Film Festival
Filmmakers traveled to Zanskar, ringed by high Himalayan mountains in northwest India and one of the most remote places on the planet, to tell the story of Tibetan Buddhism. courtesy photo

Film fans in Northwest Tucson are happy to know that the DesertView Theater in SaddleBrooke is showing selections from the Arizona International Film Festival on the next two Tuesdays – April 12 and 19.

Not only are they driving less to see some remarkable cinema, but they’re also paying less. Tickets for the DesertView films are only $3. Remember – you don’t have to live in SaddleBrooke to attend the screenings.

Located in SaddleBrooke’s DesertView Performing Arts Center, the theater was selected as an exhibition site for AIFF’s 20th anniversary touring program thanks to the efforts of SaddleBrooke residents Joan Holder and Ron Bechke.

Holder approached Bechke, who oversees the theater’s DesertView Cinema Club, about bringing AIFF films to SaddleBrooke. Holder served as a volunteer for AIFF 2010 and thought Northwest residents, who might not be able to drive to the AIFF’s midtown showings, would appreciate seeing high-quality independent films so close to home. Holder had many films to choose from for the local screenings.

“I watched about six or seven of the 2011 film selections to find the two I wanted,” Holder said. “Both ‘Journey from Zanskar,’ which opened the film festival, and ‘Happy’ are outstanding. ‘Happy’ is a delightful film that I know SaddleBrooke audiences will enjoy. It takes an international look at what makes people happy.”

The program opened last night, with showings of two award-winning films from the 2010 film festival: “Such Good Friends” and “65_RedRoses.” It continues this Tuesday with the high-profile films “Journey from Zanskar” and “Happy.” Award-winning films from the 2011 festival will close out the local offerings on April 19.

Holder introduces the films at all showings. She is glad the theater can offer the films at $3, which is what DesertView patrons are used to paying at the regular Tuesday feature film showings.

All residents in the northwest are welcome to attend the screenings at the DesertView Theater, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive. People do not need to live in SaddleBrooke to attend.

The Arizona International Film Festival, April 1-20, is a project of the Arizona Media Arts Center and is supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit


Arizona International Film Festival, SaddleBrooke Program

DesertView Theater,

39900 S. Clubhouse Drive

Admission to all shows is $3.

Shows are open to the public. You do not have to reside in SaddleBrooke to attend.



“Journey from Zanskar”

Frederick Marx, USA, 2010, 90 min.

How far would you go to save your dying culture? “Journey from Zanskar” follows a pair of Buddhist monks who are attempting to bring a dozen children from a remote Kashmiri village to a Tibetan school in distant Manali, where they will receive a desperately needed education. “Journey from Zanskar” was the opening night film for the 2011 Arizona International Film Festival.

2:15 p.m. at the DesertView Theater



Roko Belic, USA, 2011, 77 min.

“Happy” is a feature documentary that takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research and real life stories of ordinary and extraordinary people around the world, “Happy” uncovers the secrets behind our most valued emotion. The program also includes comedy short, “Celestial Avenue,” Australia, 20 min. It was named Best Comedy Short at the 2010 Film Festival.

7 p.m. at the DesertView Theater



Best of Fest 1

Award-winning films from the 2011 Arizona International Film Festival

2:15 p.m. at the DesertView Theater


Best of Fest 2

Award-winning films from the 2011 Arizona International Film Festival

7 p.m. at the DesertView Theater

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