A Fantasy Weekend for Film Lovers

Sun Valley welcomes back the third annual star-studded Sun Valley Film Festival

Sun Valley welcomes back the third annual star-studded Sun Valley Film Festival

Film buffs rejoice! For four spectacular spring days in Sun Valley, the finest narratives, documentaries, shorts and family films will grace big screens all over town.

Welcome back the Sun Valley Film Festival!

Beginning Thursday, March 13, and running through Sunday, March 16, the Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), recognized by USA Today as one of the “great places for a film festival,” welcomes movie lovers to explore the weekend’s non-stop offerings.

Screenings, coffee talks with movie notables, screenwriters workshops, concerts and music -- it's all part of this weekend's lineup

Screenings, coffee talks with movie notables, screenwriters workshops, concerts and music -- it's all part of this weekend's lineup (photo SVFF)

SVFF HQ, located in the 511 Building in Ketchum (511 Leadville Ave.), opened for business on March 10, selling passes, individual event tickets and event merchandise. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to make sure you have what you need to get the most of the festival experience.

But the real action will take place around town: from the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum, to the theater at Community School, the Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum and the historic Opera House in Sun Valley. Events include premieres, competitions, screenwriter labs, coffee talks and of course, music and parties.

Please log onto sunvalleyfilmfestival.org for a full schedule, detailed listings and ticket information, but here are some of the highlights:

Coveted awards are up for grabs in many categories

Coveted awards are up for grabs in many categories (photo SVFF)

On Thursday, March 13, the Festival starts out strong with Idaho’s Governor introducing Arie Posin’s The Face of Love, starring Ed Harris and Annette Bening.

Governor Otter said, “We’re so pleased that the Sun Valley Film Festival is returning for its third year this March, and I am pleased to be introducing the opening night screening of The Face of Love. The state of Idaho has a proud filmmaking heritage and we’re all hoping that SVFF and the Gem State have a long and fruitful relationship and can work together to bring more filmmakers to shoot in Idaho.”

That same day, the SVFF will pay tribute to Kevin Smith’s cult movie Clerks but offering a 20th anniversary screening of the film that defined a generation. Things only heat up from there with the amazing J Mascis playing live at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum Thursday night.

In Sun Valley, the action is headquartered at the historic Opera House in Sun Valley Village

In Sun Valley, the action is headquartered at the historic Opera House in Sun Valley Village

The SVFF offers more than 50 features and shorts — something to appeal to everyone. The curated slate of films includes 11 narrative and 15 documentary feature-length works from 11 countries, as well as more than 40 short films. According to the SVFF, Festival partner National Geographic Channels will present three highly anticipated world premieres and announce the winner of the WILD to INSPIRE short film competition, sponsored by Nat Geo WILD, the African Wildlife Foundation and SVFF. The winner will get to study filmmaking and wildlife in Africa with Emmy Award winning cinematographer, Bob Poole.

Many opportunities, including special programs and panels compliment the film schedule. This year, the SVFF signature Coffee Talks again feature top industry insiders including Academy Award® nominated producers Ron Yerxa (Nebraska, Little Miss Sunshine) and Jim Burke (The Descendants, Election), and writer-actor-director Kevin Smith (Clerks), and actor Mariel Hemingway.

Don't miss a minute -- from narratives to documentaries to family-friendly offerings -- there is something for everyone

Don't miss a minute -- from narratives to documentaries to family-friendly offerings -- there is something for everyone

SVFF’s other signature event, the Screenwriters Lab, will be hosted by 2014 Academy Award® nominees, screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club) and will feature actors Will McCormack, Alison Pill, and Joshua Leonard, along with Jim Burke and Academy Award® winning screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech).

Sun Valley’s rich filmmaking history certainly continues to grow and evolve with the SVFF. In fact, the SVFF has received attention from the national and international media including the Huffington Post, Town & Country, Indiewire, WIRED, Hammer to Nail, Fandor and a French TV film crew.

“Our goal is to bring in the best films, innovative programs, and high energy events to Sun Valley and we are extremely excited about this year’s festival,” said SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan. “With a solid lineup of new films from around the world, a talent-packed Screenwriters Lab, the special events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Clerks, and guests from all over the country, Sun Valley Film Festival ‘Take 3’ is going to be another hit!”

Tickets are still available to many screenings and events, but don’t delay, they do sell out and you don’t want to miss a frame of the must-see and must-attend festival of the year!

–RES

Special Olympians Shine

At just before 10 on the morning of March 1, hundreds of athletes gathered around their coaches, listening intently to last-minute advice. Tips were given about practice runs, snow conditions and finishing strong. Then the Special Olympians, participating in alpine skiing and snowboarding at the Idaho State Games, lined up and hopped aboard the Quarter Dollar chairlift, ready to compete and have a great time.

Saturday morning, athletes competing in the Special Olympics Idaho State Games, listened for last minute instructions from coaches before hitting the slopes on Dollar

Saturday morning, athletes competing in the Special Olympics Idaho State Games, listened for last minute instructions from coaches before hitting the slopes on Dollar

Sun Valley welcomed 500 athletes to Dollar Mountain and the Sun Valley Nordic Center for a full day of races and participation on Saturday, but the experience started on Friday when athletes running with the Special Olympic torch, and accompanied by a police and fire escort, made their way to Dollar. One stop for the torch was Sun Valley’s Community School. High school students at the school have been working with Higher Ground all winter, training every Wednesday afternoon with Special Olympic skiers and riders on Dollar.

This program, run in conjunction with Higher Ground and Sun Valley Resort, helps provide athletes will everything they need to have a great, successful day on the slopes: from gratis lift passes to free rental equipment and instruction. Many volunteers and professionals help make this training possible and the fruit of everyone’s labor was on display this weekend.  

One skier shows great form in a practice run Saturday morning
One skier shows great form in a practice run Saturday morning

Jeff Rust of Ketchum, Games Director and Higher Ground board member said, “the Special Olympics Idaho State Games are always very memorable, but this year having them in Sun Valley really set the bar.  The Wood River Valley rallied around the athletes and made it a very welcoming experience.” He continued, “thanks to Higher Ground, Sun Valley Company, Wood River High School and our Local Girl Scouts, we were able to produce one of the most successful games to date.  As always, the Victory Dance was the highlight of the games, but the addition of the Law Enforcement Torch Parade and amazing Opening/Closing Ceremonies, directed by Kat Vanden Heuvel, really added to the overall sentiment.”

Volunteer Tracey Caraluzzi gets ready to cheer on the athletes

Volunteer Tracey Caraluzzi gets ready to cheer on the athletes

Saturday marked the second time this season that Special Olympians competed on Sun Valley’s slopes. In February, the Resort also hosted the Eastern Regional Winter Games. Volunteer Tracey Caraluzzi was at both games and her daughter, Isabelle, was one of the students working with the athletes all winter and helping on the course on Saturday. “It’s such a great day,” Tracey enthused as she lined up slopeside to clang her cowbell as racers queued up at the start. “You see so many familiar faces, both athletes and families, and there is so much joy.”

Some of the hardware earned by skiers and snowboarders -- but everyone was a champion on Saturday

Some of the hardware earned by skiers and snowboarders -- but everyone was a champion on Saturday

Judging from loud ringing of cowbells among fans stretched up and down Quarter Dollar and Poverty Flats and the ubiquitous smiles on the faces of athletes, coaches and supporters, the Special Olympic Idaho State Games were a huge success for everyone.

–RES

Athletes took a moment to pause during the Torch Run as it passed through Sun Valley's Community School (photo Community School)

Athletes took a moment to pause during the Torch Run as it passed through Sun Valley's Community School (photo Community School)

Ed Viesturs, Stories from the Top of the World

Ed Viesturs, on Everest at 25,000-feet during his first solo attempt in 1993. He went on to summit to the roof of the world seven times

Ed Viesturs, on Everest at 25,000-feet during his first solo attempt in 1993. He went on to summit the roof of the world seven times

It is always humbling to think about all the amazingly accomplished people who call Sun Valley home – celebrities, authors, business moguls and some of the most respected outdoors people in the world. In the realm of mountaineering, there are few names that engender as much respect and admiration than Ed Viesturs.  On November 4, come to the Sun Valley Resort to hear Viesturs talk about the lure of Everest at a special presentation and reception, all to benefit the unparalleled Outdoor Program at Sun Valley’s Community School.

Viesturs is the only American to have climbed all of the world’s 8000-meter peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen. This world-class athlete reached the top of the world on Mt. Everest seven, yes seven, times. Did I mention the top of Everest sits at 29,029 feet? To put that in perspective, the summit of Bald Mountain is 9,150 feet. Though many of us around here fancy ourselves consummate hikers and climbers, few, here or anywhere else, even begin to come close to Ed Viesturs.

During his talk, Viesturs will share a message of perseverance and determination

During his talk, Viesturs will share a message of perseverance and determination. Here he demonstrates both crossing the Khumbu Icefall

A bestselling author of three books, Viesturs will discuss his latest tome, The Mountain: My Time on Everest at this event. “This book shows the positive aspects of climbing the world’s highest peak and how teamwork, dedication to a craft and passion for a challenging endeavor pays off,” Viesturs explained in an interview. “The history of Everest climbs is quite inspirational and moving.”

Did I mention that Viesturs is also incredibly modest?

Viesturs is a parent of four at the Community School and is very involved and supportive of the school. He said he sees a meaningful connection between his life’s work and the school’s groundbreaking Outdoor Program that teaches students skills in rock climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, whitewater rafting and kayaking and many other disciplines, but also emphasizes the importance of respecting the outdoors, leadership, acting as stewards of the land, and helping to create a lifelong love of recreating outside.

The Community School's groundbreaking Outdoor Program makes possible many scenes like this ones as students summit Mt. Baker

The Community School's groundbreaking Outdoor Program makes possible many scenes like this ones as students summit Mt. Baker

Viesturs said his message resonates with students and adults alike. “I like to convey the idea that anything is possible, if you set your mind to doing something. Choose a path, and be patient enough to take all the steps necessary to live your dreams. Even if the path is unconventional or different, do what you love, and not what is expected,” he said. “Difficult challenges require persistence and grit. If you can accept that you’ll be somewhat uncomfortable in the process, you’ll achieve amazing things and the rewards will be priceless.”

What can fans expect from Viesturs on the fourth? “It will be a mix of motivational, inspirational and educational,” he said. “The stories we highlight within the book, The Mountain, showcase the spectacular endeavors that amazing people have accomplished in Everest’s history. I wanted the book to be positive, and not discuss all the negative press currently circulating in the media.”

Fans are sure to be inspired by Viesturs latest book

Fans are sure to be inspired by Viesturs latest book

Following the presentation, Viesturs will stick around for an intimate VIP reception in the Sun Room at the Lodge and will be available to answer questions, sign books and chat about what interests attendees.

The evening is sponsored in part by Eddie Bauer for whom Viesturs guides and with whom he has helped build their First Ascent line of world-class technical outerwear and gear. At the event, Eddie Bauer representatives will raffle off backpacks and gift cards and there will be pre-signed copies of Viesturs’ new book for sale prior to the presentation.

 This motivating glimpse into a rarefied world will take place at the Sun Valley Opera House at 6:30 p.m. on November 4. Event ticket prices are $25 for adults, $15 for students and $75 for the VIP reception. All proceeds benefit the Community School Outdoor Program. To register, visit edviesturs.eventbrite.com.

Come, listen and be inspired!

-RES

Meet Ed Viesturs at an intimate reception following the talk (photo credit Eddie Bauer, Kyle Deleu)

Meet Ed Viesturs at an intimate reception following the talk (photo credit Eddie Bauer, Kyle Deleu)