Going to certain films can certainly be cathartic. For British filmmaker Adam Morse, the process of writing and producing his film, Lucid, which will make its North American premiere at the 25th annual Sedona International Film Festival, elevated that response exponentially.
A week before the world premiere at the Edinbugh International Film Festival, Morse revealed he was legally blind, a disability he refused to acknowledge “because I had previously lived in fear of being found out and did not want to risk the opportunity to make the movie.”
Starring Billy Zane, who will be in Sedona with Morse for the premiere, the film is about a lonely young man whose life changes when his neighbor (Zane) helps him overcome social anxiety.
Morse overcame – or compensated – for his disability by relying on the very few people who knew about it to be his eyes on set and using “a screen reader to write the script and memoriz(ing) the layout of the sets and locations to avoid tripping,” according to an interview he gave to Variety.
“I decided to open about my condition after I completed post-production because I new that I had proven myself as a feature film director by successfully delivering the final picture,” Morse said via email. “Now I feel liberated by being able to speak publicly about the real reasons behind what inspired me to tell this story and I feel passionate about encouraging others to think positively about bringing their own dreams to life. My ambition is to remove the negative stigma associated with disabled artists and show that being different is not a bad thing. If I can do it then so can you, more people need to believe that the sky is not the limit.”
Lucid will be among the more than 165 films – from Oscar-nominated documentaries to narrative features, narrative short films, documentary short films and animated shorts – highlighting 25th anniversary Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 23-March 3.
The Festival’s three film selection committees screened more than 1400 submissions from around the world.
Among the new films selected for screening this year are To Dust (starring Matthew Broderick), The Chaperone (starring Elizabeth McGovern and Blythe Danner), Non-Fiction (starring Juliette Binoche), Tell It To the Bees (starring Anna Paquin), Promise at Dawn (starring Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the outrageous comedy, The Bill Murray Stories.
Period. End of Sentence, a nominee for an Academy Award for documentaries about a group of women in a rural village outside Delhi, India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation, is among the films to be screened. So, too is the Oscar short-listed documentary Crime + Punishment about a group of brave NYPD officers who risk it all to expose the truth about illegal quota practices in police departments.
Among the special guests expected this year include Ed Asner, whose film Ed Asner: On Stage and Off, will be screened, Zane, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Smart and Mackenzie Phillips.
Films will run all day beginning Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Mary D. Fisher Theater, 2030 W. Highway 89A, the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road and Sedona Harkins 6, 2081 W. Highway 89A.
For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.org.