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Meet the Filth Master: John Waters to be Featured at the Sonoma International Film Festival

The 15th annual film festival pays tribute to the innovative filmmaker.

Here's to you filth followers: John Waters is the featured guest at the 15th annual Sonoma International Film Festival, festival organizers announced today through a series of Twitter and Facebook posts.

The festival pays tribute to innovative filmmaker and director with a series of events, including Waters’ one-man “vaudeville” act, celebrating the career and obsessional tastes of the man William Burroughs once called “The Pope of Trash.”

“John Waters exemplifies some of America’s most unique filmmaking beyond mainstream storylines. His ability to portray extreme characters with both darkness and humor is a testament to his extreme talent,” said Festival Director Kevin McNeely. “We are excited and honored to have him attend our festival.”

Previous featured film festival guests include Lauren Hutton, Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, John Lasseter and Danny Glover. Last year, the festival honored actress Susan Sarandon with a series of film clips from her career.

On April 14, Waters presents the latest iteration of his one-man show “This Filthy World,” something he's performed at colleges, museums, film festivals and comedy clubs. Drawing from Waters’ fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy and the extremes of the contemporary art world, the monologue elevates all that is trashy in life into a call to arms to ‘filth followers’ everywhere.

Born in Baltimore in 1946, Waters was drawn to movies at an early age, particularly exploitation movies with lurid ad campaigns. Using Baltimore as the setting for all his films, Waters assembled a cast of ensemble players, mostly native Baltimoreans and friends of long standing:  Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole and Edith Massey. 

After slightly more than a decade of underground film-making, Waters created “Hairspray,” a box office and critical success starring the then unknown Ricki Lake along with Deborah Harry, the late Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Pia Zadora and Ric Ocasek.

Through it all, Waters has cultivated a multi-faceted career as an artist in many mediums and a curator of signature taste and aesthetic.

Various ticket packages will be available ranging from general seating to a private reception and dinner with Mr. Waters.

About The Sonoma International Film Festival

Founded in 1997, Sonoma International Film Festival takes pride in showcasing emerging talent, providing a supportive environment for filmmakers, and creating a rich cultural asset for Northern California’s wine country.

As one of the nation’s top ten destination film festivals, SIFF is uniquely positioned as a lively celebration of film, food, wine and music.  An annual gathering for film industry insiders, filmmakers, critics, and cinema enthusiasts, SIFF takes place in one of the most scenic and epicurean places in the world to experience the art of film. Follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook.

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