The Phoenix Film Festival kicks off tonight tonight with an opening gala, which according to Festival will be a great chance to catch a glimpse of "celebrities" including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sally Kellerman.
We're actually more excited about Phoenix Suns player Grant Hill, who will appear and screen his feature-length film, Starting at the Finish Line, at the festival's home base -- the Harkins Scottsdale 101 at 6 p.m.
The week-long festival, which had more than 22,000 attendees last year, runs from March 31 to April 7.
This year, the festival's schedule includes films starring Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves, Cuba Gooding Jr, and
Christopher Walken; short- and feature-length documentaries; nights of
sci-fi and horror films (both feature length and shorts); world cinema; animated shorts; and blocks of films by local filmmakers and students.
Check out a rundown of festival tickets, select events, and our top picks after the jump ...
Individual Screening tickets run $10 per film (no student or senior discount)
The Flex Pass lets you chose four films and is $30 ($24 seniors/students)
The Festival Pass gets you tickets to any of the films you want to see but does not get you into the Opening Night Gala/Screening for $150 ($130 seniors/students).
A VIP Patron Pass is like the Festival Pass with a free T-shirt and priority seating for $250 ($225 students/seniors).
The Platinum Pass grants you all that the VIP pass does PLUS entrance into the Opening Night Galaand other parties, and special events. If you want to hobnob with filmmakers and celebs, this is your pass. $350 ($300 seniors/students).
Select Opening Events:
Thursday, March 31: The Opening Gala Cocktail party and Screening of Starting at the Finish Line: The Coach Buehler Story is $150 per ticket.
Friday, April 1: Screening run all day and into the evening. The Festival hosts an Industry Night from 6-8:30 pm. There is also a Friday Night Bash with activities and opportunities to meet a few film makers.
Saturday, April 2: Screenings run all day and evening. Saturday is also Kids' Day with family friendly events and screenings. There are a host of seminars and workshops available and a party at night.
Sunday, April 3: Screenings run all day followed by an award ceremony in the evening.
Monday through Thursday: Screenings begin in the late afternoon.
Three Must Sees: 1. Kill the Irishmanis a showcase feature about an Irish mobster who stirs things up with his family's Italian rivals. It stars Christopher Walken, Vincent
D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Ray Stevenson, and Paul Sorvino. Show time: Saturday, April 2 at 11:15 a.m..
2. Henry's Crime stars James Caan and Keanu Reeves in this dark comedy caper film about an innocent man who goes to jail and then
attempts the crime he was accused of after his release. Show time: Sunday, April 3, at 7 p.m..
3. Starting at the Finish Line: follows Al Buehler, who coached at Duke University for 55 years, and documents his latest challenge -- an inoperable brain tumor. Show time: Tonight at 6 p.m.