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It’s that magical time in Sedona again when the stars shine and residents and visitors turn out in droves to admire them.

The Sedona International Film Festival returns for its 19th year bringing with it a new line up of movies, workshops, parties and celebrities.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe party starts Saturday, Feb. 23. Three-time Grammy winner Keb Mo performs at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School to kick off a week of art and entertainment.

The fun ends Sunday, March 3, when festival favorites are screened one last time.

This year the festival features nine celebrity guests including Francis Fisher, Joan Collins, Mo, Marianne Williamson, David Stathairn, Lee Meriwether, Griffin Dunne, David Rasche and Susan Blakely.

With cooler temperatures than we’ve recently been experiencing predicted for next week, the days during the festival will lend themselves to staying indoors to catch a good film.

From local movies made by students from the Sedona Film School to a films making their way along the festival circuit, there is something to please all tastes.

Many directors and film stars will also be in town to answer questions about their films and enjoy a small-town festival that’s become a premier event in the world of independent filmmaking.

Luckily for the film festival organization, Sedona is home to thousands of residents who enjoy inspiring, educational and entertaining films, which makes packing the house an easy feat.

The nonprofit returns the love by selecting top-rated films to show its festival audience and those who attend the numerous screenings put on throughout the year.

The film festival has created a comfortable home for itself over the past 18 years, and with the opening of the Mary D. Fisher Theatre just in time for the 2012 festival, it solidified its dominance as a premier Sedona event.

Aside from the hours of theater time residents and visitors can accumulate next week, the film festival also offers various programs and events to keep people busy. From the Red Carpet Event featuring “The Last Picture Show” to the exclusive Cast Party Gala, Sedona will be hopping all week long.

Trista Steers MacVittie

Managing Editor

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