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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
2007 Vail Film Festival Honorees
by Betty Jo Tucker

At this year’s Vail Film Festival, scheduled in the beautiful Colorado ski resort from March 29 -- April 1, the Festival's special Tribute Awards will be given to Harold Ramis, Sophia Bush and Hayden Panettiere. Ramis will receive the Gold Summit Award; the Rising Star Award will be presented to actress Bush, and Panettiere will be named Breakthrough Actor of the Year.

Screenwriter, director and actor Harold Ramis is being honored for his outstanding contributions to film. And no wonder! His movies include such popular comedies as Caddyshack, Animal House, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, which was recently chosen as one of the “101 Greatest Screenplays” by the Writers Guild of America. Ramis, who has earned numerous other honors for his movies, is the recipient of the American Comedy Award and the BAFTA (British Academy) award for screenwriting. His most recent stint at directing resulted in The Ice Harvest, a highly entertaining and darkly amusing romp for John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton.

Lovely actress Sophia Bush is receiving the Rising Star Award for her fine big-screen performances in The Hitcher and John Tucker Must Die as well as for her television work in One Tree Hill, Point of Origin and Nip/Tuck.

Hayden Panettiere, who’s simply terrific as the indestructible cheerleader in TV’s Heroes, earns the Festival’s Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award. Her impressive acting talent can also be seen in feature movies like Ice Princess, Racing Stripes, Remember the Titans and Raising Helen.    

The Vail Film Festival will present 70 movies (feature films, shorts, documentaries, student films, action sports films and an Oscar showcase) from around the globe as well as workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and special events with award-winning actors, writers and directors. Rounding out this exciting four-day program will be ski and snowboarding events, VIP parties, family festivities and live music.    

Scott Cross, co-founder (with brother Sean) of the Vail Film Festival, says, “Our film festival is one of the fastest growing ones in the nation.”

What accounts for the success of the Vail Film Festival? “The quality of the offerings and the fact that so many filmmakers show up to support their movies,” Cross explains. “Our festival focuses on the relationships of people. We cultivate it as a community and are proud of the accessibility of access to the filmmakers. In most other festivals, the filmmakers are separated from everyone else. Also, our festival is integrated with the resort community -- restaurants, skiing and so forth. We screen the films a little later in the day so that participants can take in other resort activities.”

Scott and Sean Cross founded the festival to foster new filmmakers and to encourage innovative filmmaking. The 2007 Film Festival marks the event’s fourth year. “We are proud to see the Vail Film Festival continue to grow and become an increasingly meaningful event within the independent film community,” Scott declares.

Movies AND skiing -- that’s a combination hard to resist.  Last year’s Vail Film Festival attracted over 12,000 people from around the world.  

For information and full details on the Vail Film Festival, please visit

(Photo: Harold Ramis, Gold Summit Award Honoree)

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