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5 days in Scottsdale spotlight films

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Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 4:28 pm | Updated: 12:49 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

"Serious Moonlight" - a new film starring Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton and Kristen Bell - will kick off the ninth annual Scottsdale International Film Festival on Friday.

The five-day festival, which will be held at Harkins Camelview in Scottsdale, will feature 29 films from countries including Iceland, Iran and Krygyzstan.

"Serious Moonlight" - about a high-powered attorney (Ryan) who duct-tapes her adulterous husband (Hutton) to the toilet, right before their home is invaded by burglars - was written by "Waitress" scribe Adrienne Shelley.

The film, which makes its Arizona debut at 7:30 p.m., marks the directorial debut of Cheryl Hines, best-known as Larry David's wife on the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The festival will conclude with another Arizona premiere, "The Boys Are Back," starring Clive Owen, at 8:25 p.m. Oct. 6. The Australian film tells the story of a sports writer who becomes a single parent under tragic circumstances.

Other festival films that have generated critical acclaim:

"Seraphine," a French film about a German art critic who takes a promising painter under his wing.

"The Song of Sparrows," an Iranian film about a former ostrich farmer who becomes a motorcycle taxi driver.

"Mid-August Lunch," an Italian film about a 50-year-old man forced to look after three elderly women in his small apartment.

"Tokyo Sonata," a Japanese film about an ordinary family that slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job.

The festival will include several post-screening discussions. Special guests will include directors Nicholas Wentworth and Deborah Harse.

Tickets are available for single screenings ($10). Festival passes can be purchased in advance for five screenings ($45), 10 screenings ($90) or all screenings (VIP, $150).

Friday's screening of "Serious Moonlight" will be followed by an opening-night party at Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Tickets are $20.

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