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• 5:30 p.m. – Hotel Congress

FILM FESTIVAL KICK-OFF CELEBRATION: The special event begins with a reception in honor of the 14 Arizona filmmakers selected to screen at the 2009 Arizona International Film Festival (April 16-26).

• 7:30 p.m. – La Placita Village

Hold on to your handle bars when “Veer” hits the screen. Narrated by Matthew Modine, the film chronicles the bicycling culture of Portland, Ore. From a nude bike race to workshops for children, from Zoobombing through the winding streets to “Death Matches” and jousting, the ever-growing and ever- changing bike culture values community above all. The film also explores the underground bike culture, as well as a lobbyist’s efforts to enact new bicycle legislation. Preceded by the short, “BICAS Works,” where bike spokes, rims and wheels become works of recycled art. This bike-in film extravaganza under the stars is a fundraiser for The Screening Room’s new marquee.


• 8 p.m. – Crossroads – $8

“EMILIO”: A portrait of a naive Mexican kid’s sink-or-swim encounter with the urban beast that is contemporary Los Angeles is at the heart of “Emilio” (USA/Mexico). When 14-year-old Maria disappears from her village in Mexico, her older brother Emilio sets off for L.A. on a mission to find her and bring her home. The film marks Kim Jorgensen’s debut as a director. He was executive producer of Oscar-winning “Out of Africa” (1985) and cult favorite “The Kentucky Fried Movie” (1977).

• 9 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“DISTANZ”: Direct from the 2009 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, “Distanz” is a dark meditation of a violent loner standing at the crossroads between the random acts of murder that are his secret pastime and the budding relationship that may represent his last hope of salvation. Preceded by the French short, “Vostok,” a revisionist history of the Soviet space program re-created with exploding cars.


• 11 a.m. – Crossroads – free

DIGITAL STORIES BY YOUTH FROM ARIZONA TO AFGHANISTAN: Digital works by students from throughout the globe explore issues from education to immigration to the “American Dream.” Includes several films by teenagers from Tucson’s South Park neighborhood, plus the winners of the first-ever Catalina Magnet High School Youth Film Festival.

• 1:30 p.m. – Crossroads – $6

“BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE WOOD”: Do you sweat underwater? This documentary about the University of Arizona’s 2008 swim teams reveals the intensity, frustration and dedication experienced by athletes when a fraction of a second decides the difference between triumph and heartbreak.

• 2 p.m. The Screening Room – $6

“WEAVING WORLDS”: Prayers, dreams and commerce weave together in a compelling documentary about Navajo artists and their unique, often controversial relationships with white reservation traders. Filmmaker Bennie Klain and Navajo weaver and activist Nicole Horseherder will introduce the film. After the screening, a panel discussion exploring the challenges in sustaining traditional Navajo lifestyles will take place at the Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery, 222 E. Sixth St.

• 4 p.m. – Crossroads – $8

“EMILIO”: See Friday description.

• 4 p.m. – The Screening Room – $6

DRAMATIC SHORTS: Four shorts that run the gamut of dramatic situations, from espionage thrillers to childhood nightmares come true: • “Odessa” – a roadside encounter with a cowboy “Black angel.” • “Miracle Fish” – an unforgettable, and deadly, 8th birthday. • “In the Dark” – an informant’s escape from Ayatollah Khomenei’s Iran • “No Come Down” – a night of blood, drugs, cats and paranoia.

• 6:30 p.m. – Crossroads – $6

“GLOBAL SHORTS”: • “Hot Dog” – In Anytown, USA, an inept pooch becomes a fire dog. • “El Ataque de los Robots de Nebulosa-5″ – A Spanish man prepares for the robot apocalypse. • “Milbe” – Enormous dust mites overrun a German grandmother’s home. • “Princess Margaret Blvd.” – A Canadian woman struggles with Alzheimer’s • “Wish” – Four British teenagers play a game nobody wins. • “This is Her” – In life there are no fairy tale endings.

• 7 p.m. – Screening Room (World Premiere) – $8

“RITA OF THE SKY”: After walking 1,500 miles from the Copper Canyon in Mexico, a Tarahumara woman is detained in a Kansas mental hospital when officials mistake her native language for the “guttural noises” of mental illness. Experimental documentary techniques re-create Rita’s incredible journey and unconscionable incarceration.

• 8:30 p.m. – Crossroads (World Premiere) – $8

“GOOD BOY”: A young man’s bid for freedom from his dead-end life is derailed by the arrival of a mysterious, sadistic killer and his human pets. When people are treated like animals, the “dog” is often more human than the master. Preceded by “Kanizsa Hill” where a decapitated head and body learn to exist independently.

• 9:30 p.m. – Screening Room – $5

COMEDY SHORTS: Five shorts locate the comedy in mundane situations gone horribly wrong: • “Keith Reynolds Can’t Make It Tonight” – A businessman’s promotion day devolves into violence • “A–hole” – A man visits the doctor and is diagnosed as an a–hole. • “Abbie Cancelled” – A dinner party reaches new levels of awkwardness. • “Manual Practico del Amigo Imaginario” – An imaginary friend grows jealous of his real-life competition. • “Acting for the Camera” – An acting class attempts to re-create “that scene” from “When Harry Met Sally” . . . with disastrous results.


• 1 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

15 YEARS OF THE VIDEO REVOLUTION: A PAN LEFT RETROSPECTIVE: Since 1994, Tucson’s Pan Left Productions has consistently produced thought-provoking work. Films in this program showcase the development of the collective’s craft and demonstrate members’ commitment to telling stories often ignored by others.

• 1 p.m. – Crossroads – free

“TWO FIREFLIES”: A depressed coffee shop waitress and a widower stuck in a rut forge an unlikely friendship and encourage each other along the rocky terrain of dating life. Preceded by “John and Karen,” an animated apology between a polar bear and his penguin girlfriend. Filmmaker Adam Mayer will introduce the film.

• 3 p.m. – Crossroads – $8

“FOR MY WIFE”: As her partner lay dying, Charlene Strong was barred from the hospital room because they weren’t married. This documentary chronicles Charlene’s subsequent transformation into an activist and humanizes the struggle for LGBT marriage equality. Filmmaker David Rothmiller will introduce the film and participate in the panel discussion about marriage equality activism following the screening.

• 3 p.m. The Screening Room – free

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF: PANEL ON YOUTH IN MEDIA ARTS: Featuring young filmmakers who have recently completed Pan Left projects, this panel will discuss perspectives on youth voice in media.

• 4:30 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF: FILMWORKS BY YOUTH: Featuring young filmmakers who have recently completed Pan Left projects, this panel will discuss perspectives on youth in media.

• 6 p.m. – Crossroads (U.S. Premiere) – $8

“EL REGALO DE LA PACHAMAMA” (THE GIFT OF MOTHER EARTH): What does it mean to belong to a culture? Thirteen-year-old Kunturi learns the answer to that question the hard way when he leaves his village for the “salt trail,” where a series of disturbing events test and eventually deepen his appreciation for the Quechuan ethos of caring and sharing.

• 7 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“NATSU NO UTAGE” (SUMMER TRIP): After old friends Kagayama and Hirata retire, they hit the road for a mystical journey through beautiful, misty mountains of Japan. The men share their memories of youth and worries about old age as they travel to ancient shrines and remote landscapes. When the companions come upon a noodle house in a seemingly deserted region, their luck begins to change.


• 7 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“RITA OF THE SKY”: See Saturday listing.


• 6 p.m. The Screening Room – free

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: • “GOOD: Internet Censorship” – Slices of nonfiction life from censorship in cyberspace • “UNSUNG: RC Tomlinson’s Story” – A veteran reggae singer’s struggle to be heard. • “Héroes, No Hacen Falta Alas Para Volar” – The story of a DJ with no arms. “Harraga” – The dilemma of illegal immigrants who are also children.

• 8 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

ANIMATION SHORTS: Utilizing various animation styles, 10 shorts make the larger-than-life come alive: • “Alice’s Attic” – A fragile character confronts her fears of the dark. • “Dear Fatty” – A mourning girl imagines a new life for her departed hamster. • “Hot Dog”- An inept pooch becomes a fire dog. “John and Karen” – A polar bear apologizes after an argument with his penguin girlfriend. “Ralph & Jimmy” – A naive boy hitches a ride with an odd-looking new friend. • “Keith Reynolds Can’t Make It Tonight” – A businessman’s promotion day devolves into violence. • “Flute Babies” – A lonely alligator discovers a new sensation. • “Undone” – An old man struggles to pull his memories from the rolling sea below. • “Kanizsa Hill” – A decapitated man’s head and body learn to exist independently. “Wet Season” – A filmmaker uses movie magic to travel back in time and create the moment he wishes he’d shared with his father.


• 6 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

“HARIKO NO TORA” (PAPER TIGER): A gangster demands repayment from a pensioner, whose card-playing losing streak has him facing a mountain of debt. But that’s not the gangster’s only problem. He also has a hunch his henchman is sleeping with his lover. Preceded by “Wet Season,” a filmmaker’s magic journey back in time to share a moment with his father.

• 8 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

ARIZONA SHORTS: As varied as the state’s landscapes, so are Arizona films (Local filmmakers will introduce their films).

• Comedy: “Walmart Domination” – An exposé of a “fictional” corporation uncovers bribery, extortion and kidnapping. Meanwhile, a heartfelt look into idyllic Mennonite culture goes wrong as field biologists track, subdue and tag an unsuspecting “specimen” in “Secret World of Mennonites.”

• Dramatic: A teen agonizes whether to tell the authorities when she overhears a student making a threat on a teacher in “Where Dad Hides His Gun.” Then, a mundane activity takes on deep meaning as a man contemplates life, love and loss while doing laundry in “Days of Being Wrinkle Free.” Finally, a young shoeshine boy ducks into a dimly lit bar and is given a chance to make some extra money in “The Shoe Shine Diaries.”

• Experimental: Poignant poetry and striking visuals provoke an emotional response to questions of longing and loss featured in “Longing Trilogy.” Collected video footage and symbolic media images connect recent atrocities to the human hunger for fossil fuels in “Controlled Bleeding: A Nation’s Nightmare.”

• Documentary: Bike spokes, rims and wheels become works of recycled art in “BICAS Works.” A granddaughter yearns to learn more about her Armenian heritage in “Generations Apart,” and two women living along the 111th meridian (in Tucson and in Bozeman) explore their parallel lives in the film, “111 Degrees Longitude.”

• 9:30 p.m. – The Shanty

ARIZONA FILMMAKER PARTY: Arizona’s Most Wanted filmmakers escape their screening and head to the Shanty, 401 E. Ninth St., to celebrate their freedom.


• 6 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

CINE ESPAÑOL, TAKE 1: Five Spanish tales: • “La Tuerca” – A girl discovers magic in a metal nut • “Mofetas” – Two young Moroccan stowaways wait and dream. • “Manuel Practico del Amigo Imaginario” – An imaginary friend grows jealous of his real-life competition. • “Una Vida Mejor” – Desert-crossing by three young children. • “Gólgota” – A village tale of tragedy and burlesque.

• 8 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

LATINO SHORTS: Eight short films examine aspects of the Latino experience: • “The Coin Collection” – Father and son, both veterans, confront the experience of combat. • “Immersion” – A young immigrant struggles with the language gap in his new American school • “UNSUNG: RC Tomlinson’s Story” – A veteran reggae singer’s struggle to be heard. • “Trece Años” – A brother returns to visit family in Cuba • “El Ladroncito” – A boy from the Nicaraguan barrio resorts to theft to buy the latest video game system. • “The First Kid to Learn English from Mexico” – A 9-year-old fights, cajoles and bribes his way through third grade. • “Shine” – An East L.A. youth wants to drop out of college and become a dancer. • “Una Y Otra Vez” – An immigrant factory worker learns to live without love and work. Several filmmakers will be present to introduce their films.


• 5 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

INDIEFILMS FOR INDIEYOUTH: Teens, preteens and tweens may be the audience for mall-theater blockbusters and cross-promotional marketing juggernauts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes want more. These funny, inspiring, and thoughtful shorts, made for youth, show that “indie” is for everyone.

• 6 p.m. – Crossroads – $6

“GLOBAL SHORTS”: • “Hot Dog” – In Anytown, USA, an inept pooch becomes a fire dog. • “El Ataque de los Robots de Nebulosa-5″ – A Spanish man prepares for the robot apocalypse. • “Milbe” – An enormous dust mites overrun a German grandmother’s home. • “Princess Margaret Blvd.” – A Canadian woman struggles with Alzheimer’s • “Wish” – Four British teenagers play a game nobody wins. • “This is Her” – In life there are no fairy tale endings.

• 7 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“UPSTREAM BATTLE”: Salmon thought their only challenge was swimming upstream . . . until they ran into the dams. Now, members of Klamath Basin tribes fight to remove the dams they believe are killing the fish. This documentary of their struggle deals with survival: of Native American lifestyles, of the salmon and the river, and of the commercial fishermen and farmers who benefit from the river water. Filmmaker Ben Kempas will introduce film.

• 7:30 p.m. – Crossroads (U.S. Premiere) – $8

“CHATURANGA” (FOUR CHAPTERS): Based on a controversial novel by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, this haunting narrative set in colonial Bengal grapples with two grand, intertwining themes: what happens to love when it’s caught between conflicting worlds of ideas? And what are the human costs of life’s disillusioning search for meaning?

• 9:30 p.m. – The Screening Room – $5

EDGY SHORTS: • What does dialectical materialism have to do with the abstract movements of red blood cells? (“Hemorrhage”) • Where can one see a surrealistic musical about the love between a woman and a talking photocopier (“The Ballad of Beatrice”) • Why would anyone feel the need to re-enact the Soviet space program with exploding cars? (“Vostok”) • How do a troubled man’s visions of blood connect to the ominous red door in his office? (“Red Door”) – The answers to these questions, and more, can be found in this series of after-hours shorts.


• 10 a.m. – The Loft Cinema – free

GLOBAL DIGITAL STORIES BY YOUTH FROM TUCSON TO SOUTH AFRICA: Short works by Tucson youth from Afghanistan, Central America, Iraq, Somalia and Zimbabwe, offer a unique window into their lives and cultures. Program also includes digital stories created by Tibetan refugees and youth from the townships of South Africa. Sponsored by Owl and Panther Project, Bridges to Understanding & Tucson Youth Week.

• 1 p.m. – Crossroads – free

CINE ESPAÑOL, TAKE 2: • “5 Segundas” – An injury results in altered vision. • “Paseo” – A poet and a peasant help a lovesick soldier. • “Go Home” – A Spanish baseball team dreams about the Yankees. • “Test” – Four unrelated women take pregnancy tests. • “El Palacio de la Luna” – A mother writes of life’s gravity. • “Porque Hay Cosas Que Nunca Se Olvidan” – Let there be soccer – or else.

• 2:30 p.m. – The Screening Room – free

INDIEFILMS FOR INDIEYOUTH: See the world portrayed the way YOU see it! Youth-made films will be the order of the day, sent from all over Tucson and all over the country to give viewers new perspectives on the world we live in.

• 3 p.m. – Crossroads – $8

“SOMETHING UNKNOWN IS DOING WE DON’T KNOW WHAT”: Telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psycho-kinesis and psychic healing: these, the “Big Five” mind phenomena, are the subject of this mystical documentary, where prominent scientists weigh in to unravel the mysteries of psychic occurrences and discover the boundaries between “real” and fraudulent magical powers. Filmmaker Renee Scheltema will introduce the film and participate in a panel after the screening to answer paranormal questions.

• 4:30 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“THICKER THAN WATER”: 11-year-old Tony loves hockey. He also has severe hemophilia, which means his hockey-playing days are numbered. An engrossing mix of home movie footage, interviews and lots of hockey action communicate a touching message about loving life and playing your last game as well as you can. Filmmaker Bradley Rappa will introduce the film. Preceded by “Everyone Needs a Heaven,” an animated documentary about a young girl’s view of the afterlife.

• 6 p.m. – Crossroads – $8

“CHATURANGA” (FOUR CHAPTERS): See Friday listing.

• 7 p.m. – The Screening Room – $8

“WC”: Racism, social integration, sex trafficking and underpaid labor form the backdrop for this colorful story of a friendship between two bathroom attendants in a Dublin jazz bar. Filmmaker Liam O’Mochiam will introduce the film. Preceded by the comedy short, “A–hole.”

• 9 p.m. Casa Vicente

CLOSING NIGHT PARTY: Celebrate with Indie Coyote and visiting filmmakers as the Arizona Most Wanted filmmakers are released for good behavior and good filmmaking. The 2009 Arizona International Film Festival Awards will be announced.


• 1 p.m. – The Screening Room – $5

BEST OF THE FEST: An opportunity to see the award-winning films of this year’s festival, as well as films that caused a buzz. Free admission to those who wear their 2009 Festival T-shirt.


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