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Film Festival presents political comedy ‘Grassroots' on Sept. 11 and 12

Grassroots poster
All-star ensemble cast featured in outrageous cinema series offering —
perfect for election year

Tuesday, Sept. 11
4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 12
7 p.m.

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premiere of the outrageous political comedy “Grassroots” on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and Wednesday, Sept 12 as part of the festival’s monthly Cinema Series.

There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 11; and there will be one screening at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Harkins Flagstaff 11 Theatres.

Stranger than fiction, “Grassroots” is the bizarre true story of a political candidate who actually cares!

There's no family dog strapped to the roof of his car, but political candidate Grant Cogswell has his own set of image problems — starting with the fact that he likes to dress up as a polar bear and he's currently an unemployed music critic.

In Stephen Gyllenhaal's bittersweet, uplifting comedy “Grassroots” — based on the true story of the 2001 Seattle City Council election — Cogswell becomes a mono-maniacal man-of-the-people, rallying an unlikely posse of misfits, slackers, and square pegs to his seemingly hopeless David-and-Goliath battle against a firmly entrenched incumbent.

Before the Occupy Movement there was Grant's fervent pitch to the Emerald City's downtrodden hipsters and idealists — to stand up for what they believe in, to take back their city government, to build a beautiful monorail that would carry them into the future, to be part of something bigger than themselves.

“Grassroots” offers an exhilarating, hilarious, bumpy ride on the political train just when we need it most, because at bottom what drives this eccentric optimist is his belief that what he is doing actually matters.

Based on the book "Zioncheck for President", written by Grant Cogswell's reluctant campaign manager Phil Campbell, “Grassroots” stars Jason Biggs and Joel David Moore, with Lauren Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer, Cobie Smulders, Tom Arnold, Christopher McDonald, DC Pierson and Emily Bergl.

"Laugh. Cry. Vote for the little guy! That's our slogan for ‘Grassroots’, and from the beginning I've had a gut instinct that this story might deeply move other people feeling alienated from democracy,” said director Stephen Gyllenhaal. “Is it possible that this one funny, true Seattle story could reverberate across the years and have an effect on the 2012 election? I truly hope so.”

“The movie, generates lots of hope, laughter and talk. Maybe you'll feel hopeful, you'll feel like you can make a difference, you'll feel part of the process again. And your talk can become action, and your action can effect real change,” added Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal is expected to be in attendance at the screenings to host a Q&A discussion following the film.

The title sponsor for the Sedona premiere event is M&I Bank — BMO Harris. The monthly cinema series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, the Sedona Community Foundation and the City of Sedona.

The Flagstaff premiere is made possible by a grant from the Flagstaff Community Foundation and Flagstaff Medical Center Foundation. The series is made possible by the support of Harkins Theatres, Arizona Daily Sun, KNAU and Northern Arizona University’s Cinema Studies Program and Philosophy Department.

“Grassroots will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. and at Harkins Flagstaff 11 Theatres on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members ($6 for full-time students), and will be available starting one hour before showtimes in the Harkins’ lobbies on the days of show.

Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite A3, or by calling 282-1177.

CLICK HERE to see a trailer of the film.


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