Films for Peace

Films for Peace on International Day of Peace

Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to partner with Sedona International City of Peace to present a day of Films for Peace on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.


Loving Highsmith

Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 1:00 p.m.

“Loving Highsmith” is a unique look at the life of celebrated American author Patricia Highsmith based on her diaries and notebooks and the intimate reflections of her lovers, friends and family. Focusing on Highsmith’s quest for love and her troubled identity, the film sheds new light on her life and writing.

Most of Highsmith’s novels were adapted for the big screen; the best known of these are “Strangers on a Train” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. Carol — a partly autobiographic novel — was the first lesbian story with a happy ending to be published in 1950s America. But Highsmith herself was forced to lead a double life and had to hide her vibrant love affairs from her family and the public. Only in her unpublished writings did she reflect on her private life.

Excerpts from these notes voiced by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones, Top of the Lake), beautifully interwoven with archive material of her and her most famous novel adaptions, create a vivid, touching portrait of one of the most fascinating female writers.

The screening will include a panel discussion following the film by members of the LGBT+ community.

CLICK HERE to see a trailer of “Loving Highsmith” and to order tickets online.

My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan

Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m.

Award-winning filmmakers, Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi, present a real-life epic of boyhood and manhood, filmed across twenty years in one of the most embattled corners of the globe. “My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan” follows the journey of Afghan youth, Mir Hussain, growing up in a land ravaged by war.

When we first meet Mir, he is a boy of eight playing among the ruins of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in wartorn rural Afghanistan, treating the destruction around him as a wonderful playground. It is 2002 and in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Centre, US troops have landed in Afghanistan, thus beginning a seemingly endless war in one of the world’s poorest countries. This intimate feature documentary follows Mir’s journey over the next two decades, telling a remarkably personal story of the poverty, destruction, aspiration and progress that colors Afghan life today.

Now a grown man with a family of his own and an emerging career as a news cameraman in Kabul, Mir’s personal journey of pride, resilience and hope is interwoven with the narrative of his nation. Mir’s story is joined by the sobering comments of soldiers, key politicians and journalists who offer insights into the bigger picture — the successes and failures, rights and wrongs over the past 20 years of conflict.

Two decades on from 9/11 and the subsequent ‘War on Terror’, “My Childhood, My Country” 20 Years in Afghanistan” offers a uniquely personal insight into one of the most devastating conflicts of the 21st Century. After a trillion dollars spent by 40 countries and 150,000 lives lost, the film asks was it worth it, for Mir, his country and the world?

The screening will include a discussion following the film with International City of Peace representative Fred Armant and John Soderberg, renowned sculptor and Afghanistan connection.

CLICK HERE to see a trailer of “My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan” and to order tickets online.

Gratitude Revealed

Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m.

An epic journey 40 years in the making, “Gratitude Revealed” — from acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, the director of “Fantastic Fungi”— takes us on a transformational, cinematic experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations with everyday people, thought leaders, and personalities revealing gratitude is a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives; disconnection from ourselves, our planet and each other.

“My goal is to provide an audience with an immersive cinematic experience,” said Schwartzberg. “Through vignettes of everyday and remarkable people, we find the beauty in humanity and the resilience of the human spirit, and the desire to reconnect with each other.”

“The film provides a global audience an opportunity to open our hearts and see each other with compassion and understanding and build bridges with those who think differently. In addition, the film provides the audience with a shift in consciousness on gratitude’s vital role in their lives and how they can work towards experiencing more of it daily, as it builds resilience, gives purpose, and health benefits in these troubled times.”

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than four decades providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, and cinematography techniques to tell inspiring stories that celebrate life.

The screening will include a panel discussion following the film by members of Sedona International City of Peace its faith group.

CLICK HERE to see a trailer of “Gratitude Revealed” and to order tickets online.


CLICK HERE to see the other events taking place during Sedona Arts for Peace week.