8/6/2012 9:03:00 AM Who's Lucky? Not the Queen of Versailles SIFF screens drama and documentary at Fisher Theatre
With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, “The Queen of Versailles” follows two unique characters — David and Jackie Siegel — whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream and the ways it has encouraged all Americans to reach beyond their economic means.
“Lucky” is based on writer/director Avie Luthra’s 2006 short film of the same name, which won 43 international film festival awards and was shortlisted for an Oscar. Through a journey marked by greed, challenges, and, ultimately, belonging, “Lucky” shows how a child’s spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults.
The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premieres of two award-winning and critically-acclaimed films at its Mary D. Fisher Theatre: "Lucky" and "The Queen of Versailles". Both films will show Aug. 14-17 at the festival's arthouse theatre venue in West Sedona.
A beautiful, touching and inspiring film, "Lucky" is the winner of six Best of Fest Awards from prestigious film festivals around the world. Variety Magazine calls the film "an emotionally resonant portrait of contemporary South Africa...delicate and real...extraordinarily touching." And the BBC calls "Lucky" a must-see ... "a profoundly moving portrait of humanity...a wonderful little gem."
How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky? Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky makes a promise to make something of himself. Leaving the security of his remote Zulu village for the big city with the hope of going to school, he arrives on the doorstep of an uncle who has no use for him.
Lucky then falls in with Padme, an elderly Indian woman with an inherent fear of Africans, who takes him in as she would a stray dog. Together, unable to speak each other's language, they develop an unlikely bond. Their ensuing connection leads them both to truly unexpected territory. Through an odyssey marked by greed, challenges, and, ultimately, belonging, "Lucky" shows how a child's spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.
"Lucky" is based on writer/director Avie Luthra's 2006 short film of the same name, which won 43 international film festival awards and was shortlisted for an Oscar.
THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES
"The Queen of Versailles" is an award-winning, character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters - David and Jackie Siegel - whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream: its values and lifestyles, its relationship to home ownership, and the ways it has encouraged all Americans to reach beyond their economic means.
The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America, a 90,000-square-foot palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire - fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money - falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.
"In an age of cultural obsession with the rich, chronicled by reality TV, I wanted to tell a deeper, cinema-verite story of an extraordinarily wealthy family that had the ambitious goal of building the biggest house in America," said director Lauren Greenfield. "And then the financial crisis got in the way. When life started to stray from all of our expectations, I was fortunate that Jackie and David had the courage to stay committed to the project and allow me to document their journey."
Greenfield won the top directing award at Sundance for "The Queen of Versailles".
Critics and audiences are applauding: "Grade A! Succulently entertaining! The next big documentary-as-cultural touchstone," says Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly. A.O. Scott from the New York Times raves "a sprawling, richly-detailed study of ambition, desire and the wild swings of fortune. A gaudy guilty pleasure that is also a piece of trenchant social criticism. If this film is a portrait, it is also a mirror."
Both films will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Aug. 14-17. Showtimes for "Lucky" will be 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; and 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. "The Queen of Versailles" 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.