Sun Valley Film Festival returns after two difficult years

Posted at 10:57 AM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 12:57:11-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Sun Valley Film Festival returns on Wednesday night as this party in the mountains kicks off with a pair of signature films including National Geographic's Fire of Love and an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's final novel called Across the River and Into the Trees.

Two years ago the film festival got canceled when the pandemic hit, last year they went virtual, but the director of the festival told us it just wasn't the same.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be back we did a virtual one last year which was helpful to stay on people’s radar screens," said Candice Pate the director of the Sun Valley Film Festival. "But, we realized the core of the festival is the destination and bringing people back to Idaho and Sun Valley to celebrate storytelling together."

The festival will feature a new headquarters on Main Street in Ketchum and the Opera House will host many of the screenings that will include some big names because of the Sun Valley Airport and Jackson Jet Center which will provide transportation for the filmmakers.

“We are going to have a good time people can expect films from all over the world," said Teddy Grennan the executive director of the festival. "National Geographic is a founding partner of ours, they are bringing seven films to the festival."

Some of the names at the Sun Valley Film Festival include Woody Harrelson, Amy Pohler, the cast of Outer Banks and Liev Schreiber.

Shreiber directed and starred in a film called Across the River and Into the Trees based on the final novel by Earnest Hemingway that features themes of love, war and age, Hemingway had strong ties to the Sun Valley region.

Shreiber's film debuts on Wednesday night and on Thursday Schreiber will host a coffee talk, a staple of the film fest that has been going on for 11 years that provides aspiring filmmakers, screenplay writers and people trying to break into the business with an excellent opportunity to learn from some of the best.

"Our coffee talks are free and open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis," said Grennan. "Coffee is on the house we have a relationship with Our Gorongosa who is a long-term partner of ours and they provide the coffee, it is all made in Africa."

If Our Gorongosa sounds familiar it is because the coffee supports Gorongosa National Park just like the efforts of Zoo Boise which opened its Gorongosa exhibit a few years ago.

The Sun Valley Film Festival also provides people with an opportunity to ski or snowboard, party throughout the week and rub shoulders with some Hollywood stars.

"We got parties Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night," said Pate. "Our special guests and our talent are right there with us hanging out on Main Street interacting we drop the velvet rope, people kind of let down their hair they are in the mountains and they hang out and enjoy great movies."

The directors of the film festival are also excited about Navalny a new film purchased by CNN and one of several films they believe they got that is above their pay grade.

The Sun Valley Film Festival runs Wednesday through Sunday, click here for a schedule of events.