Sedona International Film Festival

The Sedona International Film Festival is an eight-day film festival held annually in Sedona.

The festival was founded in 1994. Each year, audiences and the next generation of filmmakers come together from all over the world to participate in this inspiring celebration of the power of independent film.

Feature films, documentary films, short films, animated films, and student films are screened. Below are a selection of award-winners:

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2014


The Letters

2014 Audience Choice - Best of the Fest

Rated PG, minutes
Juliet Stevenson stars as Mother Teresa in this biopic inspired by the letters exchanged between the Roman Catholic nun and her spiritual advisor Father Celeste van Exem (Max von Sydow) over the course of four decades. Rutger Hauer co-stars.

The Rocket

2014 Director's Choice - Best Drama

Rated Unrated, 96 minutes
A boy who is believed to bring bad luck leads his family (and a couple of ragged misfits) through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred by war, the boy builds a giant rocket to prove he's not cursed and to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: a rocket festival.

Girl on a Bicycle

2014 Director's Choice - Best Comedy

Rated R, 101 minutes
Paolo (Vincenzo Amato), an Italian who drives a Paris tour bus, has just proposed to his true love, the German stewardess, Greta (Nora Tschirner), when the young French beauty, Cecile (Louise Monot) pulls up beside his bus on her bicycle - and, in short order, Paolo, following some very bad advice from his friend, Derek (Paddy Considine), finds himself with a German fiancee, a French "wife", two Australian children who call him "Papa", and his life upside-down.

The Broken Circle Breakdown

2014 Director's Choice - Best Foreign Film

Rated Unrated, 112 minutes
The Broken Circle Breakdown is the new film by Felix van Groeningen. The film is based on the stage play with the same name by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, with which they filled all manner of theaters, church halls, public houses and cultural centres.

Life According to Sam

2014 Director's Choice - Best Documentary Feature (tie)

Rated G, 90 minutes
In 1998, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr.

Toxic Hot Seat

2014 Director's Choice - Best Documentary Feature (tie)

Rated Unrated, 91 minutes
TOXIC HOT SEAT takes an in-depth look at a nexus of money, politics and power - and a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists, scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose what they assert is a shadowy campaign of deception that has left a toxic legacy in America's homes and bodies for nearly 40 years. Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series "Playing with Fire," TOXIC HOT SEAT tells an intricate story, detailing how chemical companies that produce flame retardants spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers, and how Big Tobacco had a hand in convincing fire-safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants.

The Activist

2014 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated Unrated, 90 minutes
In 1973, during the insurrection, Marvin and Bud, two Native American activists, are arrested and thrown in jail. Anna, Marvin's wife, died in an accident several months before.

3 Mile Limit

2014 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated Unrated, 106 minutes
It's 1965 and rock music is shaking up the world but not in New Zealand. Richard Davis a 23 year old journalist is determined to break the Government's monopoly on broadcasting and bring rock n' roll to a younger generation, and at the same time hold onto the woman he loves.

Mad Ship

2014 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated Unrated, 92 minutes
A Scandinavian immigrant searches for a new job after his livelihood is destroyed by a drought.

Bridegroom

2014 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated R, 79 minutes
BRIDEGROOM tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death- of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized- is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality and human rights like no speech or lecture ever will.

For the Birds

2014 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated Unrated, 15 minutes
A crowd of people in Iran gather to watch the execution of a young girl. She cries and begs everyone for help.

Waiting for Mamu

2014 Director's Choice - Best Humanitarian Film (Documentary)

Rated Unrated, 40 minutes

Short Term 12

2014 Director's Choice - Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award

Rated R, 96 minutes
I Am Not a Hipster director Destin Daniel Cretton expands his 2008 short of the same name into a feature film depicting the struggles of a compassionate twentysomething contending with some unexpected life developments while working as a supervisor at a home for at-risk teens. Grace (Brie Larson) has dedicated her life to helping kids who have slipped through the cracks of the system.

The Only Real Game

2014 Director's Choice - American Spirit Award

Rated Unrated, 82 minutes
This deeply stirring documentary by award winning director Mirra Bank and narrated by Academy Award (R)-winner Melissa Leo, THE ONLY REAL GAME illuminates the magic of baseball for people in a remote and troubled place. Once princely Manipur, a strife-torn border state in northeast India, defies armed insurgency, drug trafficking and HIV/AIDS through love of our national pastime.

Le Chef

2014 Audience Choice - Best Comedy

Rated PG-13, 85 minutes
Self-taught aspiring chef Jacky (Michael Youn) has the talent, but not the luck. Star chef Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno) is in danger of losing his reputation, along with his beloved restaurant.

The Broken Circle Breakdown

2014 Audience Choice - Best Foreign Film

Rated Unrated, 112 minutes
The Broken Circle Breakdown is the new film by Felix van Groeningen. The film is based on the stage play with the same name by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, with which they filled all manner of theaters, church halls, public houses and cultural centres.

Burzinski: Cancer is Serious Business - Part II

2014 Audience Choice - Best Documentary Feature (tie)

Rated Unrated, 107 minutes

Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory

2014 Audience Choice - Best Documentary Feature (tie)

Rated Unrated, 73 minutes
Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

Lion Ark

2014 Audience Choice - Best Environmental Film

Rated Unrated, 100 minutes
More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the world's most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative compiled from film, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfolded. How attitudes to animals were changed in Bolivia, illegal circuses pursued and closed, and 25 lions airlifted to freedom.

Grounded

2014 Audience Choice - Best Animated Film

Rated Unrated, 65 minutes

2013


Any Day Now

2013 Director's Choice - Best Drama

Rated R, 97 minutes
Inspired by a true story and touching on legal and social issues that are more relevant now than ever, ANY DAY NOW tells a story of love, acceptance, and creating your own family. In the late 1970s, when Marco (Isaac Leyva), a teenager with down syndrome who's been abandoned by his mother, is taken in by committed couple Rudy (Alan Cumming) and Paul (Garret Dillahunt), he finds in them the family he's never had.

Liberal Arts

2013 Director's Choice - Best Comedy

Rated PG-13, 97 minutes
Newly single and uninspired by his job in college admissions, the introverted Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor) lives with his head buried in a book. His deep nostalgia for his own alma mater in Ohio - the dining halls and dorm rooms, the parties and poetry seminars - makes him wonder if his best days are behind him.

Lore

2013 Director's Choice - Best Foreign Film

Rated Unrated, 108 minutes
Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are interred by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, five German children undertake a harrowing journey that exposes them to the reality and consequences of their parents' actions. Led by the eldest sibling, 14-year old Lore (striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl), they set out on a harrowing journey across a devastated country to reach their grandmother in the north.

Stolen Seas

2013 Director's Choice - Best Documentary Feature

Rated Unrated, 90 minutes
The filmmakers have spent the past three years traveling to some of the world's most violent locales in order to make this documentary on Somali piracy, Stolen Seas. Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages' relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon.

Bidder 70

2013 Director's Choice - Best Environmental Film (tie)

Rated Unrated, 70 minutes
In 2008, as George W. Bush tried to gift the energy and mining industries thousands of acres of pristine Utah wilderness via a widely disputed federal auction, college student Tim DeChristopher decided to monkey-wrench the process.

Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey

2013 Director's Choice - Best Environmental Film (tie)

Rated Unrated, 72 minutes
PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey is the adventure of 700 people trekking across the Himalayas with a call to save the planet's "3rd Pole," a glacial region now devastated by the climate chaos associated with global warming. Battling the most treacherous terrain on the planet, the trekkers spread their message of ecological compassion through human's most basic means - by walking on foot, village to village, and showing by example.

Last Will & Testament

2013 Director's Choice - Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award

Rated G, 85 minutes
Lisa and Laura Wilson's docudrama Last Will. &Testament examines the possibilities of who might have actually written the plays we credit to William Shakespeare.

Chittagong

2013 Audience Choice - Best Drama (tie)

Rated Unrated, 105 minutes
Set in the turbulence of the 1930s British India, a 14 year old boy, Jhunku, and his journey to find where he belongs. For the first time in Indian history, the British army is defeated by a ragtag army of schoolboys and their teacher, Masterda.

Least Among Saints

2013 Audience Choice - Best Drama (tie)

Rated R, 105 minutes
Returning home to a broken marriage and an uncertain future, combat veteran Anthony Hayward (Papazian) believes there is no hope for himself. Yet when a troubled ten year-old neighbor, Wade (Tristan Lake Leabu), calls out for help, Anthony cannot turn away.

Fanie Fourie's Lobola

2013 Audience Choice - Best Comedy

Rated Unrated, 95 minutes

Shun Li and the Poet

2013 Audience Choice - Best Foreign Film

Rated Unrated, 100 minutes
Two outsiders become unlikely friends in this drama from filmmaker Andrea Segre. Shun Li (Zhao Tao) is a thirtysomething single mother from China who has come to Italy in the hope of providing a better life for herself and her son.

Trash Dance

2013 Audience Choice - Best Documentary Feature

Rated Unrated, 65 minutes
Sometimes inspiration is found in unexpected places. Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks -- and in the men and women who pick up our trash.

Go Ganges!

2013 Audience Choice - Best Environmental Film

Rated Unrated, 82 minutes

2012


The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz

2012 Director's Choice - Best Arts Film

Rated Unrated, 74 minutes

More Than Frybread

2012 Director's Choice - Best Made-in-Arizona Film

Rated PG, 96 minutes
Twenty-two Native American frybread makers, representing all twenty-two federally recognized tribes in Arizona, convene in Flagstaff to compete for the first ever, first annual, state of Arizona Frybread Championship! The film takes a larger then life turn as four contestants (Tatanka Means, Teresa Choyguha, Dey & Nite and Camille Nighthorse) battle their way to compete for the title in the championship round.

You've Been Trumped

2012 Director's Choice - Best Environmental Film

Rated Unrated, 100 minutes
In this David and Goliath tale for the 21st Century, a group of proud Scottish homeowners take on Donald Trump, as the tycoon prepares to destroy one of Britain's last stretches of coastal wilderness by building a luxury golf resort. As the locals make their last stand in the face of security harassment, legal threats and the cutting off of water and electricity supplies, director Anthony Baxter is thrown in jail as he seeks out the truth.

Wolves Unleashed

2012 Director's Choice - Best Documentary Feature

Rated Unrated, 89 minutes

Cellmates

2012 Director's Choice - Best Independent Spirit Award

Rated PG-13, 85 minutes
Worlds collide when hardened Ku Klux Klansman Leroy Lowe (Tom Sizemore) and Mexican field laborer Emilio (Hector Jimenez) are forced to share a prison cell. The unlikely relationship takes an unexpected turn when the chatty Emilio slowly chips away at Leroy's gruff exterior in writer/director Jesse Baget's offbeat buddy comedy which also stars Stacy Keach, Kevin Farley and Olga Segura.

Happy Happy

2012 Director's Choice - Best Foreign Film

Rated R, 85 minutes
Family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja. She is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys and isn't interested in having sex with her anymore because she "isn't particularly attractive." Whatever.

Elena

2012 Director's Choice - Best Feature - Drama

Rated PG, 82 minutes
Winner of Cannes' Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment-he's a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she's his dowdy former nurse who has clearly "married up." Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife's freeloading son and family.

The Women on the 6th Floor

2012 Director's Choice - Best Feature - Comedy

Rated G, 106 minutes
Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini, Potiche) lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon) while their children are away at boarding school.

Digital Dharma

2012 Director's Choice - Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award

Rated Unrated, 82 minutes
When ancient writings of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts vanish during the political turmoil of the 1950s and 1960s, the history of a whole society--its beliefs, customs and sense of enlightenment--is in danger of disappearing. Enter destiny in the form of American pacifist E.

Being Elmo

2012 Audience Choice - Best Documentary Feature

Rated PG, 76 minutes
Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson.

Abuelas

2012 Audience Choice - Best Animated Film

Rated Unrated, 9 minutes