Celebrating Filmmaking

Sun Valley Film boutique film festival is all the rage

Article by Sabina Dana Plasse

Photography by Courtesy SVFF

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

From the founding days of Sun Valley, Idaho, celebrities and Hollywood royalty have spent time enjoying the beauty of the Wood River Valley, making it their home and home away from home. Celebrating Sun Valley’s Hollywood history and creating a new history for more than a decade, the Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) has brought filmmakers and film creatives to the Valley to share their insights, motivations, and inspirations for filmmaking at the film festival and year-round at the SVFF Monthly Movies series, Winter Screening Series, and special screenings and events.

Celebrating 13 years from February 28 through March 3, 2024, SVFF continues to make history with exciting new developments and a roster of filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and many more top-level film industry visionaries who will share their work and process with Sun Valley Film Festival attendees. For 2024, the Festival continues to expand its mission for education and outreach, offering events and programming for young and old, including Sun Valley Jr. Film (SVJr. Film), a film competition for K through 12, and the High Scribe Screenwriting Competition, which awards an emerging screenwriter with award-winning SVFF screenwriters and producer mentors. In addition, the High Scribe winner is invited to spend a week as a Writer-In-Residence at the historic Ernest and Mary Hemingway House, owned and operated by The Community Library in Ketchum.

Other exciting elements to SVFF include films and programming presented by National Geographic, a founding festival sponsor, Coffee Talks at The Argyros, a free event open to the public with coffee provided where guest celebrities and filmmakers have included Josh Brolin, Emilio Estevez, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Liev Schreiber, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many more.

Behind the camera, SVFF also celebrates the collaborative environment that is required in the filmmaking process from script to screen, providing panel discussions and salon events for attendees to learn from the visionaries behind the camera who are producing and providing creative input that shapes a story into a film to capture our attention. And, of course, there are the SVFF parties, which make the Festival one of the most exciting events of the year, especially for SVFF patrons who can attend the exclusive Visionary Dinner with the Visionary Award winners at The Roundhouse on Bald Mountain, accessible by gondola.

The Festival screens films at the Sun Valley Opera House and the Arygros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, with events and parties happening at SVFF HQ and other sites around town that are easily accessible and often walkable or just a free Mountain Rides bus ride away. SVFF is a coveted film festival in the grand world of film festivals because it’s an intimate experience with high-quality films and cutting-edge interests in filmmaking in the 21st century, along with the men and women who make this happen—it’s a unique event with a Hollywood edge and a warm, friendly vibe. It’s well worth the effort and journey to Sun Valley for what promises to be an educational, exciting, and memorable experience (always with a few fun surprises), especially if you love independent film and filmmaking.

Visit for passes and more information.

To keep the Festival accessible to all, SVFF offers a selection of passes with varying levels of access. Passes for 2024 are now on sale for the February event, and the purchase of a Patron Pass includes unlimited access to year-round screenings leading up to the Festival.



As a non-profit organization, SVFF relies on generous supporters who value community and creativity. Patrons receive the highest level of access to the Festival and are invited to attend the coveted Vision Dinner. Other highlights include first-priority access to Festival films, Coffee talks, parties, Festival HQ, and the Green Room at The Argyros. In addition, Patrons receive a commemorative jacket, premium gift bag, recognition, and a $1,500 tax deduction.


Get the inside scoop. First-priority access to Festival films, Coffee Talks, parties, Festival HQ, and the Green Room at The Argyros. Access to the Opening Celebration and a premium gift bag.


The Festival Pass gets you entry to the heart and soul of the Festival. Level two access to Festival films, Coffee Talks, parties, panels, and Festival HQ.


This pass is for the film lover. Level three priority access to Festival films and Coffee Talks.


Designed for high school and college students, the SVFF Student passes include admission to five Festival films plus prioritized access to Coffee Talks and select special events.

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