Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.
Your Guide to the 4th annual Chandler International Film Festival!

Your Guide to the 4th annual Chandler International Film Festival!

Posted by John Wolfe on 13th Jan 2020

The 4th annual Chandler International Film Festival will take place this weekend, Jan. 17-20, in conjunction with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

CIFF will feature more than 120 films submitted from 35 countries and six continents at the Harkins 20 theaters at the Chandler Fashion Mall.

The four-day event will include: Red Carpet Opening Ceremony, Special World Premiere Shows, Film-making Workshops, Discussion Panels, Nightly After Parties & Closing Award Ceremony.

Click here for ticket information.

Friday, Jan. 17

6:30 pm -- Red Carpet Opening Ceremony for all (wear your best formal wear!)

8 pm -- Premier of Feature Drama "Buffaloed," with Brian Sacca

Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) has never run with the Buffalo pack. As a young girl obsessed with making enough cash to get out of her blue-collar existence, she's betting on her sharp mind—and even sharper mouth—to get her into an Ivy League university. But when an acceptance letter to the school of her dreams arrives, she quickly realizes the impossibility of paying tuition. One scalping scheme, stint in prison, and chance phone conversation with a debt collector later changes everything.

10 pm -- After Party at California Pizza Kitchen.

Saturday, Jan. 18

10 am -- Best Experimental Short Films

10 am -- Feature Documentary: "Undeterred."

Undeterred tells the story of the buildup of enforcement along the US/ Mexico border, how it has affected and changed life in one small town and how local residents have organized to push back and resist those changes.

11 am -- Best Student Short Films

Noon -- Feature Narrative: "Foster Boy"

Michael Trainer is a lawyer at the center of a trial in which a for-profit foster-care agency puts a known sex offender into the same foster home as his young client Jamal, with catastrophic results. Michael, a successful litigator with a long career protecting corporate interests, wants nothing to do with Jamal's case, until a judge forces him to accept it. Initially he sees Jamal as a kid off the street looking to grab a piece of corporate profits. But when Jamal refuses to settle the case for any amount of money, Michael begins his representation in earnest. As their work together reveals the horrifying depth of the corrupt and abusive for-profit foster-care agency, Michael is transformed from cynical skeptic to fierce warrior in the pursuit of justice.

Noon -- Filmmaker GPS workshop

1 pm -- Best Comedy Short Films

2:15 pm -- Feature Documentary: "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band"

Inspired by Robbie Robertson’s bestselling memoir "Testimony," the film is a confessional tale of Robertson’s young life as an ambitious 16-year-old from Toronto who traveled to the Deep South on a musical mission and, together with his brothers in The Band, altered the musical landscape and created of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music.

2:45 pm -- Best Suspense/Thriller Short Films

3:15 pm -- Red Carpet with actress Michelle Rodriguez, star of "Girlfight."

4:20 pm -- Feature Sports Drama: "Girlfight" (Anniversary Screening)

"Girlfight" is a 2000 American sports drama film written and directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Michelle Rodriguez, both in their film debuts. It follows Diana Guzman, a troubled teenager from Brooklyn who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer, despite the disapproval of both her father and her prospective trainers and competitors in the male-dominated sport.

5 pm -- Best Action Adventure Short Films

7 pm -- Feature Comedy/Drama: "Greed"

Michael Winterbottom delivers a scathingly funny farce as his new film skewers the fast-fashion industry in this sharp satire about the grotesque inequality between a retail billionaire (played deliciously evil by Steve Coogan) and the female garment workers who toil on his trendy clothing line.

7 pm -- Feature Sports: "The Nomads"

Amidst the chaos of massive budget cuts and school closures, a newly appointed teacher introduces men's rugby to an inner-city North Philadelphia high school.

9:10 pm -- Feature Crime/Drama/Thriller: "Sleeping in Plastic"

A Texas town awakes when a high school wrestler gets entangled with a drifter and her psychopathic lover. Lives then intertwine and spiral violently out of control once he becomes her escort driver.

9:25 pm -- Feature Dramatic Thriller: "Blood on Her Name"

Matthew Pope's panicked decision to cover up an accidental killing spirals out of control when her conscience demands she return the dead man’s body to his family.

10 pm -- After Party at Residence Inn by Marriott.

Sunday, Jan. 19

10 am -- Best Animation Short Films

11 am -- Feature Documentary: "Pull Up LA"

In an era where everyone is stuck on their smart phones Los Angeles creatives are using social media to meet up together and explore their creative sides.

11 am -- Best Music Videos

Noon -- Screenplay-Table Reading at California Pizza Kitchen

Noon -- Filmmaker GPS workshop

12:10 pm -- Feature Foreign: "Samurai Marathon 1855"

Inspired by a real-life race that is still held annually in Japan, Samurai Marathon 1855 is a lively action pic Director : Bernard Rose with a samurai twist. In the late feudal era of Japan, a young ninja (Satoh) is operating undercover in the court of an aging Lord during a peaceful era of Japan that is on the brink of change. After the Lord challenges his lazy samurais to a punishing marathon to toughen them up, the ninja finds his loyalties put to the test. Facing impossible odds, this unusual band of characters is running a race to win or die.

12:15 pm -- Best Documentary Short Films

2:15 pm -- Best Women Filmmakers

2:25 pm -- Feature Adventure Comedy: "The Goonies" (Anniversary Screening)

Mikey Walsh and Brandon Walsh are brothers whose family is preparing to move because developers want to build a golf course in the place of their neighborhood -- unless enough money is raised to stop the construction of the golf course, and that's quite doubtful. But when Mikey stumbles upon a treasure map of the famed "One-Eyed" Willy's hidden fortune, Mikey, Brandon, and their friends Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen, Clark "Mouth" Devereaux, Andrea "Andy" Carmichael, Stefanie "Stef" Steinbrenner, and Richard "Data" Wang, calling themselves The Goonies, set out on a quest to find the treasure in hopes of saving their neighborhood. The treasure is in a cavern, but the entrance to the cavern is under the restaurant of evil thief Mama Fratelli and her sons Jake Fratelli, Francis Fratelli, and the severely disfigured Lotney "Sloth" Fratelli. Sloth befriends the Goonies and decides to help them.

3:15 pm -- Best Short Films

5:10 pm -- Feature Drama/Romance: "Ordinary Love"

Academy Award nominees Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson play Joan and Tom who have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their enduring devotion, as they must find the humor and grace to survive a year of adversity. Liam Neeson returns to a dramatic role and Lesley Manville is hot off her Oscar nomination for "Phantom Thread," and both give performances audiences won’t want to miss.

5:10 pm -- Feature Drama: "Driveways"

A lonesome boy accompanies his mother on a trip to clean out his late aunt's house, and ends up forming an unexpected friendship with the retiree who lives next door.

5:15 pm -- Best Horror Short Films

7:10 pm -- Feature Documentary: "108 Days"

There is a new name on the streets: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. This sub-class of prostitution is distilled down to children sold for sex in the United States. In separating children from adults, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) avoids much of the controversy of adult prostitution; that there is freedom of choice or that it is exploitation. Many agree that children should not be sold for sex, and the U.S. is finally realizing this is a home issue.

8 pm -- Feature Drama/Thriller: "Swallow"

A newly pregnant woman develops the compulsion to consume dangerous objects and must escape her husband's controlling family to confront the dark secret behind her obsession.

9:25 pm -- Feature Horror: "The Wretched"

A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parent's imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.

10 pm -- After Party at The Living Room.

Monday, Jan. 20

10 am -- Best New Filmmakers Short Films

10 am -- Feature Documentary: "Slay the Dragon"

A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy. Slay the Dragon follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter.

11:30 am -- Best International Short Films

12:05 pm -- Feature Romance: "Premature"

The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah; her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love against a changing Harlem landscape.

1:45 pm -- Best Sci-Fi Short Films

2:05 pm -- Feature Foreign: "House of Hummingbird"

Seoul, 1994 -- in the year the Seongsu Bridge collapsed, 14-year-old Eunhee wanders the city searching for love.

3:30 pm -- Best Drama Short Films

4:50 pm -- Feature Drama: "Mott Haven"

Hal (Robert Davi), a former radio mogul who has fallen on hard times, enlists the aid of a beleaguered businessman (Paul Wilson) to battle a thuggish superintendent (Chuck Zito) and the forces of gentrification in the South Bronx. 

Actors Robert Davi and Paul Wilson, director/co-writer/producer Michael Domino, writer/producer Robert Mladinich and script supervisor Anthony DeFeo are scheduled to attend for a Q&A.

7 pm -- Closing Night Red Carpet and Award Ceremony at Chandler Center for the Arts.

10 pm -- Closing Night After Party at Sasha's Kitchen and Cocktails in Downtown Chandler.