Sun Valley Film Festival Gaining Ground

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By Aimee Burnett

Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) It's being compared to the Sundance Film Festival, but for many in Hollywood, 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," explains actress and author Mariel Hemingway.

Coffee Talks is the festival's signature event.

Free to the public, the talks allow industry insiders such as Mariel 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," she says.

As Hemingway explains, 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," she points out.

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," he says.

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

Tuesday we'll hear from some up and coming filmmakers who took part in the future filmmaker forum.


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