Sedona International Film Festival




Tribute to Leslie Uggams Opens Festival; Rob Reiner to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award; Game of Thrones Writer Bryan Cogman Headlines Workshops

SEDONA, Ariz. (Jan. 15, 2020): Coming off a record-breaking 25th anniversary celebration, the Sedona International Film Festival launches its next quarter century with nine days of compelling films, workshops, events and special guests from Feb. 22 through March 1.

A full schedule of more than 160 films will highlight the 26th annual Festival. All-Access and priority passes are now available at Holders will be able to select films beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 3. Ten- and 20-ticket pass holders can select films beginning Feb. 10. Individual tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 17.

“We’ve been planning for our 26th annual Festival from the day the 25th was over and the lineup of films and events promises to be spectacular,” said Executive Director Patrick Schweiss. “We are consistently driven by the passion and motivation of the filmmakers for the art they create and by the passion and commitment of those who love films and the experiences both in the theater and throughout the Festival.”

More than 1400 films were submitted for consideration to three screening committees. The lineup will be announced later in January.

Among films selected for screening this year are three documentaries nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature: For Sama, The Caveand Honeyland, along with the Oscar-shortlisted Best International Film contenders Those Who Remained and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, Emmy-winning and Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated actor, director and producer Rob Reiner will receive the festival’s prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his work in front of and behind the camera and his commitment to the art of independent filmmaking. Reiner, who rose to fame as Mike “Meathead” Stivic on All in the Family, has been at the helm of award-winners including When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride and LBJ.

The Festival will open on Saturday, Feb. 22 with a Tribute to Leslie Uggams as part of the Festival’s celebration of Black History Month. The event, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, is being co-produced by Sedona Now TV and will be hosted by Susan Casper, host of Sonoran Living on ABC15 in Phoenix.

The event will include clips from the iconic TV series Roots, in which Uggams appeared as Kizzy and earned both Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her performance. Uggams won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the Broadway musical Hallelujah, Baby!. Recently, she appeared alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool and in a recurring role on Empire.

Among special guests expected at the event is Kim Fields, who also appeared in Rootsbefore a nine-year run as “Tootie” Ramsey on the NBC sit-com Facts of Life.

Also on opening day, actress and singer Lainie Kazan will return to the Sedona International Film Festival to introduce the 2019 film Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog, written and directed by Lynn Roth. Shepherd is based on the award-winning and bestselling Israeli novel, “The Jewish Dog,” by Asher Kravitz. Kaleb, a beloved German Shepherd, is separated from his Jewish family when the Nuremberg Laws are enacted in WWII Berlin.

On Friday, Feb. 28, there will be a special presentation by Bella Gaia, “a live concert that mixes music, dance and NASA immersive imagery that turns the stage planetary. Sublime and Transcendental,” according to The Village Voice newspaper in New York City. Bella Gaia is an award-winning unprecedented NASA-powered immersive experience, inspired by astronauts who spoke of the life-changing power of seeing the Earth from space.

Headlining the week of workshops and roundtables will be Bryan Cogman, a writer on the multi-award winning series Game of Thrones. He also is known for his work on The Sword in the Stone and Magic: The Gathering.

Priority Passes are now on sale. The Platinum All Access Priority Pass includes access to all Festival activities, films, events and parties and includes priority seating. The price for Sedona International Film Festival members is $1,193. Nonmembers pay $1,325.

Sedona Film Festival memberships range from $75 for a basic membership to $50,000 for Film Star level, each with appropriate benefits.

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