Premiere of The Big Burn Ignites Sun Valley Film Festival 2018 

click to enlarge Nearly one year afters its screenplay took home the top prize in the 1 Potato Initiative, The Big Burn premiered on March 15 at the Sun Valley Film Festival. - SAMANTHA SILVA
  • Samantha Silva
  • Nearly one year afters its screenplay took home the top prize in the 1 Potato Initiative, The Big Burn premiered on March 15 at the Sun Valley Film Festival.
Samantha Silva stood before a packed-to-capacity Magic Lantern Cinema theater in Ketchum Thursday evening, took a long breath and smiled. It seemed she knew that she was not only facing an audience, but a theater full of friends who were there to see the premiere of The Big Burn.

"I have a lot of people to thank, but most of all the Sun Valley Film Festival, for forcing me into one of the greatest experiences of my life," said Silva.

Last year, Silva took home the top prize in the SVFF 1 Potato screenwriting competition. That meant she had 365 days to shoot and edit her short film, a drama that takes place at Redfish Lake, near the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains.

When the lights dimmed to reveal the film, the audience offered polite applause—twenty minutes later, that same audience erupted into cheers.

"The things that you're most afraid of are usually the same things that turn out to be the most extraordinary moments in your life," said Silva following the premiere.

Silva and Director of Photography Gregory Bayne said The Big Burn will most likely be shown at other film festivals, but they're particularly anxious to schedule a screening in Boise.

Minutes later, officials with the Sun Valley Film Festival revealed the winner of the 2018 1 Potato screenwriting competition: The Hole Truth, penned by Irish Johnson.

"I'm so excited," said Johnson. "But looking at Samantha's project, I know I'm going to need a lot of help."
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