Six award-winning documentaries featured in weeklong celebration at Fisher Theatre
Sedona AZ (October 12, 2017) – The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present its new “DOCtoberFest” series, featuring six award-winning documentaries premiering over seven days at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, Oct. 20-26. This is the festival’s way of celebrating some of the best documentaries making the festival and art house theater circuit around the world currently, as well as giving a taste of the caliber of films to expect at the upcoming 24th annual film festival in February.
The six featured films include: “The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille”, “California Typewriter”, “The Pulitzer at 100”, “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”, “From the Ashes” and “The Last Animals”. Each film will screen twice.
The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille
Friday, Oct. 20 at 4 and 7 p.m.
In 1923, pioneer filmmaker Cecil. B. DeMille built the largest set in movie history for his silent (and early Technicolor) epic, “The Ten Commandments”. It was called “The City of the Pharaoh.” When filming was completed, DeMille ordered that the entire edifice be dismantled and secretly buried. And there it lay, forgotten, for the next 60 years — the “lost city of Cecil B. DeMille.”In 1983, a group of determined film buffs — inspired by a cryptic clue in DeMille’s posthumously published Autobiography — located the remains of the set.
When filmmaker Peter Brosnan heard that there were ancient Egyptian Sphinxes buried somewhere in the California Dunes, it sparked his imagination and he embarked on what turned out to be a thirty-year battle to prove the existence of these Sphinxes and the discovery of the Lost City. “The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille” is a compelling story about two obsessed men. One, Cecil B. DeMille, who invented the way stories are told via the moving image and told the story of Moses twice; and, the other, Peter Brosnan obsessed with proving the existence of an ancient city in the middle of nowhere.
Enjoy the film and stay for the post-show Q&A discussion with producer Daniel Coplan (live) and co-producer/director Peter Brosnan (via Skype) after both shows.
Saturday, Oct. 21 at 4 and 7 p.m.
“California Typewriter” is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, and others.
In this magnificent filmic essay, director Doug Nichol explores the mythology attached to the typewriter, as cultural historians, collectors and various obsessives celebrate the physicality of the typewriter both as object and means of summoning the creative spirit. It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.
In the process, the film delivers a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, and encourages us to consider our own relationship with technology, old and new, as the digital age’s emphasis on speed and convenience redefines who’s serving whom, human or machine?
The Pulitzer at 100
Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
For a century, the Pulitzer Prizes have remained the gold standard of excellence for a nation. The Pulitzers focus attention on what is best in journalism and the arts. “The Pulitzer at 100” explores the importance of words and language in a free democracy. Behind the honors are extraordinary people. Their stories are riveting: power, immigration, race and identity are all central themes. The Pulitzer celebrates storytelling at its best, and this film reveals the courage and struggles to get at truth. Vietnam, Katrina, 9/11; newspapers are indeed the first draft of history.
Pulitzer-winning work is read by an impressive list of Hollywood A-listers: Martin Scorsese, Natalie Portman, Helen Mirren, Liev Schieber, Jonathan Lithgow and Yara Shahidi. The many first person stories, as told by the artists and journalist themselves, without narration are riveting. We discover the intense stories behind some of the century’s best artistic creations.
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
Monday, Oct. 23 at 4 and 7 p.m.
“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Through the eyes of chef-heroes like Anthony Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura, and Danny Bowien, audiences will see how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system.
“Wasted!” exposes the criminality of food waste and how it’s directly contributing to climate change and shows us how each of us can make small changes — all of them delicious — to solve one of the greatest problems of the 21st Century. The film shows how any action can lead to new ways of using more food, feeding more people, curbing environmental damage, stimulating technology and business, and ultimately improving the health and well-being of all citizens worldwide.
From the Ashes
Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 4 and 7 p.m.
From National Geographic Documentary Films, “From the Ashes” captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration.
From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often heartbreaking stories about what’s at stake for our economy, health, and climate. The film invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives.
The Last Animals
Thursday, Oct. 26 at 4 and 7 p.m.
“The Last Animals” is a story about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible lengths to save the planet’s last animals. The documentary follows the conservationists, scientists and activists battling poachers and transnational trafficking syndicates to protect elephants and rhinos from extinction. From Africa’s front lines to behind the scenes of Asian markets to the United States, the film takes an intense look at the global response to this slaughter and the desperate measures to genetically rescue the Northern White rhinos who are on the edge of extinction.
For three years, war photographer and first-time director Kate Brooks documented the plight of the Northern White Rhinoceros in the midst of a global wildlife trafficking crisis. When she started filming, there were just seven left in the world. Today there are only three.
“The Last Animals” is a sweeping and sobering film about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible lengths to save the last animals. The film reveals the tentacles of this illicit and nefarious business, which despite its devastating impact, often seems as elusive as a ghost.
“DOCtoberFest” will run Oct. 20-26 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. Tickets for each of the films are $12 general admission, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.