Thursday Sept. 16-Sunday Sept. 19. Various times, $8 individual film, $15 special events, $100 all festival pass, Sun Valley Opera House, Sun Valley Village, Sun Valley, 208-788-9729, svspiritualfilmfestival.org.
With his chicken and donkey in tow, Antonito creeps out of his house and makes his way toward the bright lights and music at his town's fiesta. The night takes some colorful and surprising turns, as Antonito and pals get lost in the maze of low-lit cobblestone streets and the pink swirling skirts of Mexican folk dancers.
Animators Paul Glickman and Tamarind King both lent their talents to creating the short film about Antonito's exploits, El Salon Mexico, which is based on the symphonic composition of the same name by American music legend Aaron Copland. King met Glickman, a retired cinematographer from New York City, in New Mexico in 2002 when she was only 13. Glickman became King's mentor, and now the two have gone on to garner a number of awards for El Salon Mexico, participating in nationally recognized film festivals like the Heartland Film Festival, the San Diego International Children's Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival and the approaching Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival.
The annual Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival is billed as "a celebration of human spirituality through film," with the mission of presenting films that "explore spiritual traditions from around the world." Through panels and screenings, the SVSFF encourages discussions among filmgoers, filmmakers and spiritual leaders.
The festival kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 16, with a special performance by the Jayanthi Raman Dance Company at 8 p.m. at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Films run from Friday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Sept. 19, at the Sun Valley Opera House, Lodge and Pavilion.
In addition to checking out the animated short El Salon Mexico, don't miss A Life Ascending, which profiles the world of mountaineer Ruedi Beglinger, who lives with his family on a glacier in British Columbia, and Raw Faith, which documents popular Portland, Ore., minister Marilyn Sewell's private life as she questions her faith and falls in love.