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For the week of August 23 through 29, 2000

The Sun Valley Film Festival

A new festival debuts in October

Express Staff Writer

Quietly coming together via flurries of phone calls, faxes and coffee house meetings is the first annual Sun Valley Film Festival. Slotted to take place at the Sun Valley Opera House, Oct. 26-29, the festival has adopted as its theme: "A Celebration and Tribute to the Art of the Actor."

Wanda Petitclerc, the executive director of the festival, recently spoke with a reporter about the various programs and films she and other organizers will present in October.

Petitclerc said that they plan to not only present new and classic films, but to hold seminars and panel discussions with the hope of inspiring and educating young people about the film industry.

The film lineup is still a work in progress, however. Petitclerc did say that the event will be a mix of six independent films, two and possibly three "sneak" previews of bigger films and four documentaries. The latter are already in place.

The documentary Petitclerc is most excited about presenting is "One Day in September," the 2000 Academy Award winner produced by Arthur Cohn. It is the story of the Israeli athletes massacred by terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

"The Wildest Show on Earth—The Angola Prison Rodeo," a 2000 Academy Award nominee, will also be shown. It is a follow-up to "The Farm," another Academy Award nominee about the Angola Prison. The former is the story of the inmates’ rodeo: part Roman circus, part moment of pride and courage for people locked up all of their days.

"True Life—I’m an Actor," produced by Lauren Lazin, looks at the courage and determination necessary to become an actor.

The final documentary on the schedule is "A Turning of the Earth—John Ford, John Wayne, and ‘The Searchers.’" This film is a montage of previously unseen outtakes, home movies, behind-the-scenes footage and memories of surviving cast members. Woven together, these elements provide a portrait of the making of the film "The Searchers."

In addition to the films, the festival will hold seminars and panel discussions on various aspects of the industry. Petitclerc said there will be seminars on acting, producing, directing, screenwriting, cinematography and commercials. These seminars will provide opportunities for people interested in the field to learn about various disciplines from some of the industries most accomplished people. Among the seminar leaders will be Thom Mount, Jon Turtletaub, Herman Zimmerman and Denne Bart Petitclerc.

Other aspects of the festival that Petitclerc discussed included a scholarship program for students and the participation of two companies: and Broadcast DVD. will set up cameras, computers and an editing bay to give participants a sense of what is involved in making movies. Broadcast DVD will come to the festival with a six-man crew, shoot the entire event and then provide for sale of a DVD of the entire festival.

Petitclerc said the Sun Valley Film Festival is being sponsored by a combination of private and corporate donations. Some of the corporate sponsors include Tully’s Coffee, Eastman Kodak, Wells Fargo Bank, and the Sun Valley Co.


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