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Inside the 3rd Annual Sun Valley Film Festival

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By Aimee Burnett

Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) That’s a wrap for the 3rd Annual Sun Valley Film Festival. The star–studded event came to a close Sunday.

It’s quickly gaining ground in Hollywood drawing in big names such as Mariel Hemingway and Kevin Smith.

It's being compared to the Sundance Film Festival, but for many in the industry the Sun Valley Film Festival is taking it to a much more personal level.

"The reason I was asked to come to the SVFF is because I'm from here, it is my hometown. You know it just for me to connect with my hometown and with locals it is really powerful and I think they see the benefit of that community," said actress and author Mariel Hemingway.

Coffee Talks is the festival's signature event. Free to the public, the talks allow industry insiders such as Hemingway to share their stories and talk one–on–one with the audience.

Last year Hemingway's film Running from Crazy was part of the festival. She returned this year to talk about how mental illness has impacted her life.

"You know it was a really powerful journey for me. It was really about understanding my family and why there is mental illness and stress and suicide and all these different things. And, why I'd suffered from my own depression and where it came from," Hemingway explained.

She teamed up with St. Luke's last year to raise awareness about the health system's new mental wellness programs.

"Everybody wants people to have the ability to speak out about this and get help. And, not enough people do because of the stigma around it. And, I think they're pioneers in really making a difference," said Hemingway.

Actor Kevin Smith joined the Coffee Talks on Sunday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first movie... Clerks.

"It inspires you to try it yourself and what better way to kind of disseminate that message than at a film festival. So, in many ways it's kind of an ideal film festival film even two decades later," Smith explains.

Clerks was made for a little over 27,000 dollars, something Smith believes you can do for much less these days thanks to the latest technology.



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