Magazine article Variety

Movies in the Mountains

Magazine article Variety

Movies in the Mountains

Article excerpt

HEADING INTO ITS sixth year, the Sun Valley Film Festival is a perfect confluence of everything one could possibly want in a celebration of cinema: compelling, thought-provoking movies, a snowy resort town filled with pristine ski runs, and whiskey-soaked saloons redolent of the Wild West. Add to that a relaxed crowd of Hollywood players, Idaho locals, and an eclectic batch of writers, directors, and cineastes.

The five-day fest will screen more than 30 films, including 14 narrative features and 16 documentaries, Rory Kennedy's "Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton" among them. Also unspooling are several films that bowed at this year's Sundance fest, including Michelle Morgan's comedy "L.A. Times" starring Dree Hemingway.

The world premiere of "Blood Road," a documentary starring Sun Valley-based endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch, will open the fest. Charles Randolph ("The Big Short") will host this year's Screenwriters Lab. The winner of the High Scribe screenwriting contest, selected by "Manchester by the Sea" producer Chris Moore, will participate in the lab.

"It's become a real family, a real community project, which is the most fun," says lab organizer Emily Granville.

Other highlights of this year's gathering, expected to draw more than 5,000 attendees, includes the annual SVFF Film Lab, hosted by Sundance Film Festival programming director Trevor Groth. "It's a chance to have a soft launch and get finishing funds, so it's a pretty unique opportunity for filmmakers," says SVFF programming director Laura Mehlhaff. …

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