“Prodigy” will premiere at the Sedona International Film Festival on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 25. The star of the film is Savannah Liles, a Sedona native now living in Los Angeles with her mother. At 11 years old, Savannah has already had an impressive acting career and is now celebrating her first feature-length film hitting the big screen.

In “Prodigy,” Liles plays Ellie, a borderline sociopathic girl locked in a maximum security facility. A psychologist is commissioned to work with her and soon discovers her dark past as well as outstanding intelligence. The two engage in a psychological chess match under the vigilant observation of experts staggered by Ellie’s case — a match that soon turns into a perilous situation.

With a combined 175 years in showbiz — not to mention 19 Emmy Awards among the three — Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner and Valerie Harper know how to keep an audience laughing.

They did just that on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center before a sold-out crowd. It was part of “Cloris on Comedy,” which kicked off the 23rd annual Sedona International Film Festival. That night Leachman also received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Look up the term “self-made millionaire” — or billionaire in this case — and chances are you’ll find John Paul DeJoria.

While his name may not be familiar to some, the businesses he’s helped create are familiar to most. And as a result of his success, in recent years he’s pledged to give away a large portion of his $3 billion fortune to those in need. That’s something he knows a thing or two about as he twice found himself homeless before turning a $700 dream into a business empire.

DeJoria is the focus of a documentary titled “Good Fortune,” which will be shown at the Sedona International Film Festival. DeJoria will be on hand to introduce and talk about the film during a screening on Saturday,

After nearly seven decades in showbiz, Cloris Leachman doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

The actress — who has won a record eight Emmy Awards — will be on hand for this year’s Sedona International Film Festival. There, she will be presented the Lifetime Achievement award. She will help kick off the festival on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center with Cloris on Comedy beginning at 6 p.m.

And the winner is ...

Each year the Arizona City/County Manager’s Association recognizes the top city/county manager, assistant city/county manager and department head in the state. This year’s Catherine F. Connolly Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager award went to Sedona’s Karen Osburn.

Lai Ngan’s story is similar to thousands of other Chinese immigrants who came to the United States nearly 150 years ago either by choice or by force. But in the end, unlike many, she would prevail.

Ngan’s story was shared by Li Yang, Ph.D., who was the guest speaker at the Church of the Nazarene in the Village of Oak Creek on Jan. 9. Yang, a professor and writer, has written several articles on Chinese-American history that have appeared in publications in the United States, China and Taiwan. She was a part of a speaker program sponsored by the Sedona Public Library and Arizona Humanities.

Most days, recently-hired sports reporter Daniel Hargis wears a shirt with some kind of water polo insignia on it — proof that the 24-year-old Southern California native spent much of his adulthood in the pool.

Hargis, who has been reporting for the Larson Newspapers since December, has been a sports lover as long as he can remember. Nonetheless, he said that he had “never felt good at any of them” until he began playing water polo in high school.

Walking into Edward Simmons’ classroom at Running River School, a visitor will likely notice one thing above all else: His chalkboard is beautiful.

“A big part of Waldorf schools are the aesthetic quality of the chalkboard,” Simmons said, making minor alterations to a chalk picture of a family deciding how best to divide up toys among the children. The image, Simmons explained, was used to teach math concepts to his eight third- and fourth-grade students.

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