Premiering Beloved, Searching at Fisher

Searching for Sugarman is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music - and the search for Rodriguez, the greatest ‘70s rock icon who never was.

Searching for Sugarman is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music - and the search for Rodriguez, the greatest ‘70s rock icon who never was.

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premieres of a romantic French musical drama starring Catherine Deneuve and an award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary at its Mary D. Fisher Theatre: "Beloved" and "Searching for Sugarman". Both films will show Sept. 25-28 at the festival's arthouse theatre venue in West Sedona.

BELOVED

"Beloved" - the latest film from French writer-director Christophe Honore - is a sly and lovely romantic musical drama spanning three decades as it follows a mother and daughter's misadventures in love. Starring Academy Award-nominee Catherine Deneuve and (her real-life daughter) Chiara Mastroianni - with an all-star supporting cast that includes Ludivine Sagnier, Louis Garrel, Paul Schneider and Milos Forman - the film was the closing night selection of the Cannes Film Festival and a special gala presentation of the Toronto Film Festival.

In the freewheeling Paris of the '60s, young Madeleine - who has gone from selling shoes to sleeping with men for money - falls for a handsome Czech doctor, Jaromil, who she soon marries and joins in Prague. A baby daughter is born, but Jaromil's infidelities and the arrival of Russian tanks in Prague leaded Madeleine back to France, though the love between them still burns.

Thirty years later in London, we follow Madeleine's daughter, Vera, who has fallen in love with a musician (American actor Paul Schneider) who is incapable of devoting himself to her, while her ex still pines for her. Meanwhile, in Paris, a re-married Madeleine (Catherine Deneuve) has rekindled her love affair with Jaromil.

"Beloved" is a light-hearted and ultimately moving exploration of the changing nature of relationships.

SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN

"Searching for Sugarman" is a multiple award-winning documentary making press headlines around the world and praise from audiences and critics alike. The film won the two top honors at the Sundance Film Festival: The Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary. There is early Oscar buzz for this inspiring film.

Rodriguez was the greatest '70s US rock icon who never was. Momentarily hailed as the finest recording artist of his generation, he disappeared into oblivion - rising again like Lazarus in a completely different context a continent away. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez, he enjoyed a parallel life, full of acclaim and success, a world away.

In 1968, two producers went to a downtown Detroit bar to see an unknown recording artist - a charismatic Mexican-American singer/songwriter named Rodriguez, who had attracted a local following with his mysterious presence, soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics.

They were immediately bewitched by the singer, and thought they had found a musical folk hero in the purest sense - an artist who reminded them of a Chicano Bob Dylan, perhaps even greater. They had worked with the likes of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, but they believed the album they subsequently produced with Rodriguez - Cold Fact - was the masterpiece of their producing careers.

In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of an on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it became a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.

"Searching for Sugarman" is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music.

Both films will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sept. 25-28. Showtimes for "Beloved" will be 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; and 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. "Searching for Sugarman" will show at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; and 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call (928) 282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.com.

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