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Sun Valley Film Festival

Free Coffee Talks like last year’s talk with Bobby Farrelly, who produced “Dumb and Dumber,” give audiences a chance to go behind the scenes with big name actors and directors. 

Karen Bossick

SUN VALLEY — Christina Calvert had hardly moved into her new home in Hailey when a friend told her she had to make time to attend the Sun Valley Film Festival. She wasn’t disappointed.

“I loved every minute of it,” said Calvert, who took in everything from talks featuring actors and filmmakers to the movies themselves. “I loved rubbing elbows with the filmmakers and the people from National Geographic. And I saw some great movies.”

Calvert will get an opportunity for an encore this week at the seventh annual Sun Valley Film Festival.

The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, in the Sun Valley Opera House with a screening of “Science Fair,” which follows nine students from around the world as they prepare projects they hope will change the world. It continues through Sunday with an array of films, talks and parties.

Among those who will be taking part in Coffee Talks and Salon Talks are Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Kate Bosworth, Jay Duplass and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Many of the films will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers, as well.

This year’s film festival will also salute Warren Miller, the legendary ski filmmaker who got his start as a Sun Valley ski instructor when one of his students—Sen. Charles Percy, the CEO of Bell & Howell—gave him a 16-mm. movie camera.

“The festival has done an amazing job bringing in people who are the real deal—people from the industry who really have something to offer, whether they’re artists or executives,” said Heather Rae, founding board member and producer of the Academy Award-nominated crime drama “Frozen River,” about two women smuggling illegal immigrants to the United States.

“Some festivals are big and overwhelming, but Sun Valley has that rare quality of intimacy and access. Everyone I’ve talked to has had nothing but good things to say about how great their experience is,” she added.

Aspiring filmmaker Joey Greene, who came to the festival from California, agrees: “I love bouncing from one thing to another. I especially love listening to the composers talk about musical scores.”

Rae, who grew up in Idaho, will emcee a free panel discussion at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Warfield Distillery that will look at changes to the film industry in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement. The panel also plans to discuss ways to effect change in society by using film to change long-told stories.

“Prior to ‘Black Panther,’ there was a perception in the industry that a superhero could not be a person of color if the movie was to be commercially viable. ‘Black Panther’ with its predominantly African-American cast has blown that theory out of the water, as it’s become one of the top grossing films of all time,” she said. “The same thing happened with ‘Wonder Woman.’ “For the first time, there was a story being told that women could have great power. And, suddenly, there were kindergarten girls saying, ‘I can do anything.’ ”

Many of the films and events are free on a first-come first-serve basis. Here are some of the highlights:

Must see films

“Beirut,” which follows a U.S. diplomat who is called back to war-torn Beirut to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sun Valley Opera House.

“Leave No Trace,” which follows a father and daughter who are living off the grid near Portland, Ore., until a chance encounter blows their cover. They escape social services to undertake a perilous journey back to the wilderness where they’re confronted by a longing for community versus a fierce need to live apart. 8 p.m. Saturday, Sun Valley Opera House.

“All the Wild Horses,” a 90-minute documentary following riders as they compete in the Mongol Derby in Mongolia, the longest and toughest horse race on the planet. 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Ford Cinetransformer.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a brassy sexy retelling of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy set in Los Angeles. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sun Valley Opera House.

Freebie movies

1 p.m. Thursday, Ford Cinetransformer—“Happening,” a film by James Redford taking viewers on a journey into the clean energy era.

3 p.m. Thursday, Ford Cinetransformer—“Angst,” a documentary focusing on teen anxiety caused by bullying, perfectionism, panic, obsession and hopelessness. Includes a cameo of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

4 p.m. Thursday, Opera House—“Jane,” a documentary drawing from more than 100 hours of never-before-seen National Geographic footage to off an intimate portrait of chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall.

5:30 p.m. Thursday, Magic Lantern Cinema—1 Potato, “The Big Burn”—Idaho filmmaker Samantha Silva’s feature film about a woman dealing with a failing marriage who is pulled into the orbit of a young woman whose own life is about to change forever. Includes footage shot at Redfish Lake.

9:30 p.m. Thursday, Ford Cinetransformer—Warren Miller’s “Many Moods of Skiing,” preceded by “The Fire That Saved Sun Valley.” Featuring Stein Eriksen and others.

1:15 p.m. Friday, Opera House—“Chasing the Thunder,” documentary about a 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the world’s most notorious poaching vessel.

11 a.m. Saturday, Ford Cinetransformer—Future Filmmakers Forum showing shorts by young filmmakers.

1 p.m. Saturday, Opera House—Nat Geo WILD Kids “Party Animals,” world premiere introducing a nocturnal primate, baby sea turtles in an animal hospital and a road trip featuring a family of silly ducks.

5 p.m. Saturday, Ford Cinetransformer—“Giant Carnivorous Bats,” which takes viewers deep into a Mexican jungle in search of two of the continent’s rarest creatures. Finalists in Nat GEO’s “Wild to Inspire” contest will show shorts of their films preceding this one.

Free coffee talks

Jeanne Tripplehorn, star of “Basic Instinct,” “Waterworld,” “The Firm” and HBO’s “Grey Gardens,” will talk at 10 a.m. Friday, March 16.

Jay Duplass, an independent filmmaker and actor who played in the series “Transparent” and “The Mindy Project,” will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who won an Oscar as Best Actress for “Shakespeare in Love,” a Golden Globe nomination for her role in “Proof” and an Emmy for her role in “Glee,” will speak at 10 a.m. Sunday.

All Coffee Talks are at the Sun Valley Opera House.

Salon talks

A panel of filmmakers, including Eva Flodstrom, Shannon Gibson and Jessica Sanders, who received an Academy Award nomination for “Sing!” will headline a Salon Talk at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 15.

Kate Bosworth, who starred in “Blue Crush” and produced the new film “NONA,” will talk at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Anand Varma and Jason Jaacks, award-winning National Geographic photographer and environmentalist filmmaker, will talk at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

All Salon Talks will be at Festival Headquarters at the Warfield Distillery and will include complimentary lunch. They will be open to pass-holders only.

Main Street Salutes Warren Miller

The party starts at 9 p.m. as Main Street Ketchum lights up with DJ Travis Jones on stage spinning high-energy dance tunes as the fire pits blaze. There’ll be screenings of Warren Miller’s vintage film clips of Sun Valley compiled by Stellar Media and Miller’s longtime film editor Kim Schneider, along with select shorts from the Homegrown Film Festival featuring local skiers and filmmakers. Prizes, including a special edition snowboard provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and a Stella Artois bicycle, will be given to those wearing the best vintage ski outfits.

Parties, parties, parties

10 p.m. Thursday, Whiskey Jacques—“Sorry I like to Party” Party, featuring music from DJ Nate, El Stash and complimentary Stella Artois for pass-holders. Free to public.

10 p.m. Friday, Galleria on Leadville and 4th Street—Pioneer Party saluting Kate Bosworth, winner of this year’s Pioneer Award. Music by L.A. DJ Chris Douridas. For pass-holders only.

10 p.m. Saturday, March 17, Whiskey Jacques—SVFF Awards Bash, headlined by Indie rock group Sir Sly. Awards will be given to filmmakers and SVFF special guests. Pass-holders only.

Tickets and passes

Anand Varma and Jason Jaacks, award-winning National Geographic photographer and environmentalist filmmaker, will talk at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

All Salon Talks will be at Festival Headquarters at the Warfield Distillery and will include complimentary lunch. They will be open to pass-holders only.



MAIN STREET SALUTES WARREN MILLER

The party starts at 9 p.m. as Main Street Ketchum lights up with DJ Travis Jones on stage spinning high-energy dance tunes as the fire pits blaze. There’ll be screenings of Warren Miller’s vintage film clips of Sun Valley compiled by Stellar Media and Miller’s longtime film editor Kim Schneider, along with select shorts from the Homegrown Film Festival featuring local skiers and filmmakers. Prizes, including a special edition snowboard provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and a Stella Artois bicycle, will be given to those wearing the best vintage ski outfits.



PARTIES, PARTIES, PARTIES

10 p.m. Thursday, Whiskey Jacques—“Sorry I like to Party” Party, featuring music from DJ Nate, El Stash and complimentary Stella Artois for pass-holders. Free to public.

10 p.m. Friday, Galleria on Leadville and 4th Street—Pioneer Party saluting Kate Bosworth, winner of this year’s Pioneer Award. Music by L.A. DJ Chris Douridas. For pass-holders only.

10 p.m. Saturday, March 17, Whiskey Jacques—SVFF Awards Bash, headlined by Indie rock group Sir Sly. Awards will be given to filmmakers and SVFF special guests. Pass-holders only.



TICKETS AND PASSES

Passes range from $150 to $1,000, and are available at www.sunvalleyfilmfestival.org. A number of individual tickets for films and panels are also available. The box office is at Café Artois, the site of the former Cornerstone Br and Grill, at 211 N. Main St.

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