Expect big crowds to gather outside the Harkins Shea 14 Theater on Thursday, October 9 through Monday October 13, 2014. No, the organizers of the four-day event are not giving out crisp $100 bills or offering a chance to win a brand new car. The Scottsdale movie theatre complex, located at 7354 East Shore Boulevard, will be the central location for the 14th Annual Scottsdale International Film Festival. While most of the screenings will take place at the Harkins Shea 14 Theater, some films will also be screened at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Based on the October 4-8, 2013, 13th Annual Scottsdale International Film Festival, movie fans can expect:
• Screenings of both full-length and shorter films in a variety of genres
• International Filmmakers from more than 50 different countries
• Discussions after the screenings with writers, directors, and maybe even some of the actors and actresses who starred in the movie you just watched
• Parties and festivities intertwined with the screenings
• Crowds in excess of 80,000 over the course of the four-day event
As a destination event, the Scottsdale International Film Festival draws visitors not only from Arizona and Southern California, but also from many parts of the United States and a number of countries around the globe. Since the inaugural Festival back in 2000, attendance has steadily increased from just a few thousand to more than 9,000 at the October 2013 event.
Where to Stay
If you are planning to come to Scottsdale to attend the 2014 International Film Festival, a great place to stay while you are in town is the beautiful Best Western Plus Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites Hotel. The all-suite hotel offers very comfortable and spacious accommodations at a price that won’t break your budget. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, free high-speed internet and a host of other nice amenities. From the Scottsdale Thunderbird hotel, it is only about a 10 minute ride (3.8 miles) down North Scottsdale Road to get to the Harkins Shea 14 Theater.
Films Featured at the 2014 Scottsdale Film Festival
Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible so you won’t miss the movies you want to see most. Each of the films that are being showcased at this year’s event have been selected from thousands of entries. Only the best-of-the-best are good enough to make it in to the 2014 Scottsdale Film Festival.
Films from the United States and Canada will be featured. Countries from around the globe will also be well-represented. To make the best foreign language films available to a largely English-speaking audience, subtitles are added to the bottom of the screen.
To give you an idea of what you can see, take a look at a representative sample of the different genres and interesting subject matter that will be covered.
1,000 Times Good Night
You see images of war every night on the evening news, but you have never seen coverage of the real costs of modern war. Rebecca, played by Juliette Binoche, is an accomplished war photojournalist. Through the lens of her camera, you will see and feel the imminent danger of the battlefield and also come to understand how war impacts ordinary lives.
Abuse of Weakness
A powerful French-language film that chronicles the determined and valiant efforts of a 56 year-old woman who suffers serious stroke. Catherine Breillet never gives up as she fights a long battle to regain mobility after suffering paralysis to one side of her body as the result of the stroke. You’ll watch her through her 5-month stay as she has her good days and her bad days. You may shed a few tears as you watch her inspirational story unfold before your eyes.
Take a close-up look at the Navajo lifestyle in this profound documentary about the Navajo Nation. It follows the lives of three people as they discover that escaping the Reservation to live in mainstream society is not the dream-life they thought it would be.
Novelist Sam Tucker is having a mid-life crisis. His motivation to write the next great novel has all but disappeared. Instead of sitting down in front of his computer and trying to get past his writer’s block, he turns to other activities to occupy his time. Sam starts by indulging in ice cream and watching hours of television. One day a new person named Sherrie enters his life. The initial encounter with the sexy and provocative Sherrie, his next-door-neighbor, gives the author a new outlook on life. You’ll have to see the movie to find up how it ends.
Wild – Special Advance Screening / Arizona Premiere
They always save the best for last. The closing night film is also the much anticipated premiere of the movie based on the work and true life story of bestselling author Cheryl Strayed. Directed by Academy Award-winning Jean-Marc Vallee and starring Academy Award-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), Wild is an adventure that shows how an ordinary person can overcome tremendous obstacles and change their life. In the film, the protagonist (Strayed) puts her past heroin addiction and failed marriage behind her and goes on a more than 1,000 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way she encounters a cast of characters and learns about her strengths and capabilities. After completing her solo journey, she emerges as a new woman, Ready to tackle the word and begin a brand new, drug-free life.
The complete schedule, and more in-depth information about the 42 films that will be shown at this year’s Scottsdale Film Festival is available at the Festival’s website
Last Year – The October 2013 Scottsdale International Film Festival
Last year’s Scottsdale International Film Festival was highlighted by the showing of some big feature films. Sell-out crowds came to see Decoding Annie Parker that starred Helen Hunt and August: Osage County with Academy Award winning actresses Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. With the success of the October 2013 event still being talked about, the organizers are working hard to make sure the 2014 Scottsdale International Film Festival is even bigger and better. While the schedule and final details of the event will not be available on the Film Festival’s website until September 6, 2014, there is one very interesting and exciting screening to talk about today. While not a closely guarded secret, Common Ground Productions and Lama Films of Tel Aviv, have let it be known that Under the Same Sun is going to be screened at the October 9-13 Scottsdale International Film Festival.
Under The Same Sun:
Tensions between the Jewish people living in Israel and the Palestinian people living in the Gaza strip has existed for many years and this movie takes a personal look at the problem. Given current conditions where Hamas, the Democratically elected governing body of Gaza (considered by Israel and the U.S. to be a terrorist group), has been targeting Israel with thousands of missiles and Israel has responded with targeted bombing of their own, Under The Same Sun will be particularly topical and of great interest at the Scottsdale International Film Festival. The movie relates the story of two businessmen, one, an Israeli and one a Palestinian. While they both have the same goal of operating a successful business and making money, they are conflicted because of their divergent religious beliefs and customs. The two men cross paths and need to interact to further their financial motives. At the same time, they encounter hostilities and resistance from their families. In the end, business men Shaul and Nizar work things out and show that Israelis and Palestinians are not all that different. Under The Same Sun is a powerful film that will go a long way in changing the perception by Westerners, Israelis and Palestinians about war, anger and frustration between the two factions. Hopefully, the message of cooperation and settling disputes in a practical and reasonable manner will lead to a lasting peace and a better life for the ordinary people living in the affected areas.
Enjoy the Upcoming Scottsdale International Film Festival
You will be able to get updates and more details about the October 2014 screenings when information becomes available after September 6, 2014. In the meantime, make your plans to stay at the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites. Don’t worry too much right now about the specific films – they are always fantastic!
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