2018 SUN VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FILM LINE-UP News Release: 2/20/2018

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February 20, 2018
2018 SUN VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FILM LINE-UP
 
Fest to open with Science Fair and close with Finding Your Feet
Additional screenings to include Beirut, Leave No Trace, Outside In, On Her Shoulders,
Of Fathers and Sons,
the U.S. premiere of Nona and more

 
Sun Valley, Idaho…. The 2018 Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), presented by Zions Bank, announced its film line-up for the weekend of March 14-18. Now in its seventh year, SVFF offers five days of films, including three World Premieres, one U.S. premiere, and two episodic premiere screenings.
 
Film highlights include Beirut, starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, Leave No Trace directed by Debra Granik, Lynn Shelton’s Outside In with Jay Duplass and Edie Falco, On Her Shoulders, winner of the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at Sundance, and the U.S. premiere of Nona produced by and featuring Pioneer Award recipient Kate Bosworth.
 
The festival will open March 14 with the documentary Science Fair, which recently won Sundance’s inaugural Festival Favorite Award, and close with the Finding Your Feet on March 18.  Additional films, including the slate of selected short films, will be announced on the festival website at a later date. The film slate can also be viewed here.
 
NARRATIVE FICTION
 
AMERICAN ANIMALS
Director/Writer: Bart Layton
Producers: Derrin Schlesinger, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Mary Jane Skalski
Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier
 
Haunted by the fear that they may never escape their suburban existence, Spencer and Warren resolve to attempt one of the most audacious art thefts in recent history in the special collections section of their University library.
 
BEIRUT
Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Producers: Mike Weber, Tony Gilroy, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson
Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris, Mark Pellegrino, Larry Pine
 
A U.S. diplomat (Jon Hamm) flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut by a CIA operative (Rosamund Pike) to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.
 
 
FINDING YOUR FEET
Director: Richard Loncraine
Writers: Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft
Producers: Andrew Berg, John Sachs
Cast: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Haymen, John Sessions, Joanna Lumley
 
On the eve of retirement, a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.
 
THE GUILTY [Den Skyldige]
Director/Writer: Gustave Möller
Producer: Lina Flint
Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen
 
When the emergency call from a kidnapped woman is disconnected, dispatcher and former officer Asger Holm enters a race to save her. He soon realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought.
 
LEAVE NO TRACE
Director: Debra Granik
Writers: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
Based on the book My Abandonment by Peter Rock
Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini
Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey
 
For years Will and his teenage daughter, Tom, have lived off the grid, blissfully undetected by authorities in a vast nature reserve on the edge of Portland, Oregon. When a chance encounter blows their cover, they’re removed from their camp and put into the charge of social services. Struggling to adapt to their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a perilous journey back to the wilderness, where they are finally forced to confront conflicting desires—a longing for community versus a fierce need to live apart.
 
MADELINE’S MADELINE
Director/Writer: Josephine Decker
Co-Writer: Donna Di Novelli
Producers: Krista Parris, Elizabeth Rao
Cast: Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July, Okwui Okpokwasili
 
Madeline is dedicated to her theatre workshop. Much to the worry of her protective mother (Miranda July), she has become an integral part of a prestigious, progressive, and experimental theatre troupe in the city, one that emphasizes movement, commitment, and an intense focus on authenticity. When the workshop's ambitious theater director (Molly Parker) pushes teenage Madeline to weave her troubled history and rich interior world into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur in surprising and potentially destructive ways, spiraling out of the safe rehearsal space and into her everyday interactions.
 
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Director/Writer: Casey Wilder Mott
Producers: Casey Wilder Mott, Joshua Skurla, Fran Kranz
Cast: Lily Rabe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Hamish Linklater, Finn Wittrock
 
A brassy, sexy retelling of Shakespeare's most beloved comedy that reimagines the story as a modern Hollywood fairy tale. Four young lovers are stranded on a mystical night in the woods outside Los Angeles. They encounter a group of woodland hippies as well as a band of bumbling wannabe filmmakers. Magic, mischief and madness combine on this fantastical moonlit journey.
 
NONA
U.S. Premiere
Director/Writer: Michael Polish
Executive Producers: Kate Bosworth, Michael Polish, Jennifer Sulkess
Cinematographer: Michael Polish
Cast: Sulem Calderon, Jesy McKinney, Kate Bosworth
 
NONA is the story of a girl from Honduras who meets a charming boy, Hecho. Hecho promises to get her safely to America to reunite with her mother, but instead, Nona faces a perilous journey when he doesn’t deliver on that promise. NONA -- short for No Name -- will deliver a message to change the way the world is dealing with sex trafficking.
 
OUTSIDE IN
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writers: Jay Duplass, Lynn Shelton
Producers: Mel Eslyn, Lacey Leavitt
Executive Producers: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Original Score: Andrew Bird
Cast: Jay Duplass, Edie Falco, Kaitlyn Denver, Ben Schwartz
 
After serving 20 years for a crime that spun far out of his control, 38-year-old Chris (Duplass) is granted an early release thanks in large part to the tireless advocacy of Carol (Falco), his former high-school teacher. As he struggles to adapt to the outside world, the digital age, and the challenges of finding employment as an ex-con, Chris confesses his romantic love for Carol — a love that, given her marital status, Carol cannot reciprocate. Or can she?
 
THE UNICORN
Director: Robert Schwartzman
Writers: Nick Rutherford, Kirk C. Johnson, Will Elliott
Producers: Russell Wayne Groves, Robert Schwartzman
Cast: Lauren Lapkus, Nick Rutherford, Lucy Hale, Beck Bennett, Dree Hemingway, Beverly D’Angelo, John Kapelos, Maya Kazan, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Kyle Mooney
 
Facing the fourth year of their engagement, an indecisive couple is thrust into the most uncomfortable night of their lives by intentionally and unintentionally involving a third party in their relationship.
 
 
DOCUMENTARY
 
ALL THE WILD HORSES
Director/Producer: Ivo Marloh
Music: Tengger Cavalry, Chris Barnett
 
International riders forge unexpected bonds as they compete in the Mongol Derby, at 1000 kilometers of Mongolian steppe the longest and toughest horse race in the world. The harsh Mongolian wilderness soon takes its bone-crunching toll as the competitors are whittled down mercilessly. This is their epic story.
 
GIANT CARNIVOROUS BATS
World Premiere
Director and Cinematographer: Jason Jaacks
Writer: Katie Bauer
Producer: Katie Bauer
Editor: Penny Trams
Executive Producers: Christine Weber and Pamela Caragol
 
Deep in the Mexican jungle, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma is on a mission to find two of the continent’s rarest creatures: carnivorous bats. For centuries, their lives have remained a mystery, but now Varma and a world-renowned biologist are teaming up to uncover their secrets.
 
HAYMAKER
World Premiere
Director: Robert Moncrief
Producers: Autumn Moncrief, Reed Simonsen
 
A kid from a small town in Idaho strives for self-respect as he prepares for the rematch of a boxing match he lost the previous year while battling the legal system for his freedom at the same time.
 
MINDING THE GAP
Director: Bing Liu
Producers: Bing Liu, Diane Quon
Original Music: Nathan Halpern, Chris Ruggiero
 
Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown.  As they grow up, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.
 
OF FATHERS AND SONS
Director: Talal Derki
Producers: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer
Editor: Anne Fabini
 
In this remote village in northern Syria, a landscape of bombed-out homes, abandoned tanks, and minefields becomes a playground for young boys taught to stone any girls who dare to show their faces in public. Schools have been decimated. Education consists of reciting the Koran and attending military training camp. Bedtime stories regale the glory of martyrdom. With unparalleled intimacy, Of Fathers and Sons captures that chilling moment when childhood dies and jihadism is born.
 
ON HER SHOULDERS
Director: Alexandria Bombach
Producers: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams
Composer: Patrick Jonsson
 
Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi, survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS. Repeating her story to the world, this ordinary girl finds herself thrust onto the international stage as the voice of her people. Away from the podium, she must navigate bureaucracy, fame and people’s good intentions.
PARTY ANIMALS
World Premiere
Executive Producer - Sara Keller
Executive Producer/Writer - Aneka Hylton-Donelson
Narrator: Brandon Williams
 
Calling all kids! Bring your parents for a journey with Nat Geo WILD to meet some Party Animals. You’ll meet a cute nocturnal primate, head to an animal hospital in Florida with some loveable baby sea turtle, go on a road trip with a family of silly ducks, and spark your creativity by putting your imagination to the test on Brain Games! Nat Geo Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. Watch Saturday mornings on Nat Geo WILD!
 
SCIENCE FAIR
Directors: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster
Producers: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Jeffrey Plunkett
Writers: Jeffrey Plunkett, Darren Foster, Cristina Costantini
 
Science Fair follows one mentor and nine students from around the world as they prepare their projects and team for the 2017 ISEF event in Los Angeles. Though all are participating for the love of science, we also learn that there are other underlying influences motivating them to pursue their dreams of participating in the competition. Featuring interviews with the charming young scientists, their parents and mentors, as well as past ISEF winners, this absorbing film illuminates a group of amazing young men and women who are on a path to change the world through science.
 
 
 
EPISODIC
 
LAST CHANCE U
Season Three Exclusive Sneak Peek
A Netflix Documentary Series
Director: Greg Whiteley
Producers: Adam Ridley, Adam Leibowitz
 
"Last Chance U" follows a group of young men training to become the future stars of the NFL. The third season of the award winning Netflix series opens at a new school: Independence Community College, in rural Kansas. Once the doormat of the Kansas league, Independence has a chance to turn their program around with a charismatic new coach and a change in recruiting rules which infuses the team with top shelf talent for the first time in school history.  Watch a team of players and coaches with difficult pasts try to overcome challenges on and off the field to reach their dreams.
 
ONE STRANGE ROCK
Series Premiere
National Geographic presents a Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment Production
Host: Will Smith
 
There really is no place like home. National Geographic, acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“mother!” “Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and award-winning producer Jane Root (“America The Story of Us,” “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us”) join forces on an epic, cinematic event series that will redefine science and natural history filmmaking. Hosted by Will Smith (“Ali,” “Pursuit of Happyness,” “Men in Black I, II, III”), ONE STRANGE ROCK promises to be a mind-bending, thrilling journey exploring the fragility and wonder of our planet, one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. It’s the extraordinary story of why life as we know it exists on Earth, brought into perspective by the only people to have left it behind: astronauts. This 10-part series from Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures brings cameras where they’ve never been before, having filmed in 45 countries, on six continents and from outer space on the ISS. ONE STRANGE ROCK guides viewers through our vulnerable, speck of a planet among the vast, harsh cosmic arena, revealing the magical twists of fate that have allowed life to emerge, survive and thrive on Earth.
 
 
2018 SPECIAL GUESTS
 
Headlining the 2018 Festival is acclaimed actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, who will receive the Vision Award and participate in the Festival’s Coffee Talks series. Award-winning writer/director Lynn Shelton will host the Screenwriters Lab, sponsored by Variety, and screen her film Outside In.  Also attending are actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman, The Greatest Showman) who will receive the Rising Star Award, actress and producer Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush, Nona), who will receive the Pioneer Award, actor/filmmaker Jay Duplass (Transparent, Jeff Who Lives at Home),) producer Kevin Walsh (Manchester By The Sea, The Way Way Back) and wildlife filmmakers and photographers Anand Varma and Jason Jaacks.
 
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About the 2018 Sun Valley Film Festival
The seventh annual Sun Valley Film Festival, presented by Zions Bank, will take place March 14-18, 2018. A rising star among boutique festivals, SVFF brings together filmmakers and special guests from around the world for an unforgettable weekend of intimate talks with industry insiders, film and television screenings, and fabulous parties. Highlights from the 2018 slate include the Screenwriters Lab, presented by Variety, Nat Geo WILD’s Salon and WILD to Inspire competition, the SVFF Film Lab and more. A combination of cutting-edge content and unprecedented access in Sun Valley’s cinematic setting makes SVFF a “can’t miss” in this year’s lineup of destination festivals.
 
 
For Sun Valley Film Festival details and tickets, visit: www.sunvalleyfilmfestival.org
Get Festival updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
 
Contact:
Carol Waller
(208) 720-3965