Iconic Band Chicago to Open Sedona International Film Festival

Led by founding members Robert Lamm and Lee Loughnane, the Grammy Award winning rock/pop band Chicago will open the 22nd annual Sedona International Film Festival with a benefit concert on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, kicking off nine days of 160 documentaries, features, shorts, Academy Award nominees and specialty films, Feb. 20-28, 2016.

Highlighting this year's festival will be a screening of American Graffiti and a reunion of actors, hosted by Mackenzie Phillips (Carol) and Cindy Williams (Laurie), and featuring Beau Genry (Ants) and Candy Clark (Debbie), among others; James Franco's new film, Memoria with Sam Dillon, Thomas Mann and Franco; Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H) in his one-man global-warming themed show, Dr. Keeling's Curve, introduced by his wife, Shelley Fabares (Coach, The Donna Reed Show); a performance by Roslyn Kind, Barbra Streisand's younger sister; and Gene Kelly: The Legacy featuring his wife, Patricia Ward Kelly.

Established among the nation's most sought-after independent film festivals by filmmakers, the Sedona International Film Festival brings more than 10,000 film lovers to Sedona's world-famous red rocks. Selections are underway for films in a range of categories from World Cinema to Documentaries that Make a Difference and from Sedona Green to Family Films and Classics.

Formed in 1967, Chicago, among the finalists for a 2016 entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, released their first album, Chicago Transit Authority, in 1969, a record that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. Since that first recording, they have had record sales top the 100 million mark and boast 21 Top 10 singles, five consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles, and 25 of their 36 albums have been certified platinum. The nine-member band includes founding members Lamm (keyboards/vocals), Loughnane (trumpet/vocals), James Pankow (trombone/vocals) and Walter Parazaider (woodwinds) alongside Jason Scheff (brass/vocals), Tris Imboden (drums), Keith Howland (guitar/vocals), Lou Pardini (keyboards/vocals) and Walfredo Reyes Jr. (percussion). Ticket details will be announced soon.

The Sedona International Film Festival will feature the premiere screening of a documentary about Chicago - "Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago" - on Feb. 20.

"We are working on securing even more special guests, but having Chicago open our Festival is very, very special," said Sedona International Film Festival Executive Director Pat Schweiss. "The film selection process is underway, but we're off to an incredible start with Memoria, Mike Farrell's one-man show and performances by Patricia Kelly and Roslyn Kind. Another spectacular Festival is taking shape."

Films are currently being screened by three committees: Documentary, Features and Short Films under the direction, respectively, of Connie Levinson, Keri Oskar and Denise Strubbe.

Films will run all day beginning Saturday, Feb. 20 on four screens at Sedona Harkins 6, 2081 W. Highway 89A; the Mary D. Fisher Theater, 2030 W. Highway 89A, and the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road.

Advanced-sale Platinum All-Access Passes are $840 with Sedona International Film Festival members paying $798 before Dec. 31. After Jan. 1, 2016, the cost is $1,050. Gold Priority Passes are $416 (members: $395) before Dec. 31 and $520 after; 20-ticket packages are $205 (members: $195) before Dec. 31 and $215 after; 10-ticket packages are $105 (members: $100) before Dec. 31 and $110 after. Full-time students can get the 10-ticket package for $90.

Priority Pass holders will be able to select the films they want to see beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 1. 10- and 20-ticket pass holders can select films beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 8. Individual film tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 15.

Sedona International Film Festival memberships also are available beginning at $65 for a basic membership. Family memberships for up to four family members living in the same household are $130. Additional membership packages include Cinematographer ($275), Screenwriter ($550), Producer ($1,200), Director ($2,500), Auteur ($5,000), Marquee ($10,000), Executive Producer ($15,000), Indie Angel ($25,000) and Film Star ($50,000). Benefits are commensurate with membership-fee levels. Full information is available on the website.

Packages, other than for full-time students, are available online at www.sedonafilmfestival.org or through the Festival Box office at (928) 282-1177. Student packages must be purchased through the Box Office and student ID's are required.

For more information, visit www.sedonafilmfestival.org.

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