Seeking Susan Sarandon
AS A PASSIONATE FAN of Susan Sarandon, Sonoman Aline Pimenta bought the clothing she wore in the 1991 film "Thelma and Louise," shown here with the certificate of authenticity.
Aline Pimenta loves Susan Sarandon - so much so that she just had to buy items of the actress' clothing from the hit 1991 Ridley Scott film, "Thelma and Louise." Now, the Sonoma resident is hoping to have a chance to meet the star when she comes to Sonoma next week to collect her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th annual Sonoma International Film Festival, which runs April 6 to 10 and includes more than 85 independent films and plenty of parties.
"When I tell people, they don't believe. They don't think I have these things," Pimenta said.
She was working as a publicist for the fashion industry in her native Brazil when she acquired the clothing nearly 20 years ago. She attended a charity auction for a cause she can't remember, hosted by "Ceses," a Brazilian magazine focused on celebrity culture.
She went as a guest of the magazine and didn't expect to purchase anything, until she saw the tank top and blue sweater Sarandon wore throughout much of the film.
"I love the movie. I fell in love with the story and the ladies," she said, referring to Sarandon and co-star Geena Davis.
Pimenta used to display the clothing, along with their certificates of authenticity from the celebrity consignment store, Star Wares on Main in Santa Monica, in a frame in her home. When she moved to Sonoma 11 years ago, the clothing got packed into bags where it remained until she found out Sarandon was coming to town.
"It would be nice to meet her," she said, although she lacks tickets to the celebrity's tribute on Saturday, April 9.
The tribute to Sarandon, followed by a lavish gala at Sebastiani Winery, is the highlight of a long weekend of cinematic events. The festival kicks off Wednesday, April 6, with the sneak peek reception followed by a preview of "You May Not Kiss the Bride," starring Dave Annable and Katharine McPhee in a green card marriage that goes awry.
On Thursday, April 7, the Opening Night Reception takes place at 5 p.m. in the Backlot Tent, erected on the Plaza beside City Hall, that offers a lounge environment complete with food and wine purveyors.
Following the party, guests can head to the opening night screening of "Little White Lies," a comedic drama that shows what happens when the lies we tell ourselves catch up with us. Patrons are then invited to head Little Switzerland for the Opening Night After Party at 9 p.m. where the Beatles tribute band, the Sun Kings, will perform.
The festival wraps up Sunday, April 10, with an Awards Ceremony in the Backlot Tent, where the best offerings of the festival will be honored.
Thursday through Sunday, for 12 hours daily, more than 80 films can be seen at screening venues all over the Plaza, including the Sebastiani Theatre, Vintage House, the Sonoma Community Center, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and the Woman's Club. Festival Director Kevin McNeely said the documentaries are particularly strong this season, covering topics from the phenomenon of the Burning Man music festival in "Burning Man" and the work of famed environmental artist Christo, in "The Running Fence Revisted," to the mysterious disappearance of an heir in "The Search For Michael Rockfeller" and the high speed antics of the Rolex 24 in "Daytona Dreams."
The festival also includes a copious selection of feature films, short films, animated movies and student work by the youths of Sonoma Valley High School's film department, which is funded by the festival.
Passes to the festival are still available and range from tickets to a single film to all-access passes that provide entrance to any film or party. For tickets, a complete list of films and more details call 933-2600 or visit www.sonomafilmfest.org.
See reviews of Sonoma International Film Festival movies and trailers of the films at www.sonomanews.com on the arts and entertainment page.