Friday, March 22, 2013

Sun Valley Film Festival Review

The Sun Valley Film Festival 2013 banner in Ketchum, Idaho.

I recently returned home from the Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho. In only its second year, the festival brought out filmmakers and film-lovers from the immediate area and around the country.

I'll admit, the festival wasn't on my radar until I saw that Jodie Foster was not only going to be in attendance, but was hosting a free (!) and open to the public (!) Q & A. Within 24 hours, I had booked my flight, hotel, festival pass and transportation from Boise to Ketchum! (Next time I'll fly to Seattle or LA then to Hailey instead of the Boise route. Lesson learned.) EVERYONE in Idaho was friendly and pleasant and it was a constant reminder as to why I want to move out of NYC!

I chose to stay in Ketchum instead of Sun Valley because the hotel is literally next door to the theater where films were being shown (nexStage Theater) and where Foster was going to speak. I knew there was going to be a big turnout for her so by being nearby, I significantly increased my chances of getting a seat.

View of Ketchum from hotel balcony.

And get a seat I did! I was admitted into the theater after the VIP's had been seated (and a very cold 45 minute waitFoster spoke eloquently and carefully about acting and directing and was gracious throughout even when asked some potentially uncomfortable questions (about Hinckley, her lost childhood and LGBT-themes).

Jodie Foster answering questions at the nexStage Theater during the second annual Sun Valley Film Festival.

(Sorry about the blurry pictures but these people would NOT stand still for me!)

Despite the flight delays and illness on my way home, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to interact with someone who I've admired since childhood. And I made a filmmaking connection, too!

Festival Executive Director and Founder Ted Grennan and festival Director Candice Pate during the closing ceremony.

Jodie Foster talks to DeWayne Briscoe, mayor of Sun Valley, during the closing ceremony.

Jodie Foster shows off her key to the city during the closing cerremony.

Since this festival is in its infancy, now is the time to submit to it before it becomes huge like Sundance. I fully intend to submit Adult Toy Story and possibly their screenwriters lab, too.

The moral of this story is: NEVER hesitate to take advantage of even the smallest opportunity because you never know what will come of it.

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