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Sun Valley Film Festival Honors Josh Brolin, Sophie Thatcher
Thursday, March 2, 2023


Josh Brolin, who went on from indulging in a surfing group called the Cito Rats to star in such movies as “The Goonies,” “No Country for Old Men,” “American Gangsters” and “Men in Black 3,” will receive the Sun Valley Film Festival’s Vision Award during the 2023 festival.

The award, which will be presented during the March 29-April 2 festival, honors industry icons whose contributions to the art of cinema have changed the industry for the better.

Brolin, the son of actor James Brolin, will receive his award during a glamourous dinner at Sun Valley Resort’s historic Roundhouse Restaurant. And he will take part in a free Coffee Talk at The Argyros that will be open to the public.

Past Vision Award honorees have included Clint Eastwood, Geena Davis, Oliver Stone, Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Wood Harrelson and Amy Poehler.

Brolin was nominated for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portray of Dan White in the acclaimed film “Milk.” His film credits include “Dune,” “Avengers: Endgame” “True Grit,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and “Sicario 2: The Day of the Soldado.” He recently starred in Prime Video’s drama series “Outer Range,” for which he also serves as an executive producer.

  • Sophie Thatcher, best known for her role in Showtime’s Emmy-nominated survival drama “Yellowackets,”will receive the Rising Star Award on Thursday, March 30. Come June 2, she can be seen in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s horror story “The Boogeyman.”

    Past recipients have included the cast of “Outer Banks,” Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Allison Williams.

  • In addition, “Variety” will present a Creative Impact in Producing Award to Nina Yan Bongiovi during one of the festival’s Coffee Talks. Bongiovi an Asian American film producer, has worked in both the U.S. and Hong Kong film industries. Her “Fruitvale Station” won the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, as well as the 2013 Cannes Film Festival L’Avenir Award.

The film depicts the last day of the life of a 22-year-od man who was fatally shot by police in Oakland, Calif., in 2009, his death sparking riots across the city.

“We are so excited for this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival, honoring the very best in film, and those who are trailblazers in our industry,” said Sun Valley Film Festival founder Teddy Grennan.

The Sun Valley Film Festival will screen 19 narrative and documentary films this year, including 14 exclusive Idaho premiers of award-films hot off such festivals as Cannes, Sundance, Venice and SXSW. Select filmmakers will hold Q&As following their screenings.

Film times and locations will be announced March 14.

The festival will open with “Fancy Dance,” directed by Erica Tremblay and produced by several people, including Boise’s Heather Rae. The feature film follows a Native American hustler who kidnaps her niece from the child’s white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in hopes of keeping what is left of their family intact.

The festival will close with the film “Surrounded,” directed by Anthony Mandler. This feature film follows a former Buffalo Soldier who disguises herself as a man to travel west to claim a gold mine bequeathed by her late slave owner father. After her stagecoach is ambushed, she is tasked with holding a dangerous outlaw captive as his gang tries to free him.

“At the Sun Valley Film Festival, we remain dedicated to presenting the highest quality in both on-screen film and industry icons,” said Sun Valley Film Festival Director Candice Pate. “Our slate this year promises the outstanding and the hard-to-find, cinema from across the globe brought here and made available to our Sun Valley community.”


* Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out - Miserable after her family moves to a small town, teenage aspiring journalist Itsy befriends Calvin, her strange, space-obsessed neighbor who believes his parents were abducted by aliens and joins him on his journey to find them. Director: Jake Van Wagoner. Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell, Will Forte, Matt Biedel, Emma Tremblay, Jacob Buster, and Hailey Smith. 

●      Birth/Rebirth - A single mother and a childless morgue technician are bound together by their relationship to a little girl they have reanimated from the dead. Director: Laura Moss. Cast: Judy Reyes, Marin Ireland, Breeda Wool, Monique Gabriela Curnen, and LaChanze.

●      Dreamin’ Wild - The true story of how one album recorded in rural Washington in the ‘70s broke a family apart –and then brought them back together again. Based upon the Steven Kurutz article “Fruitland”. Director: Bill Pohland. Cast: Noah Jupe, Jack Dylan Grazer, Casey Affleck, Zoey Deschanel, Walton Goggins, McKenna Ralston, and Doug Dawson. 

●      Flamin’ Hot - The inspiring true story of Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global pop culture phenomenon. Director: Eva Longoria. Cast: Annie Gonzalez, Tony Shalhoub, Dennis Haysbert, Emilio Rivera, and Bobby Soto. 

●      Fremont - Donya works for a Chinese fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. Formerly a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, she struggles to put her life back in order. In a moment of sudden revelation, she decides to send out a special message in a cookie. Director: Babak Jalali. Cast: Anaita Wali Zada, Jeremy Allen White, Gregg Turkington, and Hilda Schmelling.

●      Joyland - Haider (Ali Junejo) lands a job at a Bollywood-style burlesque, telling his family he is a theater manager, when in actuality, he is a backup dancer. As he acclimates to the new job, Haider becomes infatuated with the strong-willed trans woman Biba (Alina Khan) who runs the show—an unforeseen partnership that opens his eyes and ultimately his worldview, in ways both unexpected and intimate. Director: Saim Sadiq. Cast: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Kahn, Sarwat Gilani, Salmaan Peerzada, Sameer Sohail, Sania Saeed, Ramiz Law, Honey Albela, and Priya Usman Kahn.

●      Land of Gold - When truck driver Kiran hears pounding on a shipping container and finds a young Mexican-American girl inside, his already tumultuous life takes a drastic turn as he seeks to reunite her with her family. Director: Nardeep Khurmi. Cast: Karen David, Tina Parker, and Iqbal Theba.

●      Midday Black Midnight Blue - In this cinematic poem about love, loss, and healing, a man grapples with his shifting memories of a woman he once loved. His existence turning ever darker, he will have to let her go before his imagined life swallows him whole. Directors: Samantha Soule & Daniel Talbott. Cast: Samantha Soule, Will Pullen, Chris Stack, Merritt Wever, Dale Soules, Shane McRae, and McCaleb Burnett.

●      Showing Up - A sculptor preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt’s vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art & craft. Director: Kelly Reichardt. Cast: Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, John Magaro, André Benjamin, James Le Gros, and Judd Hirsch.

●      A Small Light – Pilot Episode: Miep, who believes she's just a secretary, is asked to hide the Franks from the Nazis. Welcome to Switzerland, Episode 2: Everything seems under control until Miep’s dentist asks her if she knows a place to hide. Director: Susanna Fogel. Cast: Ashley Brooke, Andy Nyman, Billie Boullet, Noah Taylor, and Rudi Goodman.


* Bad Press - When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country. Directors: Rebecca Landsberry-Baker & Joe Peeler. 

●      Deep Rising - This exquisite fly-on-the-wall environmental doc is also a gripping and up-to-the-minute tale of geopolitical, scientific, and corporate intrigue that exposes the destructive machinations of a secretive organization empowered to extract massive amounts of metals from the deep seafloor. Narrated by Jason Momoa, DEEP RISING illuminates the vital relationship between the deep ocean and sustaining life on Earth. Director: Matthieu Rytz.

●      King Coal - The cultural roots of coal continue to permeate the rituals of daily life in Appalachia even as its economic power wanes. The journey of a coal miner's daughter exploring the region's dreams and myths, untangling the pain and beauty. Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon.

●      The Longest Goodbye - Social isolation affects millions of people, even Mars-bound astronauts. A savvy NASA psychologist is tasked with protecting these daring explorers. Director: Ido Mizrahy.

●      Nascondino - Four furious years in one of Naples’ toughest neighborhoods, where all three generations of a single family live on the edge of the law. Director: Victoria Fiore.

●      Secrets of the Elephants - Elephant families face the challenges of life in the deserts of Namibia. Director: Jonathan Frisby.

●      Wild Life - A sweeping portrait of conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins chronicling their fight to preserve one of the last truly wild places on earth. Directors: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin. Cast: Jackson Ark, Lauren Edwards, Thatcher Jacobs, Allysia Jensen, Medina Kincy, Alyson Lo, Michael Oilar, and Jack Quinn.

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