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28th Annual Sedona International Film Festival Films Included 140-Plus Films

28th Annual Sedona International Film Festival Films Included 140-Plus Films

SEDONA, Ariz: More than 140 films were selected for live screenings at the 28th annual Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 19-27.

            “We’re coming back in a very big way,” said Executive Director Pat Schweiss. “The screening committees have once again created a lineup of remarkably creative, compelling and entertaining films across diverse genres and equally diverse topics. We can’t wait to see people back in the theaters experiencing films the way they should be seen – on the big screen.”

            Films were screened at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School and the two largest theaters at Harkins Theatres Sedona 6.

Schweiss said safety protocols were in place for the Festival. Masks were required and theater capacities were reduced to ensure appropriate social distancing.

            This year’s Festival showcased 33 narrative features, 32 documentary features, 37 narrative shorts, 2 animated shorts and 38 documentary shorts.  

            Feature documentaries were: 

• RiverA cinematic and musical odyssey that explores the remarkable relationship between humans and rivers, honoring the wildness of rivers but also recognizing their vulnerability. 

• AscensionA visual essay on the social and economic classes that divide contemporary China, following factory workers, middle class consumers and elites as they chase the elusive Chinese Dream.

• A Crack in the MountainThe story of the recent discovery and the amazing experience of the world’s largest cave in Viet Nam, now threatened by over-promotional tourism and development.

• RefugeA leader in a white nationalist hate group finds healing from the people he once hated – a Syrian Muslim immigrant heart doctor and his town of refugees in the deep South.

• The Sound of Us:Explores the healing power of music in connecting and inspiring human kind. 

Filmmaker workshops were scheduled throughout the week. Among workshop leaders are award-winning screenwriter/producer David Isaacs, who won the Writer’s Guild of America Award for Best Dramatic Series for his work on the second season of Mad Men, and talent agents Talia Myers and Alyssa Lanz of United Talent Agency. In addition, daytime television and film stars Emmy nominee Jason Cook and Emmy winner Jacob Young were part of a symposium “From Daytime TV to the Silver Screen”.

            Among the special guests were former Secretary of the Interior and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt who was instrumental in the official formation of Red Rock State Park and preservation of its riparian habitat. A film produced by Sedona filmmakers Ron Melmon and Bryan Reinhart was used by the park as part of its orientation program and Babbitt will discuss his involvement in the protection of the park.

            Also in attendance were Mariette Hartley and her husband, Jerry Sroka, for their film, Our Almost Completely True Story, which also features Morgan Fairchild and Bernie Kopell. 

            The Festival officially opened on Saturday, Feb. 19 with a performance by orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Elvis Francois who gained national attention for an impromptu rendition of “Alright” after a trauma call shift in 2018 and again after a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Since then, he has been featured on The Masked Singer, The Ellen Show, Good Morning America, Today and The View. He also starred in the Fox TV hit The Masked Singer and has been profiled in Forbes and Rolling Stone.

            Dr. Elvis has performed live on Monday Night Football and at the Presidential Inauguration. All proceeds from the sale of his albums have been donated to a COVID-19 relief charity.

            Dr. Elvis debuted a new song at the Festival. His appearance was sponsored by the Healthcare First Foundation.

            Sedona International Film Festival memberships range from $90 to $50,000. Information can be found at

            For more information about the annual Sedona International Festival, visit the website or follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


28thAnnual Sedona International Film Festival Selections

Narrative Features

Ahed's Knee, Albatross, Americanish, Atlas, Betrayed, Black Box, Black White and the Greys, 

De Gaulle, Dear Zoe, Delicious, The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, Drunken Birds, Four for Fun, France, Helene, Implanted, Kiss Me Kosher, The Last Bus, Lifeline, Lune, Luzzu, Margrete: Queen of the North, Marvelous and the Black Hole, Our Almost Completely True Story, The Pact, Peace by Chocolate, Peeky, Pie in the Sky, Plan A, Tokyo Shaking, Two Eyes, Wake Up, You Will Remember Me.


Documentary Features

The 12th Hour, The Addict's Wake, After Antarctica, The Art of Making It, Ascension, Boycott, 

Bring it Home, Building a Bridge, Calendar Girls, Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight, Cat Daddies, Code Name: Nagasaki, The Conductor, A Crack In The Mountain, Exposing Muybridge, Faith Can Move Mountains, Free Renty: Lanier v. Harvard, Life & Life: A Story of Redemption, Me To Play, The Neutral Ground, The New Gospel, Portrayal, Powerlands, Refuge, The Return: Life After ISIS, River, Scenes from the Glittering World, The Sound of Us, Speer Goes to Hollywood, Three Minutes: A Lengthening, A Tree of Life, Trust Me.


Narrative Shorts

27 Children, :60 Seconds, Beautiful Violence, Biology 101, The Book of Ruth, C A • D  E N C E, Collapse!, Cyn, Distances, Dog Years, Dreamer, enough., Faith, Good Night, Gum, Johnny The Dime, The Lady Edison, Leylak, A Life Within, Lioness, The Little Drummer Boy, Masque-19, 

Nur and Abir, of our trespasses., Orbital Christmas, Read No More, Ready Forward, Recipiphany, Sproutland, Tell Me Something, These Final Hours, To Be Saved, True Story: I Feel, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Urania Leilus, Volley, Welcome to Forever.


Animated Shorts

The Park Bench, Space Race.


Documentary Shorts

Ark of the Apocalypse, Añay Kachi: The salt workers of the Peruvian Andes, Before They Fall, 

The Bitter Root, California on Fire, Cloud of Witnesses, Coded, A Concerto is a Conversation, 

Fog, Footsteps, For Our Girls: A Conversation with Black Women, From My Window, Full Picture, Give and Take, Guardians of Paradise, Inga, Into the Circle, Joychild, The Lawnmower Men, Learning to Breathe, The Love Bugs, Lydia Emily's Last Mural, The Mountain and the Maiden, Neurodivergent, Our Daughters, Second Sight, Senior Prom, A Ship from Guantanamo, Snowy, The Sound of Gravity, Sound of Judgment, Spirits and Rocks: An Azorean Myth, The Spiritual Exercises, Tehachapi, Unlivable Oasis, Voice Above Water, When We Were Bullies, The Wild Inside.


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