- George Prentice
- SVFF Executive Director Teddy Grennan and festival Director Candice Pate celebrate the launch of the 2016 festival schedule.
Some of the region's biggest film fans were nowhere near a Boise movie theater Friday night. They were raising a glass at Boise's Modern Hotel to toast the official launch of the programming schedule for the 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival.
"I can't tell you how excited we are about this year. It's hard to believe that this is already year No. 5," said Teddy Grennan, executive director of SVFF. "And we love the fact that we're in Boise tonight to unveil our slate of films and programs. The festival's connection to Boise is huge, beginning with our relationship with Boise State University."
An hour before the Friday night launch at The Modern, Boise State played host to a SVFF screenwriters lab, featuring actor/writer/director Ross Partridge, which organizers said "exceeded all our expectations." The lab featured a sneak-peek of Patridge's latest film Lamb.
At The Modern, it was all about the buzz surrounding this year's SVFF film slate, featuring the talents of Helen Mirren, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Irons, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford, Ewan McGregor, Gabriel Byrne and a bittersweet farewell to Alan Rickman in one of his last screen roles.
Film buffs will also get face time with some of the industry's premiere change-makers: financier/producer Cassian Elwes (Sling Blade, The Butler, Dallas Buyer's Club); screenwriter David Seidler (The King's Speech); Vimeo Vice President Derek Dressler; Twitter Senior Director Jennifer Prince; Wired magazine Senior Editor Caitlin Roper; actor/writer/director Mark Duplass (Togetherness, The Puffy Chair); Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming Trevor Groth; and Oscar-winner Oliver Stone.
"How did we get Oliver Stone? Quite some time ago, I was a [production assistant] on Natural Born Killers," said Grennan, with a big laugh. "We got together at a festival in Virginia, and a day later, he said 'Yes.'"
SVFF Director Candice Pate said the festival is growing at a measured pace and its economic impact to the Wood River Valley is quite tangible.
"Our first year, we generated a $1.2 million economic impact. The second year, it was $2.4 million. It went to $3.4 million in year three and last year it was over $5.4 million," said Pate. "That's something that everybody in the region can be very proud of."
- Sun Valley Film Festival 2016