The Screening Room Comes Alive with Arizona International Film Festival

April 10, 2012

Cinema Carnival will launch the 21st Arizona International Film Festival, the longest running and largest film festival in Arizona, on Friday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at the Crossroads Festival.

From the movie "Up Heartbreak Hill."

But the heart of the festival for its 17-day run through April 29 is The Screening Room, 127 East Congress Street.

The Screening Room will show nearly 50 of the more than 120 independent films screened at the festival, and will be the only venue to show films every day of the festival other than opening night.

The first day screenings at the Screening Room coincides with 2nd Saturdays on April 14. That day will feature a series of short films and admission will be free that day only. 2nd Saturdays is the sponsor of all The Screening Room festival showings.

“It’s a great way to get a taste of the film festival,” said Mia Schnaible, The Screening Room’s marketing director.

The Arizona International Film Festival also will show films at the Berger Performing Arts Center, the Oro Valley Library and the Desert View Theater in SaddleBrooke.

“It’s like traveling without a passport,” Schnaible said. “It’s an easy way to experience other cultures. It’s an uncensored view of what’s going on. It’s very unlikely the major theaters would show a movie about Joe Arpaio. We have two.”

For the first time, the festival’s opening night will have independent films playing on all six screens at Crossroads Festival. The setting will be fun-filled with filmmakers, musicians, jugglers and much more.

"We Win or We Die"

Cinema Carnival is open to the general public. Admission is $8. Advance tickets are available here.

Films selected to play on opening night include:
“Pariah,” the 2012 Spirit Awards John Cassavetes Award
“Shouting Secrets,” a Native American drama
“Two Americans,” a controversial documentary about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio,
“Meherjaan” from Bangladesh
“It’s such a beautiful day,” an experimental animation from 2012 Sundance
“Alligators Always Avoid Anchovies,“ produced by a Tucson filmmaker.

Program information and schedule is available here.

Kent Edwards, managing partner of Grand Cinemas and Tower Theatres, will serve as the Honorary Chairperson for the 2012 Festival. “I have watched this Festival grow over the years and witnessed the major  contributions it has made to the community at large and to the Arizona film industry,” Edwards said.

The festival theme of Bridging Cultures provides a way for independent cinema to share images and voices from diverse cultures with Arizona communities.  Since 1990, the Arizona International Film Festival has screened more than 2,000 films from 80 countries around the world to 127,000 Arizonans of all ages.

The Arizona International Film Festival is a project of the Arizona Media Arts Center and is supported by 2nd Saturdays Downtown, Grand Cinemas, Comcast, KXCI and the Downtown Tucson Partnership.