|Seven Days in Utopia starring Lucas Black and Robert Duvall is one of the festival favorites screening March 3 during the Faith & Family Film Festival at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre in Sedona.|
|To Save a Life is one of the Youth Specials screening March 2.|
The first Faith & Family Sedona Film Festival is March 1-4, with religious and inspirational films screening at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. 89A, Sedona (across from Harkins Theatres).
There are films for all ages, from family films to movies with adult-focused material.
For more information e-mail FaithAndFamilySedona@Gmail.com or call (928) 300-1477.
The festival kicks off Thursday, March 1, with the 4 p.m. showing of What If... What If… tells the story of Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo), who 15 years ago left his college sweetheart Wendy (Kristy Swanson), and his calling to be a preacher, in order to pursue a business opportunity. Now with a high-paying executive gig, a trophy fiancée, and a new Mercedes, he hasn’t considered a family nor felt the need to set foot in a church since. But God has other plans. In the tradition of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Family Man,” What If… is a story of finding your true purpose in life.
Then a 7 p.m. on March 1, see the acclaimed movie Soul Surfer followed by a short documentary on the inspiration for the film. Soul Surfer is the incredible story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds, through determination and faith, to become a champion again. The films all-star cast features AnnaSophia Robb and Helen Hunt, with Carrie Underwood in her film debut, and Dennis Quaid.
The 30-minute Heart of a Soul Surfer is the personal documentary of Hawaiian teen shark attack survivor and inspirational surfer, Bethany Hamilton. Bethany, a 13-year-old girl destined for a successful surfing career, lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark on Oct. 31, 2003. The attack didn’t cause this determined “Soul Surfer” to give up. Instead, it compelled her to discover her purpose in life as she overcame the loss of her arm and got back on a surfboard just weeks later.
March 2 brings two Youth Specials. Because of the nature of these movies, it is recommended for 13 and older only.
Friday at 4 p.m., see the film Cutback. High School senior, Luke Harris (Justin Schwan) dreams of just one thing – pro surfing. With his best friend Casey (Angel Cruz) at his side, they have two goals: surf and party! But Luke’s Mom (Raquel Gardner) and especially Dad (Greg Carlson) have other ideas: pick a college and grow up! When a devastating tragedy strikes, Luke is forced to take a hard look at his life and with the help of beautiful “church-girl” Emily (Kelsey Sanders) and his Youth Pastor (Danny Smith), he learns that there’s much more to life than riding waves.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, it’s To Save a Life. Jake and Roger grew up as best friends. But in high school, Jake becomes a star athlete who has it all: a college scholarship and the perfect girl, an ideal life that comes at the exclusion of his childhood friend. Meanwhile, Roger no longer fits in Jake’s circle of friends and becomes tired of always being pushed aside. He makes a tragic move that spins Jake’s world out of control. As Jake searches for answers, he begins a journey that will change his life forever.
March 3 starts out with a Kids Special Movie.
Saturday at 1 p.m. enjoy The Adventures of Toby. Kids under 12 are admitted free.
The Adventures of Toby tells the tale of a 6-year-old boy facing the challenges of childhood. Toby has to deal with an absent father, an exhausted mother and his cruel teenage sister Janet. He ultimately finds help in dealing with these problems via a new friend, Jesus, who gives him the tools he needs to face life’s difficulties. This film is compiled from three short films revolving around the themes of “Facing Your Fears,” “God’s Creation,” and “My Will vs. God’s Will.”
Then jump in to the “Festival Favorites.”
Saturday at 4 p.m., see The Grace Card. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God and just about everyone else. Mac’s rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he’s partnered with Sam Wright.
Seven Days in Utopia then screens on Saturday, at 7 p.m. Seven Days in Utopia follows the story of Luke Chisolm (Lucas Black), a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour. When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford (Robert Duvall). But Johnny is more than meets the eye, and his profound ways of looking at life force Luke to question not only his past choices, but his direction for the future.
Music in the Courtyard
During the festival on Sunday, March 4, 1–3 p.m. hear the great music of the Gospel Fire All Stars playing in the courtyard beside the theater. The Gospel Fire All Stars boast more than 200 years of stage experience collectively and draw musical inspiration from such greats as The Blind Boys of Alabama, Elvis Presley, The Dobie Brothers, Johann Sebastian Bach and the list goes on. They sing and play to bless others. According to their leader, Frank Robinson, “If you look hard and deep enough, you will find that all those genres of music everyone loves: rock and roll, blues, soul and even jazz got their start on Church Street before they went out to Main Street.” The All Stars do rock.
Festival Closing Films
Close out your festival experience with the amazing true story, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, on Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m. A frustrated young boy with problems in school overcomes the obstacles in his life to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon. This uplifting and inspirational story stars Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and two-time NAACP Image Award winner Kimberly Elise. It is based on the true story of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, whose lifelong journey led him to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a best-selling author and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sunday at 7 p.m., see Set Apart. The city - and all its negative influences - is all these kids have ever known ... and they think of it as their friend. Now Rey, Korina, Marcus, and Anthony must face the toughest decision of their lives: Is the hope of redemption enough to lure them away from the streets? Facing crossroads in their young lives, their decisions and actions could set them down life’s slippery slope. But caring people provide them with the opportunity to experience a whole new way of life. A summer of adventure, challenge, training, growth, and big dreams changes their outlook on life. Still, they can’t leave the city completely behind ... especially when gang members track them down to exact revenge. They head West thinking the city is their friend. On the ranch, they discover what true friendship is all about. A story of hope and faith, Set Apart stars Hollywood veterans Richard Roundtree, John Schneider, and Jennifer O’Neill.