XY CHELSEA. Chelsea Manning. Photo Credit: Tim Travers Hawkins.
XY CHELSEA. Chelsea Manning. Photo Credit: Tim Travers Hawkins.

This year’s fifth annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (MLFF) will close out with Tribeca Film Festival’s documentary darling, XY Chelsea on Sunday, May 26. The film takes a look at the life and career of Chelsea Manning, a trans woman solider in the United States Army, who was sentenced to serve 35 years at an all-male military prison for leaking information about the country’s was in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will honor the esteemed alumni of legendary comedy organization, The Groundlings Theatre and School, with the Sierra Spirit Award for their remarkable contributions to the world of television and film. With an influence spanning decades, The Groundlings Theatre and School was founded as a non-profit organization in 1974 and has been the foremost comedy training ground in Hollywood and the springboard for countless careers including comic geniuses such as Jennifer Coolidge, Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Kathy Griffin, Phil Hartman, Cheryl Hines, Chris Kattan, Taran Killam, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Melissa McCarthy, Cheri Oteri, Paul Reubens, Maya Rudolph, Mindy Sterling, Julia Sweeney and Kristen Wiig, among others.

Accepting the award on behalf of The Groundlings are Jordan Black (writer for Saturday Night Live, Last Man Standing), Ryan Gaul (The Last O.G., Superstore), Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live, Scary Movie) and Julia Sweeney (Saturday Night Live, Shrill) who will take part in a conversation about their careers both in and outside the theater. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 25. Previous festival honorees have included Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo, and directors Joe Dante and John Sayles.

“We’re eager to share this year’s compelling lineup with our audiences,” said Festival Director Shira Dubrovner. “The educational and inspirational programming our team has put together is nothing short of outstanding, and we’re also thrilled to be honoring the incomparable Groundlings Theatre and School as the recipients of this year’s Sierra Spirit Award.”

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