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'Robert Shields: My Life as a Robot' Feb. 29 presented by SIFF

Robert Shields (Courtesy/ SIFF)

Robert Shields (Courtesy/ SIFF)

Originally Published: February 21, 2024 1:34 p.m.

It’s a leap year special premiere event! The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the premiere of ‘Robert Shields: My Life as a Robot’ on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center.

"No words" can describe him — literally. Robert Shields is one of the most unique performers of the 20th century. He has earned proclamations and awards; has performed for two Presidents and a Queen; gained the admiration of many of Hollywood's greats — and he has done it all without saying a word!

Marcel Marceau called him "the greatest mime in America". Robert wanted to break the mold of being a mime, bring it more mainstream, make it more accessible — take it to the streets where people from all walks of life could enjoy it. Union Square in San Francisco was the canvas for his unique style of performance: a mixture of mime, mimic, robot and (do NOT try this one at home) street skier. Hundreds of fans came every afternoon to watch him perform and, hopefully, become part of his show. Even today he continues to inspire countless artists.

There are renowned dancers doing mechanical men and Popping and Locking who credit Robert as their inspiration. He and Lorene Yarnell's mechanical couple, ‘The Clinkers,’ delighted and astonished fans around the world with their eerily blank staring, non-blinking eyes and movements that would make you swear they weren't human. Join us for the zany romp that is Robert Shields' story — and you may just learn that there's a lot more to a mime than keeping his silence.

Robert Shields — who has lived in the Verde Valley for many years — will be in attendance at the premiere and will host a Q&A discussion following the film, along with filmmakers Mark and Christine Bonn.

Tickets are $18. 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.