Scottsdale Film Festival

"Hidden Diary" (France, 2009, French with subtitles)

I hit Scottsdale Fashion Square with my daughter Lizabeth several days ago in search of dowdy slippers to compliment a lovely landlady costume she’s wearing this weekend during her school musical.

While walking past the Harkins Theatre near the food court, I noticed a stack of yellow flyers and larger booklets detailing offerings at this year’s Scottsdale International Film Festival (some of which are pictured here).

"The Chef of South Polar" (Japan, 2010, Japanese with subtitles)

We grabbed a few copies (I always take extras so I can leave them at favorite coffee houses and such) and enjoyed browsing film selections as we sat atop the red stools along the Johnny Rocket’s counter sharing french fries and ketchup poured to look like a smiley face.

Friday’s film and opening night party take place at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, a beautiful venue (amidst lovely grounds) that’s close to several other Scottsdale attractions. If I didn’t live just minutes from the center, I’d book a few days at a local resort and treat myself to a charming “staycation.”

"Anita" (Argentina, 2006, Spanish with subtitles)

The Scottsdale International Film Festival runs Fri, Oct 1 to Tues, Oct 5 — so it makes for a great weekend (and beyond) getaway. My children, now ages 17 to 21, are all old enough to enjoy the film’s mature fare. But were they younger,  it’d be fun to grab a few other families, get a couple of hotel rooms, and take turns watching children and films.

A few hours at the Harkins Camelview Theatre enjoying films. A few hours poolside with the kids. More film. Bedtime stories. More film. Perhaps a wee bit of shopping. But best of all, the chance to enjoy time with grown-ups who share an interest in reel storytime adventures and the conversations they generate.

"The World is Big" (Bulgaria, 2009, Bulgarian with subtitles)

I mention all this today because it looks like the best pricing awaits those who make their ticket/pass selections before the festival opens Friday evening. So take some time today to get online and review your many options. It’s no fun to show up at the last minute and find that a favorite film offering is already sold out.

A quick review of featured film titles has certainly piqued my interest. Hidden Diary. Come Undone. The World Is Big. Burning in the Sun. There’s also Bride Fight, Fathers & Guns, Time of the Comet, Chef of South Polar and many more.

"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (Sweden/Denmark, 2009, Swedish with subtitles)

The opening film, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” shows at 7pm, Oct 1, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (home to the “Talk Cinema” series beginning Oct 19).

I’ll be attending if I can convince my hubby to take over my volunteer box office duties at “Lucky Stiff” that night. He’s way-beyond-worthy of being officially promoted to “Stage Dad.”

"Conviction" (USA, 2010, English)

Lizabeth is most intrigued by the closing film, “Conviction,” which shows at 8:25pm on Oct 5 (at Harkins Camelview) — so I hope to enjoy that one as well.

The brevity of blogging prevents me from sharing details about individual films, so I really do hope that you’ll go online to read more about the magnificent depth and breadth of the festival’s offerings.

"Nora's Will" (Mexico, 2008, Spanish with subtitles)

Thank goodness I’ve never run into a dessert menu with this many gourmet options. After learning more about this year’s film offerings, I’m on the verge of saying — without guilt — that I’ll take one of each.


Note: Click here to visit the Scottsdale International Film Festival website

Coming up: Disney meets Diamond Head?, Gleeks: There’s a camp for that?