An eclectic mix of filmmakers, industry professionals, students and movie buffs will network and celebrate the magic of cinema at the Chandler International Film Festival from Friday, Jan. 13, to Sunday, Jan. 15, at SoHo63.
“We are honored and thrilled to welcome the Chandler International Film Festival to downtown Chandler and SoHo63,” said City Councilman René Lopez.
“We have a diverse, multicultural community that values and supports the arts in many ways. The opportunity to see so many unique and creative international films will spark a tremendous amount of interest and excitement. It’s going to be a great weekend in Chandler.”
A unique and pioneering film festival, CIFF will feature screenings of more than 100 movies selected from thousands of submissions by talented filmmakers worldwide. The festival’s focus is to showcase creative independent film direction through diversity, innovation and uniqueness while capturing the series of movements and experiences of a single movie.
“We are doing this to encourage emerging movie makers to continue creating by appreciating their work, giving them the recognition they deserve and helping them create more opportunities through networking, publicity and distribution,” said CIFF creator and director Mitesh Patel, a film producer.
Throughout the year, films were submitted, screened and selected for awards such as Best Picture of the Month, which gets a screening at the annual event to compete for Best of the Best Picture. For each month, the official selection and winner are announced on the CIFF website, chandlerfilmfestival.com. In addition, all monthly “Best Picture” winners get a trophy and distribution offer. There will also be a viewers’ choice award that attendees will vote for over the weekend.
“We create an opportunity for filmmakers to get their films judged and let them compete with other filmmakers,” Patel said. “We perform a comprehensive evaluation process and select only high-quality films. Only the best ones make it into the festival.”
Filmmakers will have access to festival screenings, red carpet interviews and all the networking opportunities that come along with a festival of this size and magnitude.
The festival will begin Friday evening with a “Chandlerwood” premiere gala. Guests will walk the red carpet, take pictures and enjoy a cocktail hour followed by the opening ceremony with remarks from Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. Jim Grieshaber of iHeart Radio and JAMM7 will serve as emcee. The festival will include a dinner and a movie screening Saturday night, industry workshops and afterparties. It will culminate with the awards ceremony on Sunday evening that will include a viewers’ choice award.
“This is a very important event for us as a city with a deep commitment to the arts,” added Terri Kimble, president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud and excited to welcome it with open arms.”
The event is open to the public. Food and beverages will be available throughout the weekend. Ticket prices start at $25, and are on sale at chandlerfilmfestival.com.