The Philadelphia Eleven


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sat, Nov 11, 2023 1:00 PM
Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sun, Nov 12, 2023 7:00 PM
Mary D. Fisher Theatre Mon, Nov 13, 2023 7:00 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Tue, Nov 14, 2023 3:30 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Wed, Nov 15, 2023 3:30 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Documentary Feature
Release Year:2023
Run Time:86 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Margo Guernsey


The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premiere of “The Philadelphia Eleven” showing Nov. 11-15 at the Mary D. Fisher and Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatres.

The Episcopal Churches of the Verde Valley — located in Clarkdale and Sedona — will co-host the film and co-present a post-screening discussion with women priests from the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona at the opening premiere screening of “The Philadelphia Eleven” on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1:00 p.m.

Episcopal churches in Northern Arizona from Clarkdale, Flagstaff, Sedona, Williams, and Winslow have been blessed to have women priests lead their congregations for more than two decades. Join us to hear how, in standing on the shoulders of the Philadelphia Eleven, Episcopal women priests continue to shape our experiences of God in the church and the world.

In an act of civil disobedience, a group of 11 women and their supporters organize their ordination to become Episcopal priests in 1974. The Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia welcomes them, but change is no small task. The women are harassed, some lose friends, and others are banned from stepping on church property.

Their story is told in a compelling new documentary “The Philadelphia Eleven” where we meet the women who succeed in building a movement that transforms an age-old institution, and challenges the very essence of patriarchy within Christendom.

This film tells a story that echoes today as women continue this fight for the pulpit. It explores the lives of these remarkable women who succeeded in transforming an age-old institution when they took a stand despite the threats to their personal safety and the risk of rejection by the church they loved. These women are an inspiration for a generation of women in the ministry, and a clarion call for the entire Christian Church.

The film’s director, Margo Guernsey, is not Episcopalian. She reminds us “this is a story for all of us. It is about how to break down barriers with grace and be true to oneself in the process. This story reveals ways in which voices that are inconvenient are often buried. It also provides a vision for what a just and inclusive community looks like in practice.”