When I pulled up to the Yavapai Performing Arts Center for a night of Oscar worthy films, I did not know what to expect. The first thing that struck me was the elegant atmosphere of the lobby. The well-dressed ushers took my ticket under a chandeliered ceiling while people made small talk around the coffee bar.

Although it was Feb. 1, the first day of screening and a Friday, I was the only college age student in attendance. This didn’t bother me too much, as most people were generally enthusiastic when talking with me about the Oscars and the movie screenings they would go to throughout the week.

The first movie in the series of Oscar nominated films was a Danish produced film called “A Royal Affair”, which Ellen Harp, the Director of Marketing for the film festival, informed me had never been played in Prescott. As we talked she told me that the film festival organization often gets ahold of independent or foreign movies that aren’t big enough for the movie theaters to show. For instance, they would be screening the highly acclaimed film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” on February.

As the film started I made my way into the spacious auditorium to find a good seat. I got comfortable just as they started rolling previews for the other films they would be showing. The movie-going experience could be compared to any major movie theater. In my case, I even had two older women behind me throughout the whole movie.

This series of films culminates in a truly glamorous event, as Prescott citizens get a taste of the red carpet during a live screening of the 85th Annual Academy Awards. This night is free to the public, and starts at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. The film festival staff promised me that there would be games, prizes, and food at the event. I was more interested in the academy experience or “A-List” experiences. Both cost money, as they are the festival’s major fundraiser, but promise to be worth it. Included in these deals are reserved seating in the director’s loft or your own VIP suite with a personal waiter. This sounds like the perfect experience for those who love Hollywood.

During my talks with the film festival staff, I found many events that would be perfect for the students here at Riddle. The first is the showing of the classic 1927 silent film “Metropolis”. The theater will not be uncomfortably quiet, as the festival has arranged for a piano accompaniment. This film will be shown March 2 at 5:00 p.m.

The other large event coming up is the Sci-Fi Mini-Fest on April 20-21. Major Star Trek and Star Wars fans will be in for a treat, as actors and writers from the series will attend for special events. All information on upcoming events can be found at [www.prescottfilmfestival.com] or on their Facebook page: [http://www.facebook.com/prescottfilmfest].

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