Sedona Film Festival 2011
Sally A. Schwartz
When people hear of or think of Sedona, AZ, many wouldn’t come to expect that this community is quite the supporter of Indie Films. Most noted for its picturesquebeauty, vortex’s, mystical/New Age shops, and its artistic community, it isn’t surprising that Sedona would roll out the red carpet to hold its 17th Annual Independent Film Festival from February 20th to the 27th. Sedona has been a long time supporter of Independent Films and was happy to offer the key to the city to film lovers from all over the world! Such well known actors and actress such as Frances Fisher, Rita Rudner, Jonathan Winters, Rip Torn, Nicolas Cage, David Rasche and Phil Rosenthal to their place among the attendee’s. I was delighted in that www.DaBelly.comwas able to attend and cover this notorious event, even if it was for its last week-end.
Friday the 25th sported A night with Nicolas Cage. Although we didn’t make the attendance of this event due to travel interruption, I was told that it was a night with interaction between the actor and his audience. I am sorry that I missed such an opportunity.
We did make it to Francis Fisher’s Indie Film, Sedona the Movie that had a Q & A with the Director and Producers of the movie afterwards. The movie was set in Sedona itself and was about two lives coming together in a bazaar mix of events. The Director and Producer Tommy Stovall and his co-producer Marc Sterling, created a movie in which they hope can bring to television as a series. Although this movie held some really funny moments in which I could really relate to, I thought that there were some areas in which the writer could have told the story better while capturing the wild and crazy antidotes of the main characters and the lifestyle in which Sedona is known for. I feel that Stovall tried but lost the mark in telling the story of a woman who is all about the high pace of an advertising executive and a workaholic Lawyer when he is faced to examine what is really important in his life. The movie had great cinematography and a touch of the strange residents that live within the community. Yet its scattered projection of what the writer was trying to say left me with to many whys and how comes. With some changes I do feel that Sedona could become a major contribution to the TV sitcom circuit. Between Sedona’s nutty residents to those that come to this town on vacation, it can offer the laughs the general public looks in a comedy series.
Saturday the 26th offered 32 movies through out the day all divided up between the local Harkins Theater, the Sedona Performing Arts Center and the Sedona Rouge Theater. I was very luck in that I was able to view the Lt Dan Band: for the Common Good at the Harkins Theater at 12:10 pm. The Lt. Dan Band is a band in which the Actor Gary Sinise is a part of. And although he was not able to make the Q & A due to his filming schedule, the documentary said it all. The Documentary was narrated by Sinise, giving the forming of the band and the mission behind its purpose. Sinise was given the Humanitarian Award at this years Sedona Film Festival and after viewing this documentary it is no wonder in why. You were brought into a small yet large portion of the actors life and it is very obvious that although Mr. Sinise may be a great and accomplished actor, his most fulfilling work comes from those who’s life he touches the most in his travels with The Lt. Dan Band… those who serve the United States of America. From firefighter, police to the many men and women as well as their families that serve in our military. He salutes them all.