Sedona Film Festival Presents Plethora of Cinematic Treats For Winter 2018

Get ready Sedona locals and visiting moviegoers for some great big-screen entertainment because the Sedona Film Festival is presenting a plethora of movies sure to satisfy the palette of those who appreciate film. The Sedona Film Festival prides itself on providing some of the best movie fare in northern Arizona. Read on to learn more and buy tickets for these great cinematic presentations.

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12th anniversary season of THE MET: Live in HD!

Sedona International Film Festival

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Met Live Opera: Live in HD series for the 2017-18. Once again, the festival will host the productions via satellite at its Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. State Route 89A in West Sedona.

Each opera will be shown LIVE and then repeated later that day as an encore. Season ticket holders will have the option of choosing the live performance or the encore (or can mix and match for scheduling convenience).

The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of high-definition live cinema simulcasts, will begin its 12th season on Oct. 7, with a new production of Bellini’s “Norma” directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Carlo Rizzi, starring one of the world’s most acclaimed Normas, Sondra Radvanovsky.

Live in HD audiences around the world will see ten live performances from the Met’s 2017-18 season. The Met: Live in HD is the largest provider of alternative cinema content in the world, with more than 22 million tickets sold over the first 11 years of the series. The series brings live Met performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters in 71 countries around the world.

The 2017-18 Live in HD season will feature the series’ first broadcast of Bellini’s “Norma” starring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role; the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel”; Rossini’s “Semiramide”, which has not been staged at the Met in 25 years; Verdi’s tragedy “Luisa Miller” starring Sonya Yoncheva and Plácido Domingo; and the Met premiere of Massenet’s “Cendrillon”, starring Joyce DiDonato in the title role. In addition to the productions new to Live in HD, audiences can see the Met’s new stagings of Puccini’s “Tosca”, starring Sonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Griogolo; Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” set in the 1950s in Coney Island, with an ensemble cast including Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara. The season will also feature Mozart’s full-length German opera “Die Zauberflöte” conducted by Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine; Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore”, starring Pretty Yende in her first Met performances as the spirited Adina with Matthew Polenzani reprising Nemorino, and Puccini’s “La Bohème” featuring Sonya Yoncheva and Michael Fabiano as the young Parisian lovers, Mimì and Rodolfo.

Met stars serve as hosts for the HD series, conducting live interviews with cast, crew, and production teams, and introducing the popular behind-the-scenes features.

The 2017-18 Met Live in HD series dates are:

L’Elisir d’Amore: February 10, 2018

Semiramide: March 10, 2018

La Bohéme: March 17, 2018

Così fan tutte: March 31, 2018

Luisa Miller: April 14, 2018

Cendrillon: April 28, 2018

Film Festival presents premiere of ‘A Fantastic Woman’ March 16-22
Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Language Film debuts at Fisher Theatre

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premiere of “A Fantastic Woman” showing March 16-22 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

“A Fantastic Woman” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her, and owns a printing company.

After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital.

Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando’s ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando’s son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando.

Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion.

So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.

“A fantastic movie. Daniela Vega is fantastic!” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“A Fantastic Woman” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre March 16-22. Showtimes will be 4 p.m. on Friday, Wednesday and Thursday, March 16, 21 and 22; and 7 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday, March 18 and 20.

Tickets are $12, 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:

Met Live Opera presents ‘La Bohéme’ in Sedona March 17

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Mary D. Fisher Theatre is the home for the opera simulcast and encore events

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the next Met Live Opera presentation of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohéme” on Saturday, March 17. There will be two shows that day at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre: 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Plan to come early as Deborah Raymond will lead a pre-opera talk one hour before each production (10 a.m. for the morning show and 3 p.m. for the encore).

An exciting young cast stars in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of “La Bohème”, the most-performed opera in Met history. Sonya Yoncheva stars as Mimì opposite Michael Fabiano as the passionate writer Rodolfo. Susanna Phillips reprises the role of the flirtatious Musetta and Lucas Meachem sings the role of her lover, the painter Marcello. The cast also features Alexey Lavrov and Matthew Rose as Rodolfo and Marcello’s friends Schaunard and Colline and Paul Plishka as Benoit and Alcindoro in this performance, led by Marco Armiliato.

“La Bohème”, the passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things — a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor — that make up our everyday lives.

Act I

Paris in the 1830s. In their Latin Quarter garret, the near-destitute artist Marcello and poet Rodolfo try to keep warm on Christmas Eve by feeding the stove with pages from Rodolfo’s latest drama. They are soon joined by their roommates — Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician, who brings food, fuel, and funds he has collected from an eccentric nobleman. While they celebrate their unexpected fortune, the landlord, Benoit, comes to collect the rent. After getting the older man drunk, the friends urge him to tell of his flirtations, then throw him out in mock indignation at his infidelity to his wife. As the others depart to revel at the Café Momus, Rodolfo remains behind to finish an article, promising to join them later. There is another knock at the door—the visitor is Mimì, a pretty neighbor, whose candle has gone out in the stairwell. As she enters the room, she suddenly feels faint. Rodolfo gives her a sip of wine, then helps her to the door and relights her candle. Mimì realizes that she lost her key when she fainted, and as the two search for it, both candles go out. Rodolfo finds the key and slips it into his pocket. In the moonlight, he takes Mimì’s hand and tells her about his dreams. She recounts her life alone in a lofty garret, embroidering flowers and waiting for the spring. Rodolfo’s friends call from outside, telling him to join them. He responds that he is not alone and will be along shortly. Happy to have found each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave, arm in arm, for the café.

Act II

Amid the shouts of street hawkers near the Café Momus, Rodolfo buys Mimì a bonnet and introduces her to his friends. They all sit down and order supper. The toy vendor Parpignol passes by, besieged by children. Marcello’s former sweetheart, Musetta, makes a noisy entrance on the arm of the elderly, but wealthy, Alcindoro. The ensuing tumult reaches its peak when, trying to gain Marcello’s attention, she loudly sings the praises of her own popularity. Sending Alcindoro away to buy her a new pair of shoes, she finally falls into Marcello’s arms. Soldiers march by the café, and as the bohemians fall in behind, the returning Alcindoro is presented with the check.


At dawn at the Barrière d’Enfer, a toll-gate on the edge of Paris, a customs official admits farm women to the city. Guests are heard drinking and singing within a tavern. Mimì arrives, searching for the place where Marcello and Musetta now live. When the painter appears, she tells him of her distress over Rodolfo’s incessant jealousy. She says she believes it is best that they part. As Rodolfo emerges from the tavern, Mimì hides nearby. Rodolfo tells Marcello that he wants to separate from Mimì, blaming her flirtatiousness. Pressed for the real reason, he breaks down, saying that her illness can only grow worse in the poverty they share. Overcome with emotion, Mimì comes forward to say goodbye to her lover. Marcello runs back into the tavern upon hearing Musetta’s laughter. While Mimì and Rodolfo recall past happiness, Marcello returns with Musetta, quarreling about her flirting with a customer. They hurl insults at each other and part, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to remain together until springtime.

Act IV

Months later in the garret, Rodolfo and Marcello, now separated from their girlfriends, reflect on their loneliness. Colline and Schaunard bring a meager meal. To lighten their spirits, the four stage a dance, which turns into a mock duel. At the height of the hilarity, Musetta bursts in with news that Mimì is outside, too weak to come upstairs. As Rodolfo runs to her aid, Musetta relates how Mimì begged to be taken to Rodolfo to die. She is made as comfortable as possible, while Musetta asks Marcello to sell her earrings for medicine and Colline goes off to pawn his overcoat. Left alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their meeting and their first happy days, but she is seized with violent coughing. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a muff to warm her hands, and Mimì slowly drifts into unconsciousness. Musetta prays for Mimì, but it is too late. The friends realize that she is dead, and Rodolfo collapses in despair.

The Met Live Opera’s “La Bohéme” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The pre-opera talks will take place one hour before each show. Tickets are $25 general admission, $22 for Film Festival members, and $15 for students. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office or by calling 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit:

ENCORE by popular demand: Benedict Cumberbatch stars in National Theatre’s ‘Hamlet’ March 18 at Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Academy award-nominee takes on the title role in big screen encore in Sedona

The Sedona International Film Festival hosts the big screen encore of the National Theatre of London’s “Hamlet” — starring Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch — on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. at Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

Academy Award-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Frankenstein at the National Theatre) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

Directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, National Theatre Live will broadcast this eagerly-awaited production to cinemas around the globe.

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

Critics are raving about “Hamlet”, and it has garnered 4- and 5-star reviews from every major publication in London:

‘Benedict Cumberbatch is a blazing five-star Hamlet.’ — Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

‘This is a Hamlet for a world on the edge: a warning from history, and a plea for new ideas from a new generation.’ — Matt Trueman, Variety

‘One of the most visually and atmospherically stunning productions I’ve ever seen, of anything, ever.’ — Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Hamlet” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Sunday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15, or $12.50 for Film Festival members. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office or by calling 928-282-1177 or online at Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona.


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with special concert!
Guitarist and Irish singer John Freeman will be performing at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on March 17

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Irish style when John Freeman performs his show of traditional and popular Irish songs at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Accompanied by his guitar and banjo, John will sing many well-known songs and some not-so-well-known songs of Ireland in a show called “John Freeman: An Evening in Ireland”.

The audience will hear stories of his experiences there along with humorous Irish lyrics. There may even be an odd Scottish or English song thrown in for good measure.

John Freeman comes from London, England — mother Irish, father English. He sings a wide variety of songs. Having performed in Ireland with an Irish show band, he picked up quite a few songs that are lesser known to people in the USA. He tells stories of his experiences there and funny antidotes.
“I first started playing the guitar when I was seventeen, but not very good at it” says John. “My mother had been a concert pianist and violinist with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra but she couldn’t help me. I got drafted into the army over there and was approached by a fellow draftee who played the tenor banjo. He was looking for someone to back him up and wanted to know if I was interested in giving it a try. His name was Harry Black and had played for The Chris Barber Jazz Band. They were the most popular Dixie band in the country. Their most popular recording was “Petite Fleur” which sold over a million copies in the United States alone.”

“I was in seventh heaven” says John. “Harry put me on the right road and taught me a lot. I would go back to my room to practice every spare moment I could.”

On leaving the army, John joined a rock band and went to Germany and performed in the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, replacing Fats Domino. The Beatles were in the Star Club at the time. They were doing Chuck Berry and Everly Brothers.

John says he left the group a few weeks later and got a job playing in a typical German bar. This was his first time performing alone. It worked. “I had a great time,” he says.

On returning to England he saw an advertisement in a musical magazine wanting a guitar player for the Seamus O’Doherty show band in Ireland. John went on to play in France with a semi folk group and then went to Scandinavia as a soloist.

Eventually, an American agency booked jobs for John in New York and Michigan. After meeting his future wife in the Upper Peninsula, John came over to the United States and most of his bookings were in Michigan, Indiana Wisconsin and Minnesota. He also did his own TV show for PBS which was shown on 26 stations around the Midwest.

John now lives in Sedona. You may have seen him at The Sedona Performing Arts Center where he played at the Film Festival.

“John Freeman: An Evening in Ireland” will be performed at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $15 general admission and $13 for film festival members. All tickets include a meet-and-greet with John in the lobby after the show.

Visit for tickets and performance information or call 928-282-1177. Both the Sedona International Film Festival Office and the Mary D. Fisher Theatre are located at 2030 W. SR 89A in West Sedona.

Sedona Film Festival presents ‘Almost Sunrise’ on March 19

Film Festival partners with Mental Health Coalition and Illuminate for special premiere

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to partner with the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley and the Illuminate Film Festival to present the premiere of the award-winning film “Almost Sunrise” showing Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. There will be a community discussion following the film screening.

“Almost Sunrise” tells the inspiring story of two young men, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, who, in an attempt to put their haunting Iraq combat experiences behind them, embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile trek on foot across America. Will this epic pilgrimage be enough to release them from their self‐destructive impulses and give them the chance to begin life anew?

While the film exposes some of the brutality of war, it doesn’t dwell there. It’s ultimately a story of hope and potential solutions. Most importantly, the film reveals the promise of holistic practices for healing. When Tom signs up for a special breathing workshop for veterans, he must confront his deepest spiritual identity. He encounters Father Thomas Keating, a renowned Trappist monk who has counseled veterans for decades, who gently illuminates the need to turn inward to achieve true peace – and gives guidance that culminates in a remarkable inner transformation rarely depicted on screen.

Where the stereotypes of “the broken veteran” or “homecoming hero” leave off, the film continues onward, offering an unprecedented portrait of those who return from war; rich, complex, far more hopeful. “Almost Sunrise” allows us to connect with a universal human aspiration for happiness and through Tom and Anthony’s genuine search for it, be reminded of our common soaring possibilities.

The film also acts as an urgent call for communities to better understand these deep‐seated psychic wounds, and for the government to acknowledge and finally treat moral pain by using methods other than pills. “Almost Sunrise” deftly and movingly demonstrates the promise of holistic healing practices is on the horizon in a way that we cannot afford to ignore.

“Almost Sunrise” will show at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. followed by a community discussion. Tickets are $12, 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:


Sedona Film Festival presents ‘The S Word’ premiere with filmmaker on March 16Film Festival partners with Mental Health Coalition for special screening and discussion

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to partner with the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley to present the premiere of the powerful film “The S Word” showing Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

The writer/director of the film, Lisa Klein, will be in Sedona to host the screening and present a Q&A and community discussion following the film screening.

A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor. Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.

“The S Word” is a powerful feature documentary that puts a human face on a topic that has long been stigmatized and buried with the lives it has claimed. The film gives a platform to those who lived the experience — people who have attempted to take their own lives and survived to tell their stories. These are the voices that have been silenced for so long and their stories could save lives. Capturing personal revelations and surprising moments of humor, “The S Word” opens a door on this most taboo of subjects through the eyes of the people who have been there and are now committed to preventing others from getting to that edge.

Our central subject, attempt survivor Dese’Rae Stage, embarks on a mission to find fellow survivors and share their stories and portraits with the world. Suicide has affected her since she can remember; as a child, a family friend died by suicide, and as a teenager, her best friend died by suicide. She herself attempted suicide at 23 and continues to struggle through cycles of loneliness and depression. After moving to New York and pursuing a career in photography, she discovers that many of her own questions can be addressed using her camera, and she begins to explore life on the other side of suicide. As she becomes a recognized pioneer of a new movement, she also proposes marriage to her girlfriend Fel.

As Des pursues her vision, she discovers a vibrant community of other attempt survivors who we meet through her unique lens.

Within this unique and personal approach, “The S Word” takes an intimate look at the lives of these survivors and their loved ones and records their candid and profoundly emotional stories of survival — and gives us all a guide to a future with fewer suicides.

“The S Word” will show at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. followed by a Q&A with writer/director Lisa Klein and a community discussion.

Tickets are $12, 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: