Vail Today: Vail Film Festival returns for 14th year (video) |

Vail Today: Vail Film Festival returns for 14th year (video)

By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
Sean Cross and his brother Scott grew up frequenting the mountains of Vail, but little did they know that a familiar family vacation spot would eventually become home to the Vail Film Festival. The twin brothers started out as filmmakers. They’d make short films and showcase their works at various film festivals, as did their filmmaking friends, and they found there wasn’t much opportunity for those aspiring in the profession. “Sundance and other festivals were focused on named filmmakers. We’d been coming to Vail for so many years we thought, ‘wow, this would be such a great location for a film festival’ so we put the two together and started the festival 14 years ago.” As the event grew, so did the interest within the industry. Soon bigger names from the filmmaking side and acting side were taking notice of this event in Colorado. “I think a lot of actors and filmmakers want a balance between the studio films, which they really don’t have that much artistic control over and the independent films where it’s a smaller budget. They have more creative freedom and that’s what these independent film festivals do, is support those kinds of films,” Cross said. Filmmakers like Kevin Smith and Harold Ramos came out to Vail as well as actors Josh Lucas, Zach Braf, Olivia Wilde, and Jane Seymour. The format allows for a more intimate feel for those involved in the films and those viewing them. Panel discussions, Q-and-A sessions and awards ceremonies are open to the public. This year’s festival focuses on women in the film industry. A panel discussion at 3:45 p.m. on April 1st at the Vail Cascade Theater will feature: producer, actor, director Miranda Bailey; producer Katie Mustard; writer, director producer Courtney Balaker and writer and director Lelia Djansi. The Vail Film Festival honors actors each year with their Vanguard Award, which will go to 2-time Oscar nominee Julie Delpy. Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy nominee Christina Ricci will be awarded the Renegade Award. For a full schedule visit

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