By Karen Bossick

Meg Ryan and Aaron Paul will be among the Hollywood stars honored at the 2019 Sun Valley Film Festival, which will be presented by Ford March 13 through 17.

And both will participate in free Coffee Talks, in which they will share about their lives and work and field questions from the audience.

MEG RYAN will receive the VISION AWARD, which is presented during a glamorous dinner at the historic Roundhouse Restaurant on Bald Mountain. The award, which has been presented to Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone and others, is given to an industry icon whose contributions have changed the cinema industry for the better.

Aaron Paul was actually born Aaron Paul Sturtevant, the son of a retired Baptist minister in Emmett, Idaho.

Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe for her sweet comedic performance as Sally Allbright in “When Harry Met Sally,” which was directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron. She went on to receive a second Golden Globe nomination in Ephron’s hit romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle,” opposite Tom Hanks.

And she received a third Golden Globe nomination for her role opposite Hanks in the Ephron comedy “You’ve Got Mail.”

She also has starred in “City of Angels,” “Addicted to Love,” “French Kiss,” “Against the Ropes,” “In the Cut,” “Kate and Leopold,” “Proof of Life” and many more films.

AARON PAUL, a native of Emmett, Idaho, is best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Jesse Pinkman on the TV series “Breaking Bad.” He will receive the PIONEER AWARD, presented by Variety for his groundbreaking work in TV and film. He will also attend the World Premiere screening of “The Parts You Lose,” in which he stars and serves as a producer.

Paul is the protagonist Eddie Lane in the Hulu drama series “The Path.” And his film credits include “Mission: Impossible III,” “Need for Speed,” “A Long Way Down,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Central Intelligence.”

He first appeared in the HBO drama “Big Love” alongside Sun Valley Film Festival alum Bill Paxton. He also appears as the voice of Todd Chavez in the animated series “Bojack Horseman.” He will next star in Apple’s thriller series “Are you Sleeping?” alongside Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan. And he’s set to appear in the third season of HBO’s hit series, “Westworld.”


  • ALEX ROSS PERRY will receive the RISING STAR AWARD for directing on Saturday, March 16, and will attend a screening of his latest film, “Her Smell,” which stars Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Eric Stoltz, Amber Heard and Virginia Madsen. Perry’s directorial efforts include “The Color Wheel,” “Listen up Philip,” “Queen of Earth” and “Golden Exits.”
  • FISHER STEVENS will receive the SNOW ANGEL AWARD on Saturday, March 16 for his advocacy with a focus on environmental sustainability. The festival will screen his film “Tigerland” and he will participate in the Nat Geo WILD’s Salon.Fisher-Stevens works closely with the United Nations Peacekeepers for whom he has directed various films. He also has directed “The Confidence Man,” the last installment of the Netflix original series “Dirty Money,” the climate-focused documentary “Before the Flood” and Mission Blue.”

    He also has produced such documentaries as “Racing Extinction” and “The Cove and Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang.” And he co-directed the two-time Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.”

    The Sun Valley Film Festival, which has become known as a festival for filmmakers, attracts more than 4,500 attendees each year. This year it will award more than $200,000 in prizes through its Screenwriters Lab, the Film Lab, WILD to Inspire and other competitions.


  • Variety will present the 2019 SCREENWRITERS LAB with TREVOR GROTH of 30WEST serving as this year’s judge for the festival’s High Scribe screenplay competition, which honors an emerging voice in screenwriting. PHIL JOHNSTON, who recently wrote and directed the Academy Award nominated “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” will host the Screenwriters Lab. His previous credits include the Oscar-winning “Zootopia” and “Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Writer-director HANNAH FIDELL will host the FILM LAB, Sun Valley Film Festival’s innovative work-in-progress film competition presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Fidell is known for her films “A Long Dumb Road,” “6 Years” and “A Teacher.” She also has directed episodes of the Hulu comedy series “Casual,” the upcoming show “The Act” and Facebook’s “Sorry for Your Loss.”The Film Lab submissions are open through Feb. 22. JAY DUPLASS of “Transparent” and “Jeff Who Lives at Home” will be the judge.

    Winners of the competition will watch their film screen-tested at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Their films will then be taken to two additional cities for additional feedback before the picture is completed with Los Angeles-based post-production company The Farm, which will provide up to $185,000 in services.


  • Indie rock band FOXING will headline the SATURDAY NIGHT AWARDS BASH on Saturday, March 16 for Insiders, Festival and party passholders. Foxing is taking its latest album “Nearer My God” on tour this spring.


The festival will open on March 13 with the Sony Pictures Classics’ documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” which will be attended by Director A.J. Eaton. It will close with the HBO documentary, “Running with Beto,” directed by David Modigliani.

The festival will screen two world premieres documentaries: “Apollo: Missions to the Moon” and “Hostile Planet: Mountains.”

Additional film highlights include the highly anticipated Lionsgate film, “Long Shot,” directed by Jonathan Levine with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. Also, “The Mountain,” directed by Rick Alverson with Jeff Goldblum and Tye Sheridan.

Others include “The Parting Glass,” directed by Stephen Moyer, who will attend the festival, with Denis O’Hare and Ed Asner; “The Sound of Silence,” directed by Michael Tyburski with Peter Sarsgaard and Rashida Jones.

The films will be screened at the new Argyros performing Arts Center, which will be transformed into the Ford Main Street theater for the duration of the festival. Additional films, including a slate of short films will be announced later. Passes can be purchased a

Here’s a look at the film slate:


HER SMELL–Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) is a ’90s punk rock superstar who once filled arenas with her grungy all-female trio Something She. Now she plays smaller venues while grappling with motherhood, exhausted band mates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom. When Becky’s chaos and excess derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.


IN FABRIC–A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown – which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.

Director/Writer: Peter Strickland

Producer: Andy Starke

Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barrett, Gwendoline Christie


LONG SHOT–He’s a hard-hitting political writer with a talent for trouble. She’s the country’s top diplomat with a talent for…well, everything. When Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) reunites with his first crush who also happens to be the current US Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a surprise run for the Oval Office, Charlotte hires Fred to punch up her campaign speeches and their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world affair. But Fred’s carefree indiscretions, past and present, could bring down her campaign before it even begins.

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writers: Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah

Producers: Charlize Theron, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver

Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson, Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgard, Ravi Patel


THE MOUNTAIN–Since his mother’s confinement to an institution, Andy has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family acquaintance, Dr. Wallace Fiennes, employs the introverted young man as a photographer to document an asylum tour advocating for his increasingly controversial lobotomy procedure. As the tour progresses and Andy witnesses the doctor’s career and life unravel, he begins to identify with the institutions’ patients.

Director: Rick Alverson

Writers: Rick Alverson, Colm O’Leary, Dustin Guy Defa

Producers: Ryan Zacarias, Sara Murphy, Eddy Moretti, Allison Rose Carter

Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Tye Sheridan, Udo Kier, Denis Lavant, Hannah Gross


THE PARTS YOU LOSE–* World Premiere–Follows the unlikely friendship that unfolds between a young deaf boy, Wesley, and a fugitive criminal who takes refuge in an abandoned barn on the family’s rural North Dakota farm.

Director: Christopher Cantwell

Writer: Darren Lemke

Producers: Mark Johnson, Tom Williams, Aaron Paul, Nic Crawley, Kenneth Huang, Doug Jones, Paula Van Der Oest

Cast: Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead


THE PARTING GLASS–The story of a suicide and how it ripples and tears through a family, testing their bonds to each other and their memories. The family gathers in Missouri, where Colleen (Anna Paquin), now dead, was last living. Her brother, Danny (Denis O’Hare) and his two sisters, Mare (Cynthia Nixon) and Al (Melissa Leo) meet up with their father, Tommy (Ed Asner), and their sister’s estranged husband, Karl (Rhys Ifans), and they set out on an odyssey. Together, they attempt to piece together Colleen’s last moments and to make sense of her death.

Director: Stephen Moyer

Producers: Cerise Hallam Larkin, Mark Larkin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare, Anna Paquin

Writer: Denis O’Hare

Cast: Denis O’Hare, Ed Asner, Cynthia Nixon, Melissa Leo, Rhys Ifans, Anna Paquin


THE SOUND OF SILENCE–A self-taught scientist, Peter (Peter Sarsgaard), works in New York City as a “house tuner,” a unique, highly specialized profession he’s invented. His clients approach him with troubles like depression, anxiety, or fatigue. After extensive analysis of their homes’ acoustic characteristics, he identifies some sonic combination that’s altering their mood—perhaps, a radiator mixed with a kitchen appliance, and calibrates it. On a routine house call, Peter meets Ellen (Rashida Jones), who is experiencing exhaustion. After his initial conclusion proves incorrect, Peter obsessively searches for the fault in his practice. The more Peter tries-and fails-to help her, the more Ellen’s resulting skepticism pokes holes in his previously airtight theories

Director: Michael Tyburski

Writers: Ben Nabors, Michael Tyburski

Producers: Ben Nabors, Michael Prall, Tariq Merhab, Charlie Scully, Mandy Tagger Brockey, Adi Ezroni

Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones, Rony Revolori, Austin Pendleton


ALWAYS IN SEASON–The film explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today. The film centers on the case of Lennon Lacy, an African-American teen who was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, N.C., on Aug. 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the case, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched.

Director: Jacqueline Olive

Producers: Jacqueline Olive, Jessica Devaney

Narrator: Danny Glover


APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON–* World Premiere– As the world prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings (“Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes,” “Diana: In Her Own Words”) uses his signature style of first-person storytelling to create an immersive account that spans the breadth and depth of NASA’s Apollo Space Program. Newly transferred film and never-before-heard audio recordings recount the United States’ remarkable journey to land on the Moon before 1970.

National Geographic Documentary Films

Director: Tom Jennings


THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM–It all began with a dog named Todd. Filmmaker John Chester and his wife, Molly, a private chef, promised their rescue dog a happy life, but their Los Angeles apartment just isn’t cutting it. So, the couple locate a patch of land outside the city and a veteran farmer to shepherd them through the process and they set about building Apricot Lane Farms. As the couple faces a seemingly endless cascade of challenges from weather, predators, infestations, and disease, John documents their setbacks and progress.

Director: John Chester

Writers: Mark Monroe, John Chester

Producers: Sandra Keats, John Chester


BREAKING HABITS–Cheated by her stealing, polygamist husband of 17 years, once high-flying corporate exec Christine Meeusen fled penniless with three young children as her American dream began to unravel. Determined to make a living for her family, she discovered the lucrative business of cannabis farming and met her calling as founder of medicinal-marijuana empire Sisters of the Valley. Christine became Sister Kate, on a mission to provide her products to those in need.

Director: Robert Ryan

Producers: Nick Taussig, Paul Van Carter


DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME–A revealing and deeply personal documentary exploring the life and creative renaissance of music icon David Crosby. A cultural force for over 50 years, Crosby faced uncertain future after the 2015 dissolution of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Racked with health issues and personal obstacles, Crosby forged a new path at the age of 77. Seeking out younger musicians and recording a pair of critically-praised new albums, Crosby now sets out to make a mark in a world now so different from the generation he came to define in the 60’s.

Director: A.J. Eaton

Producers: Cameron Crowe, Michele Farinola, Greg Marotti


HAIL SATAN? – Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history. When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways.

Director: Penny Lane

Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick


HOSTILE PLANET: MOUNTAINS–* World Premiere—This film draws attention to the most extraordinary,  almost supernatural, accounts of animals that have adapted to the cruelest evolutionary curveballs. Hosted by survivalist and adventurer Bear Grylls, Hostile Planet zooms in on the world’s most extreme environments to reveal the animal kingdom’s most epic stories of told in an intimate manner with innovative camera technology and a lens that captures several first-ever behaviors.

National Geographic

Executive Producers: Guillermo Navarro, Martha Holmes Series Producer: Tom Hugh-Jones

Host: Bear Grylls


RUNNING WITH BETO–This behind-the-scenes documentary follows Beto O’Rourke’s rise from virtual unknown to national political figure through his bold attempt to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. Embedded with Beto for the final 12 months of his campaign, the film follows his journey in real time through intimate access to Beto, his family, and a team of political newcomers who champion a new way of getting to know a candidate one Texas county at a time.

Director: David Modigliani

Producers: Rachel Ecklund, Rebecca Feferman, Greg Kwedar, David Modigliani


TIGERLAND–Tigers are the stuff of myths and folktales, poetry and art. Half a century ago, in the jungles of India, a young forest officer rallied the world to save tigers from extinction. Today, the creed is carried on in Far East Russia by the guardians of the last Siberian tigers, who risk everything to save the species.

Director: Ross Kauffman

Producers: Xan Parker, Zara Duffy, Fisher Stevens, Ross Kauffman

Reposted from Eye on Sun Valley.