Western movies are regaining their place in the Valley of the Sun — at least for one night.
The Western Film Festival will be offered as part of the 13 th annual Bison Communities’ National Festival of the West on Thursday through Sunday.
The one-night, three-hour film festival begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Harkins North Valley Theatre 16, 3420 E. Bell Road, Phoenix.
The Festival of the West will be at WestWorld in Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, and opens at 10 a.m.
The film festival, cosponsored by Harkins Theatres, will offer the classic, made-in-Arizona movie "Broken Arrow" filmed in 1950 in Sedona and starring James Stewart, Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget.
It will be shown with the winner of the 2003 Western Film Festival selected by judges Max McQueen, film critic for the Tribune, Marshall Trimble, Old West historian, and Peter Iverson, author and history professor at Arizona State University.
The judges will select one of the following movies as winner to be shown along with "Broken Arrow":
"Arabians," "The Bounty," "Calamity Jane," "Forgotten Gunfighters," "Jericho," "Manitou’s Shoe," "Raging Heart," "Respect" and "Return of the Cheyenne Kid."
"Our goal is to preserve the western genre by encouraging production of new western movies," said Celeste Winters, film coordinator.
She said western movies, many of which were filmed in Arizona, were a staple in theaters beginning in the Depression and continuing through the 1950s. They were popular during the early days of television, but fewer are being produced today.
Western Film Festival
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where:Harkins North Valley Theatre 16, 3420 E. Bell Road, Phoenix
Movies: "Broken Arrow," plus winner of the 2003 Western Film Festival
Cost: $15, includes free popcorn
Information: (602) 404-2852