Now in its 17th year, the Sedona International Film Festival seems to have hit its stride. The festival begins Feb. 20 and lasts eight days, finishing up Feb. 27. On Feb. 19, the festival will offer a preview screening of Sedona, the locally filmed feature written and directed by Tommy Stovall, at the new, 750-seat Sedona Performing Arts Center. The festival will literally roll out the red carpet for the film’s stars that evening.
Last year, SIFF debuted its Sedona Green track that featured films about sustainability. It was such a success that the series returns this year. SIFF has also added Documentaries That Make a Difference and a comedy track in a conscious decision to include lighter fare. That decision includes adding films featuring Rita Rudner and Jonathan Winters, and a movie from John Zaritsky called Leave Them Laughing. Jonathan Winters will also receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to the movies shown at Harkins Sedona 6, films will be screened at Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa and the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School. Discussions and workshops will take place at the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking and Studio Live. Tickets for gold and platinum pass holders can be reserved starting Feb. 1 while 10- and 20-film packs can be reserved Feb. 7. Individual tickets are on sale Feb. 14. Visit www.sedonafilm.org or call 928-282-1177 for details.
Sedona: Frances Fisher
For the thousands of movie lovers who attended multiple screenings of Titanic back in 1997 and 1998 (this writer included), Frances Fisher is best known as the steely-eyed Ruth Dewitt Bukater, Rose’s mother. But the James Cameron blockbuster wasn’t Frances’s first foray into Hollywood; she first appeared on television in the late-1970s in the series [this is usually described as a soap] The Edge of Night. Her movie career includes Unforgiven, Gone in 60 Seconds and Laws of Attraction.She also plays the lead role of Tammy in Tommy Stovall and Marc Sterling’s latest film, Sedona. At the time of our interview, Frances had yet to see Sedona, which was still in the editing process. (Sedona Monthly screened a rough cut of the film.)
Sedona Monthly: When you were here filming Sedona, was it your first time in Red Rock Country?
Frances Fisher: I had been to Sedona a number of years back, but I just went to Enchantment [Resort] and never left the property, so I didn’t really see Sedona.
What was your experience like while filming the movie?
Well, I was very busy because I was in practically every shot during my two weeks stay, so I didn’t really get a chance to get out in the country. I was on set the whole time, and my parts all took place in town in places like garages. I didn’t take the scenic tour with my character [laughs].
There was a particular scene in the movie that made me laugh, and it involved our Merlin sculpture in the New Frontiers parking lot. What did you think of that particular piece of art?
That’s pretty strange [laughs]. Somebody went to a lot of trouble.
Why did you sign on to make this film?
Beth Grant told me about it, and I love Beth. We’re working together on another project that we’re co-creating. When she told me about this piece, I read it and imagined her in her part. I thought it would be great to work with her again. I loved the idea of a woman who thinks the world is a certain way and then wakes up to another point of view.