Scottsdale International Film Festival Returns with Acclaimed Films

A shot from the film “Roma.” (Submitted Photo)

Ten films will mark their premiere showing to Arizona audiences as part of the upcoming Scottsdale International Film Festival.

The 18th annual Festival, expanding this year from five to 10 days in length, will feature a diverse slate of more than 50 films, which weave together stories of love and laughter, war, religion and history, among other compelling themes, according to a press release.

Emmy Award-winning TV personality Tara Hitchcock will serve as emcee for this year’s opening night festivities, which will be at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., and include the spectacular Arizona Premiere screening of Roma from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron.

“We are pleased and honored that Netflix’s award-winning film, Roma, is going to be our Opening Night film and an Arizona Premiere,” Amy Ettinger, founder and director of the Scottsdale International Film Festival, said in a prepared statement.

“The film has been the subject of much attention since its triumphant premieres in the Toronto, Venice and Telluride Film Festivals.”

The Scottsdale International Film Festival, which begins Friday, Nov. 2 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 11, will showcase the remainder of its curated program at the Harkins Shea 14 Theatres, a release states.

A shot from the film “Rafiki.” (Submitted Photo)

Female directors such as Ondi Timoner helm many of the films, which also feature notable female leads such as Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth McGovern, Molly Shannon, Penelope Cruz and Mary Kay Place.

“The stories told in the films we have selected beautifully address a number of cross-cultural issues facing both men and women today, including sexuality, religious conflict, cultural expectations, and a fair amount of comic relief,” Ms. Ettinger said.

“We have always prided ourselves on our ability to offer audiences a wide-screen view of the world through the art of cinema, and this season’s slate is is extraordinary.”

This year’s films feature compelling characters and storylines, including the work of a war correspondent, a teen venturing beyond the boundaries of her family’s conservative values, and an illustration of third-world resilience.

Audiences can also see the stories of cultural pioneers, as well as the tensions that exist between traditional beliefs and modern culture. Ms. Ettinger said there is a wide-range of themes and places depicted and most likely something for almost everyone.

“A Private War,” one of the films making its Arizona debut, joins other titles such as “Boy Erased,” “The Chaperone,” “Diane,” “Everybody Knows,” “Cold War,” “Mapplethorpe,” “Peterloo” and “Studio 54” as features that have already received early praise from Cannes and Toronto Film Festival audiences.

Other recommendations include “Amateurs,” “Good Manners,” “Rafiki,” “Woman at War” and “Zagros.”
The Scottsdale International Film Festival kicks off with an opening night film on Friday, Nov. 2 and continues with a full schedule of films through Sunday, Nov. 4.

The Festival will showcase one film each weeknight beginning Monday, Nov. 5 through Friday, Nov. 9, and then continues with another full schedule through the closing night film on Sunday, Nov. 11.

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