Sedona International Film Festival Celebrates Twenty-Five Years

More than 165 films — from Oscar-nominated documentaries to narrative features, narrative short films, documentary short films and animated shorts — will highlight the 25th anniversary Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 23 – March 3.

“Just saying the words, ‘25th anniversary,’ stops us in our tracks,” said executive director Pat Schweiss. “Looking back, it’s been an incredible run. Looking ahead, the best is yet to come.”

The Festival’s three film selection committees screened more than 1,400 submissions from around the world.

Among the new films selected for screening this year are To Dust (starring Matthew Broderick), The Chaperone (starring Elizabeth McGovern and Blythe Danner), Non-Fiction (starring Juliette Binoche), Tell It To the Bees (starring Anna Paquin), Promise at Dawn (starring Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the outrageous comedy, The Bill Murray Stories.

Period. End of Sentence, a nominee for an Academy Award for documentaries about a group of women in a rural village outside Delhi, India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation, is among the films to be screened. So, too is the Oscar short-listed documentary Crime + Punishment about a group of brave NYPD officers who risk it all to expose the truth about illegal quota practices in police departments.

“We’ve been planning for our Silver Anniversary Festival for more than a year, and the excitement is palpable,” Schweiss said. “With everything we’ve got planned, it will be a week filled with great entertainment, great films and great memories.”

The Sedona International Film Festival began in 1994 as an off-season project of the Sedona Cultural Park, originally intended as a fund-raising vehicle to get the park built. When the park closed in 2003, that group of forward-thinkers created a separate nonprofit so the festival could continue.

The largest single event of the year in Sedona, hundreds of volunteers and dozens of businesses have thrown their support behind the festival.

Special guests expected this year include Ed Asner, whose film Ed Asner: On Stage and Off, will be screened, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Ladd, Mackenzie Phillips and Depak Choprah, with more to be announced.

Films will run all day beginning Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Mary D. Fisher Theater, 2030 West Highway 89A, the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road and Sedona Harkins 6, 2081 W. Highway 89A.

Ticket packages and individual tickets are on sale now. Packages, other than for full-time students, are available at or through the Festival Box office at 928.282.1177. Student packages must be purchased through the Box Office and student ID’s are required.

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