Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sun Valley Film Festival invites entries

Opportunities for local writers to get Hollywood’s attention

Express Staff Writer

    The second Sun Valley Film Festival will kick off March 14, with an exciting opportunity for budding screenwriters.     
    Will McCormack, writer of “Celeste & Jesse Forever” and a Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 nominee, will host the first Sun Valley Screenwriter’s Lab. The lab will be accepting original screenplays and television pilots from aspiring screenwriters, and the three finalists will be awarded lodging, passes to the festival and admission to the half-day lab.
    The winner will witness his or her work come alive during a table read of local and professional actors. Participants in the lab will hear McCormack speak candidly about the ascent of his own career as a writer/actor, field questions of the trade and discuss how he took matters upon himself to finally produce “Celeste & Jesse Forever.”   
    Tickets are $25, and include a whiskey reception at the end of the lab. To submit work, or for general information, visit
    The film festival will run March 14-17, offering cutting-edge independent films, premieres, children’s programming, previews of new television series, parties, coffee talks with filmmakers and industry insiders, intimate filmmaker dinners, après-ski gatherings and a star-studded closing awards ceremony.
    The festival will screen more than 60 different films, and each day will begin with a Coffee Talk,  a morning series at which filmmakers and industry experts engage the audience in a range of topics.
    Some notable film producers/directors already committed to participate in 2013 include Jim Burke (“The Descendents”), Josh Pate (“Mirror Mirror”) and Jonas Pate (“Shrink”).
    The Sun Valley Film Festival is currently accepting films in all categories, including shorts, mixed media, animation and feature-length documentaries and narratives. New this year is a category for young filmmakers.
    In addition to its innovative programming, the festival will present two awards found at no other film festival. The One in a Million Award honors filmmakers who have made a standout film for under $1 million, and the Vision Award recognizes producers and their filmmaking journeys.
    Zions Bank is back to present the Gem State Award, given to an Idaho filmmaker whose film best reflects the beauty and diversity of Idaho.
    New awards this year include the Hot Shot, presented to best film by a student under 18 years old and the Shorty, recognizing the best short-story film, no matter the genre or aesthetic.
    The public is invited to a March 17 awards presentation and closing ceremony, sponsored by Alaska Airlines. 

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