Festival Fever

Continued (page 3 of 6)

Over the course of four days, 50 films from across the globe will be screened at venues in downtown Flagstaff, including the Orpheum Theater, The Green Room and Sundara. Receptions, after parties and panels that feature scholars and filmmakers are also on the schedule and take place at spots like the Hotel Monte Vista and the Flagstaff Photography Center. Kristi says the festival draws about 3,500 attendees. Ticket packages range from $60 (in advance) for VIPs to $10 for a block of films.

The festival, which is now under the helm of local doctors Ron Tuckman and John Tveten, also includes a student program for 1,000 high school and middle school students from northern Arizona. The program combines film screenings with classroom curriculum. For students who are really serious about a future in filmmaking, the festival’s Emerging Filmmaker Program provides a free, weekly after-school class that teaches high school students the essentials of documentary filmmaking. The students will ultimately submit their films to the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival.

Volunteers with the FMFF screen 130 films, says Kristi. The festival’s director, the aformentioned Ron Tuckman, has contacts with documentary filmmakers, which means he has the opportunity to solicit buzz-worthy docs, including some that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations. “These are films that would not otherwise come to Flagstaff,” says Kristi.

Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, Oct. 13-16 @ venues in downtown Flagstaff. Admission ranges from free to $60 for VIP passes. For more info, call 928-600-6572 or visit www.flagstaffmountain films.org.

Rhythm & Ribs

Barbecue ribs are synonymous with the South and Midwest, and with an influx of residents who have relocated from those regions, the City of Cottonwood recognized some locals might be starving for a taste of home. In 2007, the city started Rhythm & Ribs, a full day of barbecue competitions and live music. But we’re not talking about the usual local bands. In the past, headliners have included the Gin Blossoms, Blue Oyster Cult and the Marshall Tucker Band. This year, organizers decided country music pairs well with barbecue – Troy Olsen and Shooter Jennings both perform during the event. Opening acts include the Jed Morrison Band and Los Guys with 4-Wheels Down. Rhythm & Ribs takes place Oct. 1 at the Cottonwood Kids Park. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the fun lasts until 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. What does that get you? Aside from a day of concerts, about six restaurants from Arizona will be serving up rib samples. Admission includes three samples; additional samples can be purchased for $1. The Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce will sell beer, and you’ll also find local wine vendors, shaved-ice stands and games for the kids. Could this possibly be one of the best deals in the Verde Valley? Apparently that’s the sentiment among residents from all over the state. Hezekiah Allen, event organizer, says past festivals have attracted anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 attendees.

“It’s a family atmosphere,” he says. “You have this incredible view of Mingus Mountain at the base of this large grassy park featuring what we’ve been told is the largest mobile stage on the West Coast [courtesy of Cliff Castle Casino Hotel]. It’s like Cricket Pavilion [ed. now Ashley Homestore Pavilion] in Cottonwood. You have the chance to see major headlining acts for a reasonable price.”

But don’t forget about the ribs, either. Throughout the day, chefs will compete for trophies and cash prizes. Of course, eating ribs isn’t a graceful venture, so you can expect wash stations and shaded sitting areas. Ticket holders are also encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, but outside food is not allowed. Parking costs $1 per car, with the proceeds benefiting a local charity.

6th Annual Cottonwood Rhythm & Ribs, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. @ Cottonwood Kids Park, 12th Street next to the Verde Valley Fairgrounds. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the gate, $5 for children 7 to 12, and free for children 6 and younger. For more info, call 928-639-3200 or visit www.ci.cottonwood.az.us.

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