, Alison Pill, Michael Weaver, and Peter Cambor.
"I am so pleased with this year's fest," said festival programming director Laura Mehlhaff. "The audiences came out in droves and the attending filmmakers all had a spectacular time viewing each others' works and interacting with all the great industry guests."
This year saw the launch of a new initiative at the SVFF in partnership with Nat Geo WILD and the African Wildlife Foundation. The 1st Annual WILD to INSPIRE prize was awarded to Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman, and Brendan Nahmias for WOLF MOUNTAIN. Director Dan Duran will receive an opportunity to study filmmaking and wildlife in the Maasai Steppe landscape in Tanzania, Africa with Emmy Award winning cinematographer Bob Poole.
"The camera lens is so often the instrument by which Africa's incredible wildlife story is told," says African Wildlife Foundation Maasai Steppe Director John Salehe. "The Maasai Steppe is home to many well-known African species, such as elephants and lions, but the wildlife also faces a variety of threats, from poaching to conflict with humans over space and resources. We are thrilled to sponsor the winner of this year's contest and look forward to his lens capturing the triumphs and challenges of protecting wildlife not just in Tanzania, but on a rapidly changing African continent."
Nat Geo WILD and Sun Valley Film Festival also announced they will be doing a second competition. More details to follow in the coming months.
Other jam-packed festival programs drew locals and out-of-town guests alike, including:
Coffee Talks, where industry experts offered their insights to festival audiences each morning, featured Academy Award® nominated Producers Ron Yerxa (NEBRASKA, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE), and Jim Burke (THE DESCENDANTS, ELECTION), Writer, actor, director Kevin Smith (CLERKS), and actor Mariel Hemingway (PERSONAL BEST, STAR 80).