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Sedona Film Fest presents ‘Blithe Spirit’ premiere Feb. 19-25

The Sedona International Film Festival will present “Blithe Spirit” Feb. 19-25 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

The Sedona International Film Festival will present “Blithe Spirit” Feb. 19-25 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

Originally Published: February 16, 2021 9:34 a.m.

The Sedona International Film Festival will present the Northern Arizona premiere of the critically-acclaimed new film “Blithe Spirit” — based on a play by Noël Coward — showing Feb. 19-25 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

“This wonderful film was supposed to be the opening night of our film festival this year, as this would have been our film festival week,” said Patrick Schweiss, festival director. “Since we moved the film festival to June, we decided to run ‘Blithe Spirit’ in the theater. It is a great show!”

“Blithe Spirit” features an all-star, award-winning ensemble cast, including Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann and Isla Fisher.

True love never dies.

Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) is struggling with catastrophic writer’s block and a stressful deadline for his first screenplay. His picture-perfect second wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focused in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood.

Charles’ desperate search for inspiration leads him to invite Madame Arcati (Judi Dench), a medium recently exposed as a fraud, to perform a séance in their home.

They all get more than they bargained for when Arcati accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife: the fiery and jealous Elvira (Leslie Mann) who embarks on a mission to kill Charles so she can spend eternity with him which leads to an increasingly comical and deadly love triangle.

With Britain still in the throes of World War II, Noël Coward noted in his diary of May 1941 on completion of “Blithe Spirit”: “really feel I have done a rousing good comedy”. Theatre-goers wholeheartedly agreed with the play running for 1,997 performances in its first outing.

Laughter remains a medicine much in demand 70 years later in 2021, which is why writer-producers Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft felt the time was ripe for a cinematic reinvention of Coward’s ghostly comedy.

“We just feel like people could do with being cheered up at the moment,” says Meg Leonard, while Nick Moorcroft adds that “this is a movie where you want people to go out for the night with a gang of friends and just have a laugh and actually just forget about everything. Enjoy great scenery, great locations, great funny witty performances and lovely music.”

“Blithe Spirit” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Feb. 19-25. Showtimes will be 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19, 20 and 21; and 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 22, 24 and 25.

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. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: SedonaFilmFestival.org.