Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis will receive the Sun Valley Film Festival’s Vision Award at a donor’s dinner on Saturday, March 18. This is the third year for the award. Past winners are Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone.
Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors and producers. Her film credits include “The Accidental Tourist,” for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, “Thelma & Louise,” “Beetlejuice” and “A League of Their Own.”
She also is widely known as a feminist and film activist. She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to study how women are represented behind and in front of the camera, and promote gender balance in films and television. Although women are 51 percent of the U.S. population, they are significantly underrepresented and marginalized on screen. Davis has been in recent news with new research showing that women-led films gross 15 percent more on average than film’s led by men.
In 2015, Davis co-founded the Bentonville Film Festival in Bentonville, Arkansas, to offer a forum for women and diverse voices in the entertainment industry.
The festival will give out other honors
▪ Actress Allison Williams, the daughter of former NBC News anchor Brian Williams, will receive the festival’s first Rising Star Award. She plays Marnie Michaels on HBO’s hit series “Girls” and made her feature film debut in the horror flick “Get Out.” She will give a Coffee Talk on Friday, March 17.
▪ “The Revenant” producer Brett Ratner will receive Nat Geo WILD’s Pioneer Award. You can hear Ratner and his producing partner Jonathan Glickman at a Coffee Talk on Saturday, March 18.
The sixth Sun Valley Film Festival will screen more than 30 features at the 2017 festival that runs Wednesday, March 15, to Sunday, March 19, at venues throughout the Sun Valley area.
This year’s highlights include five world premieres including “Blood Road,” pictured above, a documentary about ultra-endurance mountain biker and Ketchum resident Rebecca Rusch. It follows her journey along the 1,800 kilometer Ho Chi Minh Trail through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to find the site where her father died when his plane crashed during the Vietnam War.
The festival also will screen several narrative films, including Pulitzer and Tony winner James Lapine’s “Custody,” starring Golden Globe winner Viola Davis, Hayden Panetierre, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn and Tony Shaloub, and “The Hero,” starring Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter and Nick Offerman.
Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Big Short,” Charles Randolph, pictured above, will host the Screenwriter’s Lab on Saturday, March 18, a competition that will offer the winner a staged reading of one scene with professional actors.
Producer Trevor Groth will head the Film Lab, where work-in-progress films compete for funds to finish post production. Jim Burke, president of production for Focus Features, will judge this year’s Short Film Lab.
Still to come are the short film lineup, the full schedule with times and locations of screenings, schedules for the Coffee Talks and Salon Series. And other details will be rolled out in the next couple of weeks, including the announcement of who will receive the 2017 Lifetime Vision Award. Past winners are Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone.
Festival passes run $150 for the Film Lover’s Pass, $200 for the Party Pass (includes access to the social events) and $500 for the all-access Ultimate Festival Pass at SunValleyFilmFestival.org. You can download the festival’s official app at iTunes and Google Play.
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