With Special Guests

Grace of My Heart


Featuring writer/director Allison Anders and star Illeana Douglas in person! DCP Premiere, courtesy of Universal Pictures!

Illeana Douglas will receive this year’s Lofty Achievement Award, presented each year at The Loft Film Fest to an individual whose career and body of work have significantly contributed to the world of cinema, and who continues to inspire, entertain and enlighten audiences.  

 “Allison Anders’ gloriously lyrical tale of two decades in the life of a fictional singer-songwriter works better than most actual biopics … Illeana Douglas delivers a tour de force.” – Caroline Westbrook, Empire

Grace of My Heart is acclaimed writer/director Allison Ander’s unabashed love letter to three decades of popular music, from the doo-wop era of the late 1950s, to the rise of the girl groups in the 1960s to the psychedelic era of the 1970s, all seen through the eyes of an aspiring singer who sacrifices her own singing career to write hit songs that launch the careers of other artists as she searches for her own voice. Illeana Douglas plays Edna Buxton (with a career name change to Denise Waverly), a talented young woman (loosely based on Carol King) with dreams of stardom and a passion for music who turns to writing songs for other artists when she’s told there’s no place for her own songs in the early ‘60s musical landscape. As she travels through two decades of personal and professional challenges, from her first big break, through the pain of rejection from the recording industry and dealing with rocky marriages – one to a Gerry Goffin-like songwriter (Eric Stoltz), the other to a Brian Wilson-type musical genius (Matt Dillon), to her struggle to realize her dream of recording her own album, the film captures all the glamour, excitement and heartbreak of an industry that can both make and break even the most talented artists. Also starring John Turturro, Peter Fonda, Chris Isaak and Patsy Kensit. (Dir. by Allison Anders, 1996, USA, 116 mins, Rated R)

Illeana Douglas is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated actress, comedienne, writer, producer, and director. Her many film and television credits include Goodfellas, Cape Fear, To Die For, Picture Perfect, Ghost World, Grace of My Heart, Six Feet Under, and Welcome to Sweden.  She is a host, writer and interviewer for Turner Classic Movies, and the author of the acclaimed memoir, I Blame Dennis Hopper: Stories of a Life Inside and Outside the Movies.

Allison Anders is an award-winning film and television writer and director who got her first professional break working for her mentor, Wim Wenders, on his movie Paris, Texas (1984). Her feature debut was Border Radio (1987), cowritten and codirected with Kurt Voss, and her other film directing credits include Gas, Food Lodging (1992); Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) (1993); and Grace of My Heart (1996). She has directed for such television shows as Sex and the City, The L Word, Southland, Riverdale, and Orange Is the New Black, and was nominated for an Emmy for directing Ring of Fire (2013). She is a professor in the Film and Media Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Thanks to our community partners, Women’s Studies Advocacy Council (WOSAC)UA Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Tucson Women’s Commission, YWCA Southern Arizona  and ZIA Records.