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

Olympic Fever

There is nothing like a heavy snowfall to set the mood for the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games. As millions gathered electronically Friday night to watch the world’s best athletes convene at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, a large crowd congregated in downtown Ketchum at Whiskey Jacques as light, fluffy snow accumulated quickly outside.

Go, Team! A large crowd gathered in downtown Ketchum to enjoy the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games. The event was hosted by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

Go, Team! A large crowd gathered in downtown Ketchum to enjoy the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games. The event was hosted by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

The evening, hosted by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, drew many avid skiers and snowboarders to cheer on Team USA as well as the local athletes representing the Wood River Valley. Three talented women who call the Sun Valley-area home have the town’s strong and vocal support.

Olympics HQ Friday night was Whiskey Jacques in downtown Ketchum

Olympics HQ Friday night was Whiskey Jacques in downtown Ketchum

Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington, 24, grew up in the Wood River Valley is a product of the SVSEF snowboard program. Andy Gilbert, head development coach of the SVSEF snowboard team told Transworld Snowboarding, “Kaitlyn was part of the first wave of kids that benefited from Sun Valley investing in a halfpipe program. When she started high school and we saw her competing and holding her own, she graduated to bigger events and really got on the radar. All of the coaches that have been involved with Kaitlyn’s training from the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation over the years are really proud of her accomplishment. It’s great to see the excitement and support our entire community has for her and her family.”

Snowboarder Katilyn Farrington Tweeted this photo out of herself in Sochi @KatilynFarr

Snowboarder Katilyn Farrington Tweeted this photo out of herself in Sochi saying she had 'already made a mess of herself' before the Opening Ceremony even began @KatilynFarr

Kaitlyn became the first women’s rider to perform a backside 900 and is known for her high-octane enthusiasm, determination, super positive attitude and calm. She told Transworld Snowboading, “I’m proud to join the ranks of the legendary athletes who have participated in both the winter and summer Olympic Games before me, and who also call Sun Valley home,” said Farrington. “This is something I’ve been working toward for a long time, and heading to Sochi and competing on the world’s stage is going to be 100 percent fun!”

February 12 is go time for Kaitlyn, as the three rounds of qualification, semi-final and finals will be held that day.

Bringing her Sun Valley roots to center ice, standout women’s hockey forward Hilary Knight is definitely one to watch. This Sun Valley resident will join her teammates in a run for the gold. Knight, 24, made her Olympic debut at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. That year, she was part of the team that won the silver medal.

Sun Valley resident Hilary Knight started out the Sochi Olympics strong, scoring less than a minute into the first game

Sun Valley resident Hilary Knight started out the Sochi Olympics strong, scoring less than a minute into the first game

Hilary is already shining in the Sochi Games. In Team USA’s first game against Finland, she scored 53 seconds into the first period and also made an assist in a game that ended 3 -1 in favor of Team USA. This set the tone for what we can expect from Hilary and her team in the coming weeks.

On the slopes, Jasmine Campbell who was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands but moved to Sun Valley when she was ten, will race for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ ski team. Jasmine, 22, will compete in the giant slalom and slalom. Jasmine is the only winter athlete representing the USVI and she proudly carried the flag in the Opening Ceremonies. She follows in her father John’s footsteps. He skied in the 1992 Winter Olympics on the Virgin Islands’ team.

Jasmine Campbell spent much of her childhood training on Sun Valley's slopes. Now she puts her considerable skill to use for the US Virgin Islands' Ski Team (photo: Virgin Islands Olympic Committee)

Jasmine Campbell spent much of her childhood training on Sun Valley's slopes. Now she puts her considerable skill to use for the US Virgin Islands' Ski Team (photo: Virgin Islands Olympic Committee)

The enthusiastic crowd at Whiskeys, and gathered around widescreens throughout the Wood River Valley, were probably also cheering Olympic competitor Ashley Wagner. Ashley performed this August in Sun Valley On Ice on her road to Sochi.

On Saturday, our local children, many with Olympic dreams of their own hit 12” of fresh powder Saturday morning (with up to 10” more expected to fall over the weekend). I imagine many members of the SVSEF alpine, snowboard and freestyle teams, as well as the athletes of Sun Valley’s Free Ride program saw their podium-potential as they floated down the perfect slopes. Who knows who among them may be the next Kaitlyn Farrington or Jasmine Campbell.

Three of SVSEF's outstanding D-Team coaches -- Doran Key, Susanne Connor and Orlie Sather -- training the next generation of Sun Valley Olympians

Three of SVSEF's outstanding D-Team coaches -- Doran Key, Susanne Connor and Orlie Sather -- training the next generation of Sun Valley Olympians

Olympic fever is a wonderful affliction to get. Go Team USA! Go Team Sun Valley! We are very proud of all of our Olympic athletes and Sun Valley’s longstanding tradition of producing some of the world’s top athletes.

Check HERE for the full Olympics television schedule.

–RES

Monster Weekend starts off right!

Monster Weekend, sponsored by Sun Valley Company, Scott, and Monster Energy, is in full swing this Saturday afternoon under the bright Sun Valley sun. European Winter X-Game winner Tom Wallisch kicked off the action on Friday afternoon, flying 140 feet off the brand spanking-new Monster Feature on Dollar Mountain. The feature, shaped like the recognizable, neon green, Monster Energy “M” was built by the SPT and Dollar Mountain park crew and is bigger closer up than you can imagine.

Tonight, Scott and Monster Energy athletes Tom Wallisch, Justin Dorey and Ian Cosco will take part in a jump session and photoshoot with professional photographer Erik Seo and Freeskier Magazine editor, Shay Williams. Floodlights have been brought in to light up the night from 7-9pm. There will also be a DJ, BBQ, and beers for anybody that wants to stop by and see all the monster action. Then don’t miss the after-party, sponsored by Freeskier Mag, at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum.

For more information, check out Shay William’s blog and video diary of the trip from Freeskier Mag’s website here: Monster Weekend Update One.

MAD Turns for Haiti

The weekend of March 19-20, Sun Valley Company will be hosting a fundraiser for disaster relief efforts in Haiti through the makeadifferencenow.org. (MAD) Foundation. Inspired to help in any possible way, racers and non-racers are encouraged to take part in the weekend’s events, coming together through our beloved sport and all  for a common cause.

MAD Turns for Haiti will begin on Friday, March 19, with a silent auction at Whiskey Jacques at 6 pm. The event will continue Saturday with a NASTAR race on Lower Warm Springs organized by the Sun Valley Race Department. The race entry fee will be $25 with 100% of the entry proceeds going directly to makeadifferencenow.org. The race begins at 11am and will be followed by a BBQ and awards ceremony at Apple’s Bar and Grill at the base of Warm Springs. For more information go to www.makeadifferencenow.org or email madturns@gmail.com.

The 2010 Janss Pro-Am Classic Debuts this Weekend!

Founded in 1988 by Beverly Hay DeChevrieux and sponsored by Thomas Weisel Partners, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Fundraiser, the Janss Pro-Am is back this weekend! An all-weekend event with 22 registered teams, The Janss mixes a “Pro Racer” with four amateur racers, skiers or snowboarders. The teams then compete for racing titles and costume prizes throughout the weekend of parties and on-snow races. Rumors of costume themes from some of this year’s teams include Mardi Gras, School Spirit and White Trash Wedding. Last year’s champion team, the Community School, is back to defend their title. As is last year’s costume winner, Koth Sports. There has even been sightings of “Bad Cops” and “Indian Princesses”, so keep an eye out on the slopes this weekend for troublemakers in costumes zooming around Lower Warm Springs and around town!

2010 Janss Pro-Am events include tonight’s opening celebration Pro Party at Michel’s Christiana, Friday’s Apres-Ski party at Whiskey Jacques, and Saturday’s Award Banquet and Dinner at the Sun Valley Inn’s Limelight Room.  Benefiting the SVSEF’s Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard teams, this weekend’s event is one of the Foundation’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Big thanks to all that participate and sponsor the fun!

World Cup Wednesdays Week Two

The Sun Valley Town Series continued this week. This time it was a little cloudy with some snow falling as your favorite local racers competed on Lower Cozy. As Race Department head Mike Wrobel said, he must have set the course pretty fast because this week the racers killed it on the GS course. Dead Last Team member, Robin Sarchett continued his winning streak, grabbing first place and beating his nearest competition, Carlo Rixon (from Team Tekasoreass’s), by four tenths of a second. The top girl this week was speedy Erika Hogan (Team SVSEF) again, finishing fourth overall. The winners of the traditional fifth of tequila (the fifth place male and female) were John Campbell from Team Hide the Decline and birthday girl and Scott USA team member, Toby Arnett. Billy Cook (Team Pulling Out Is For Quitters) and Kevin Moss (Hores to Culture) were the two rabbits this week, finishing 51st and 52nd.

Six teams tied for first this week, each with zero points. They were Wood River Masonry, Tekasoreass’s, SVSEF, Ski Tek Trainwrecks, Scott USA and the blog.sunvalley.com Blog Chicks. And because the top place goes to the first alphabetically, your very own blog.sunvalley.com Blog Chicks were the winning team this week. Check back next Thursday to find out if the Blog Chicks can keep it up, or if any other shake ups happen for next week’s World Cup Wednesday. Thanks to Whiskey Jacques for hosting this week’s after-party!

The Sun Valley Race Department puts on quite a race.

Wednesday's lone tele-racer rips it up on Lower Cozy.

Two of the boys from team Pulling Out Is For Quitters (sponsored by Collared Greens) with a quarter of blog.sunvalley.com Blog Chicks.

The man himself, Race Department head Mike Wrobel, with everyone's favorite Race Dpt gals, Jen Helms and Candy Crane.

Your very own blog.sunvalley.com Blog Chicks and the Week Two first place team!

The Reopening of Whiskey Jacques and the Countdown to Christmas Continues!

Christmas is only a week away and things around town are definitely starting to pick up. The mountain is busier. Drinks at the Duchin Room and at Averell’s Bar are flowing in a traditional holiday style. Dollar’s new terrain park and tubing park are opening this Saturday. The SuperPipe on Lower Warm Springs is set to open Saturday as well. Snow guns are running all over the mountain in hopes to open more terrain as soon as possible. Christmas trees are decorated, candles are lit, and everyone is preparing to eat at least one piece of Grandma’s fruitcake.

But in downtown Ketchum there is another event locals and tourists have been hotly anticipating… the reopening of the legendary Whiskey Jacques. After a fire raised the building over a year ago construction crews have been working hard on the bar’s rebuild and everyone in town, of any age and any dancing ability, has been chomping at the bit to get their favorite bar back. A staple in the Sun Valley nightlife for over 25 years, Whiskey’s is a classic wild western saloon right on Main Street in the classic ski town of Ketchum. Whiskey Jacques is reopening with a bang this Friday, December 18. They will be showcasing local band, The Bobo’s, on Friday and more live music will continue throughout the winter with acts like the Gourds, Mickey and the Motorcars, and New Year’s Eve guests, Marmalade Hill.

Other things happening this week around town, new bar and restaurant, Sego, is opening on Washington Street (928-7878 for reservations), at Dollar’s new terrain park on Friday morning some of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Freestyle and Snowboard teams will be testing the new features, and the nexStage and Laughing Stock Theatres are presenting "A Christmas Carol" on Friday and Saturday nights (726-4857 for more info). Also happening is Sun Valley’s Christmas Tree Lighting Festival will take place in the Sun Valley Village on Saturday at 5:00 with performances by the Sun Valley Carolers and live music and drinks at the Boiler Room to follow.

So whether you are tearing it up on the slopes, strapping on your dancing shoes, or helping the community get ready for the Holidays, we’ll see you around town as the countdown to Christmas continues.