It started as a small, grassroots festival 10 short years ago, the spirited idea of brothers Scott and Sean Cross, who were aspiring filmmakers and had family ties to the Vail Valley. It has been rapidly gaining steam and recognition year after year, having introduced the first look at such films as Before Sunset starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke and Forgetting Sarah Marshall starring Jason Segel and Kristen Bell. Celebrating independent, studio, documentary, short and action films, the Vail Film Festival has become one of the favorite film festivals among industry insiders for its variety as well its unparalleled, sophisticated mountain venue of Vail, CO.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Vail Film Festival, which takes place March 28-31. 2013. After months of reviewing film submissions from all over the world, the festival has chosen a diverse and lively assortment of over 50 films. The films will be shown at several screening venues in Vail: The Four Seasons hotel (base camp for the festival), Vail Mountain School, Solaris Plaza, and Cinebistro will be the hot spots of the weekend hosting everything from film screenings to awards ceremonies and concerts.

Screenings will take place throughout the day and evening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition to film, there are partie each night of the festival. Thursday night kicks off with the much-anticipated opening night party. Friday night, LA’s Hotel Café artists Meiko, Javier Dunn, Jay Nash, Holly Conlan and more line up for a stellar night of music. On Saturday the Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Party wrap up the formal events, and several additional screenings continue on Sunday. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy, check out the spring skiing still on deck on Vail Mountain over this Easter weekend.

Several films in this year’s festival are noteworthy, with big-name headlining acting and directing talent. Drinking Buddies, the closing night feature film starring Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson, and While We Were Here, featuring Vail Film Festival alum Kate Bosworth, two highly anticipated films exploring the tender beginnings, and complex endings of relationships.  The Festival recently announced that Tate Taylor will be honored with the 2013 Excellence in Directing Award. Taylor will be presented the honor for his contributions to the film industry by award-winning actress and The Help star Allison Janney during the 2013 Awards Ceremony, which will precede the Festival’s Closing Night Film, Drinking Buddies, on Saturday March 30th.

Despite these big names in Hollywood film adorning the program, there is one star of this film festival that is close to the heart of Vail. The documentary Climb to Glory, produced by Warren Miller Entertainment, was initially the inspired vision of Warren Miller film athlete and Vail local Chris Anthony. Climb to Glory is a touching exposition of the incredible experience of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers or “mountain troops” of World War II, who trained for mountain combat in the nearby Pando Valley near Camp Hale and Ski Cooper. The movie will screen at Vail Mountain School on Saturday, March 30 at 2pm.

As film festivals go, the beauty of the Vail Film Festival is the accessibility. Screenings can be accessed individually or in any number of different ticket packages and passes, offering limited or unlimited access at different reasonable price points. For a full schedule and ticketing and venue details, visit the Vail Film Festival website.

Simba Run Condominiums are Vail’s Official Headquarters for Family Fun and an official sponsor of the Vail Film Festival. To make your Vail, Colorado lodging reservations and get your third night free, please call Michele at 800-746-2278.