"Movies that Move You" is the focus of this year's Prescott Film Festival, which began Wednesday and continues through Sunday, July 26.
In "Finding Hillywood," audiences can become part of a journey with a group of budding filmmakers in Rwanda traveling the country to help citizens come to grips with its genocidal past. Care to dance? Join some amazingly athletic young men determined to create a future for themselves in ballet in "The Ballet Boys."
The Prescott Film Festival also is thrilled to present another "sneak peek" - "Learning to Drive" with Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson.
There are 22 film programs to choose from. Genres include mystery, drama, romance, comedy and documentaries covering everything from Big Bird ("I am Big Bird"), to magicians ("An Honest Liar") to a little-known story about Arizona history ("Power's War"). A variety of student films from Dodge Film School, AZ High Schools, ASU, Santa Rosa Junior College and Yavapai College also will be presented.
The festival takes place on the Yavapai College Prescott Campus. There is plentiful free all-day parking at the college and it's a quick and easy walk between theaters. Food and beverages will be available for sale on campus so movie fans can take in as many films as they desire without going hungry.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 24, the festival will present the award-winning film "Theeb," which is taking the festival world by storm. Set in the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination. The director, Naji Abu Nowar is scheduled to Skype in for Q&A after the film. A free Cabaret After-Party immediately follows the film, complete with cash bar.
The festival also brings its annual wine tasting, AZ Uncorked, to the YCPAC. The wine tasting is co-sponsored by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and Cellar 433. Cork N' Cuisine will present food pairings appropriate for each wine. The "Sneak Peek" film, "Learning to Drive" screens after the wine tasting, at 7:30 p.m.
The festival closes Sunday night with a beautifully told and inspirational film, "The Starfish Throwers." Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a 12-year-old girl and a retired schoolteacher discover how their individual efforts to feed the poor ignites a movement in the fight against hunger. This screening is also a canned food drive for Yavapai County food banks. Bring in two cans of food and receive $2 off the ticket price.
Three free workshops round out the festival: "Hollywood Through the Looking Glass" with Dan Bronson, the Chapman Animation Showcase with animated short films from Dodge Film School at Chapman University, and Philip Sedgwick's workshop on screenwriting, "Who are these People and how did they end up in my Screenplay?"
Passes and tickets are for sale online at prescottfilmfestival.com. Ticket prices for individual screenings are $12 general admission and $6 for students and Yavapai College employees, with a 10-pack available for $100. The AZ Uncorked wine tasting and film tickets are $35. Festivalgoers also can get a Platinum Pass for $195 or an All-Movie pass for $120.