Fri. Jul 3rd, 2020

Mill Valley Film Festival to Spotlight Sarah Silverman in ‘I Smile Back’

Sarah Silverman and Josh Charles star in I Smile Back, featured at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival
Sarah Silverman and Josh Charles star in I Smile Back, featured at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival


The California Film Institute, which runs the Mill Valley Film Festival has announced it will fete comedian Sarah Silverman for her breakthrough, tour-de-force performance in I Smile Back. Along with a screening of her film she will participate in an on-stage conversation and receive the MVFF Spotlight Award. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year and will also be seen at Toronto in September will be released October 23rd from Broad Green Pictures.

Spotlight on Sarah Silverman for MVFF38:

Two-time Emmy winner Sarah Silverman is as versatile of a performer as they come. Her repertoire includes everything from film and television, stand-up comedy, to iconic online videos, and she added author to this list when she released a book in 2010, the New York Times Bestseller, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. Silverman debuted an hour-long stand-up special, “We Are Miracles,” on HBO in 2013. She was awarded a 2014 Primetime Emmy in the Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special category. The special was also nominated for Outstanding Variety Special, and Silverman recently received a WGA nomination as well. An album of the special was recently released through Sub Pop Records, which earned her a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. Silverman will next be seen in the drama feature, I Smile Back, a film adaption of a novel by Amy Koppelman in which she plays the lead role. The film premiered at Sundance. She also has wrapped production on Ashby opposite Mickey Rourke and Emma Roberts and recently had a recurring role on season 2 of the Golden Globe nominated series “Masters of Sex.”

Silverman grew up in New Hampshire and attended New York University.  In 1993 she joined “Saturday Night Live” as a writer and feature performer and has not stopped working since.

About I Smile Back:

Laney is an attractive, intelligent suburban wife and devoted mother of two adorable children. She has the perfect husband who plays basketball with the kids in the driveway, a pristine house, and a shiny SUV for carting the children to their next activity. However, just beneath the façade lie depression and disillusionment that send her careening into a secret world of reckless compulsion. Only very real danger will force her to face the painful root of her destructiveness and its crumbling effect on those she loves.

At the core of I Smile Back’s power is an indelible performance. Sarah Silverman reinvents herself as a dramatic actress in the career-defining, intensely layered, and heartbreaking role of Laney. Deftly directed by Adam Salky (Dare, 2009 Sundance Film Festival), I Smile Back is at times darkly humorous but also harrowing and unflinching as an authentic, humanizing portrait that offers no easy resolution for a damaged woman struggling to come to terms with herself.

The complete schedule for the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival will be announced and available online at on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

About the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival
Presented by the California Film Institute, the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival runs October 8-18, 2015 at the CinéArts@Sequoia (25 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael), and other venues throughout the Bay Area. With a reputation for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has earned a reputation as a “filmmakers’ festival” by celebrating the best in American independent and world cinema, alongside high profile and prestigious award contenders. MVFF welcomes more than 200 filmmakers representing more than 50 countries.

Advance tickets packages are available now:

About the California Film Institute
The non-profit California Film Institute celebrates and promotes film as art and education through the presentation of the Mill Valley Film Festival and year-round exhibitions at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, film distribution by CFI Releasing, and building the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through the CFI Education program. For more information visit or call  (415) 383-5256.

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