Panels, labs, receptions and special screenings
Please remember: Priority access is how we thank those who make the festival possible. Patrons of the festival always get front-of-the line access. Insiders, Festival, Party and Film passholders get tiered access before individual ticketholders. For priority entry, Patrons and Passholders must arrive 30 minutes before any event.
Passes are singular and nontransferable. All parties are 21-plus.
10 a.m. Friday, March 20; Saturday, March 21; and Sunday, March 22, at The Argyros, presented by Gorongosa Coffee.
Our engaging talks are the crown jewel of the festival, featuring a moderated Q&A with artists and filmmakers who changed the cinematic landscape. The talks are free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Friday: Winston Duke, our 2020 Rising Star, made his feature film debut in “Black Panther,” the highest-grossing film of 2018, as well as the third-highest-grossing film ever in the United States. He was also seen starring in Jordan Peele’s, “Us” and received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture. Duke is most recently seen in the upcoming film “Nine Days,” which is screening at this year’s festival. Outside of acting, Duke is an advocate for the HeForShe movement and most recently issued a global call to action for gender equality during the United Nations HeForShe Impact Summit.
Saturday: Since our inception, we have always celebrated the importance of the producer. This year we are magnifying this tenor, as well as our partnership with Ford Motor Co., by establishing the Ford Pitch Fest, where three selected producers will have a chance to pitch their project to a panel of award-winning producers in front of an audience during the festival to receive a $25,000 producer’s grant. The launch of this opportunity acts as a platform for the producers of tomorrow to complete their projects for the big screen and gives you the chance to get in on the action firsthand!
Sunday: Eliza Hittman, our 2020 Pioneer recipient, is an award-winning director, writer and producer from Brooklyn, N.Y. Her most recent film, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” recently received a special jury prize at Sundance, the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize in Berlin, and is screening at this year’s festival. The Sundance-decorated filmmaker also recently received an Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center, as well as a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. Supplementary to filmmaking, Hittman holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and is currently an assistant professor of Film/Video at Pratt Institute.
11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19; Friday, March 20; and Saturday, March 21, at Festival HQ, presented by National Geographic
Join an intimate insider discussion with industry luminaries as they share war stories and personal insight on the world of cinema. Check the festival website for speaker details. Grab a complimentary lunch before these exclusive talks begin at noon. Insiders and Festival Passholders only.
The Film Lab
4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Formosa Group
Last fall, Academy Award winner Peter Farrelly selected work-in-progress film “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” as the 2020 winner of the Film Lab. Peter said it was “one of the spookiest films he’s seen in a long time” and that he thinks “this film’s commercial prospects are very good.” After a successful work in progress screening with the Austin Film Society, “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” travelled to Los Angeles for post-production sound work with Film Lab partner Formosa, which offered over $100,000 in post services at no cost, which makes a massive difference for any small-budget film. We’re so proud the film will make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this April, complete with Tito’s and Film Lab logos in the credits. Farrelly said he expects writer/director Jonathan Cuartas is “going to have a nice long career.” We agree. Come celebrate a Film Lab success story with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the Film Lab winners during an open-to-the-public reception at Tito’s Filmmaker Loft.
Meet the Filmmakers
5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Bailey Theater at The Argyros, presented by Robertson Stevens
It’s a chance to mix and mingle with the real stars of the show—the filmmakers. Get the inside scoop from the festival programming team about the can’t-miss films and events during the festival. Insiders pass holders, patrons and invited guests only.
3 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft, presented by Variety
Academy Award-winning writer Stephen Gaghan (“Traffic,” “Syriana,” “Dolittle”) hosts this year’s Screenwriters Lab, one of the festival’s most talked-about events. The Screenwriters Lab allows four finalists to receive rare opportunities, such as experiences at industry roundtables, insider access during the Sun Valley Film Festival and personalized face time with Gaghan. The panel will kick off with a discussion with the finalists led by Gaghan, followed by the presentation of the High Scribe Award, sponsored by Submittable, and a reading from the winning script.
Shop Talk: The Score
1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft
Take a behind-the-scenes journey through what it takes to create the score to some of your favorite films at the festival. Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic and passionate cinephile Eric Garcia will lead a panel discussion with select directors sharing insight into how their films came to life through their scores. Garcia is artistic director and conductor of the McCall Music Society SummerFest. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Herbie Hancock, Cirque de la Symphonie, Pink Martini, The Chieftains, Assad Brothers, Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Sun Valley Film Festival Opening Film
“Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words,” Wednesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at The Argyros and 6:45 p.m. at The Opera House
The 6 p.m. screening will be preceded by an exclusive performance by composer Lili Haydn, with a Q&A with filmmaker Frida Lee Mock after the film.
Sun Valley Film Festival Closing Film
“The Last Shift,” Sunday, March 22, at 5 p.m. at The Argyros
The festival will tee up to dim its final lights with “The Last Shift.” Stick around after the screening for a Q&A with director Andrew Cohn.
‘Making Sense’ Screening and Reception
Noon on Thursday, March 19, at The Argyros with reception to follow at Bailey Theater, collaborating sponsor Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP)
The special work-in-progress screening for “Making Sense,” filmed in Idaho with unique participation of Idaho’s disabled community, is supported by Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) in Boise. Both the screening and receptions are free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders. Come one and come all!
1 Potato Screening, Idaho Shorts and Reception
4 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at The Argyros, with reception to follow at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft, collaborating sponsor Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP)
The 1 Potato Initiative is the festival’s effort to shine a spotlight on Idaho filmmakers and encourage filming in Idaho. This short screenplay competition offers the winner $5,000 to shoot their film on location in Idaho. After screening a block of Idaho short films, last year’s winning 1 Potato script, “Girls Are Strong Here” by Scott Burkhardt, will have its world premiere as a completed film before the 2020 1 Potato winner is announced. Join us for cocktails and conversation after the screening at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
‘Lost on Everest’ and Wild To Inspire
5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at The Opera House, presented by National Geographic
The Sun Valley Film Festival and National Geographic host the sixth annual Wild To Inspire short film competition, encouraging filmmakers to create a short film that celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day. The winner is awarded a coveted National Geographic apprenticeship with a world-renowned National Geographic wildlife cinematographer. This event will include the screening of the Wild To Inspire finalists’ films in addition to the world premiere of National Geographic’s “Lost on Everest,” followed by a Q&A with director Renan Ozturk. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
‘Our Gorongosa, a Park for the People’
5 p.m. Friday, March 20, at the John A. and Carole O. Moran Lecture Hall at The Community Library
“Our Gorongosa, a Park for the People” is a story of an African park in Mozambique that recognized that to thrive in today’s world, protecting the animals is only half the battle. Gorongosa National Park is working toward empowering communities with a focus on women to lift them out of poverty and achieve their full potential. This is a new vision for conservation in the 21st century, where people and animals must coexist, to the benefit of them all. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Future Filmmakers Forum
Noon on Saturday, March 21, at The Argyros, presented by Cox Communications with patron support by the Delaney Family Foundation Fund
With patrons’ support and Cox Communications, come meet the next generation of talented young filmmakers in grades 7-12. In addition to a screening of the students’ work, there will be a personalized discussion with visiting professional filmmakers about the path they took to hone their craft. The Hot Shot, Second Place and Gem State Junior cash awards will also be presented. Following Saturday’s Future Filmmakers Forum Screening and awards, join us for a reception for filmmakers, family and friends in the Bailey Room of the Argyros. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Women in Film Reception
3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft, presented by Beautycounter
Films are powerful and so are the women behind the lens. Come honor, toast and gather with female filmmakers and celebrate the impact storytelling can make in the world. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Emerging Artist Reception
5:30p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft
New to our Sun Valley Film Initiative, the Emerging Artist grant is a support program for the next generation of storytellers as they face vital career transitions. This year, Rafael Pease has been awarded a $10,000 cash prize made possible by Bex Wilkinson and the Marshall Frankel Foundation. Come mingle and share ideas with these new voices in film. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
‘Jane Goodall: The Hope’
1 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at The Opera House, presented by National Geographic
National Geographic’s “Jane Goodall: The Hope” is a story of one remarkable woman who became a global icon in animal welfare and conservation who not only hoped for a better world, she achieved it! The sweeping documentary celebrates the vast legacy of Goodall’s four decades of advocacy work for chimpanzees and depicts the next chapter for generations to come. The film follows the inspirational activist and leader throughout her never-ending travels, capturing her relentless commitment and determination to spread a message of hope. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders. Don’t miss giveaways for kids!
All parties are 21-plus.
Sorry I Like To Party party
10 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Whiskey Jacques’, 251 N. Main St., Ketchum
Bite off some local flavor with musical guests El Stash. Party in true Ketchum fashion with complimentary Michelob Ultra Pure Gold for Insiders, Festival and Party Passholders. Free and open to the public with priority access to Insiders, Festival and Film Passholders.
Main Street Salutes a Legend
8 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Whiskey Jacques’, presented by Ford Motor Co.
The Sun Valley Film Festival is shutting down Main Street and bringing the heat to Ketchum! The festival and Ford celebrate the return of the legendary Bronco. The bonfire-lit affair is open to the public. Costumes are encouraged, so join us as your favorite movie legend.
10 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Whiskey Jacques’, 251 N. Main St., Ketchum, presented by Variety
The Kris Lager Band will keep the party rolling with live music at Whiskey Jacques’, as well as get the house hoppin’ for the presentation to our 2020 Pioneer honoree, Eliza Hittman. Insiders, Festival and Party Passholders only.
Sun Valley Film Festival Awards Bash with The Unlikely Candidates
10 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Whiskey Jacques’, 251 N. Main St., Ketchum
Finish the weekend at the Sun Valley Film Festival Awards Bash, headlined by Indie rock group The Unlikely Candidates with opening act Castlecomer. More than a dozen filmmakers and special guests will be fêted with custom film festival belt buckles, thanks to Rocky Mountain Hardware. Make sure to arrive early—this is one of the most popular events! Insiders, Festival and Party Passholders only.