Amy Ettinger has spent the last 17 years programming her “baby,” the Scottsdale International Film Festival. “Passionate” isn’t a strong enough word to describe her dedication.
“They tell me, ‘Amy, back it up. It’s too much. Slow down. Take a breath. You need your health,’” she says.
“I couldn’t be any more dedicated to this event. Sometimes those nights and weekends get to me. I’m not Wonder Woman, but I try to be.”
Presented by the City of Scottsdale, this year’s five-day incarnation kicks off Thursday, November 2, with a special event. A Western-themed reception, complete with barbecue and beans, will begin at 7 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony honoring Councilwoman Linda Millhaven with an Ambassador Award.
“She really did a lot of background work,” says Ettinger, who wished not to reveal too much about the award. “She couldn’t be more helpful.”
Beginning at 8 p.m., director Jared Moshé will present his film, The Ballad of Lefty Brown, and participate in a Q&A session after the movie.
Opening night tickets are $25 and can be purchased at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/series/28135.
Moshé is just one of many special guests slated to appear this year. Q&As are slated for a slew of movies including Lovers, Heaven’s Floor and The Essential Link.
“We have more guests this season than we have in quite a while,” Ettinger says. “I’m really, really pleased with the lineup of people attending to support the films we have at the festival.”
Those films are chosen by a programming committee, who previews several hundred movies.
“They say why they do or do not feel passionately about a film,” she says. “I won’t let them get away with ‘maybe.’ It’s either Amy watches it or Amy doesn’t. We have a pretty wide selection of people doing this.
“This isn’t just ‘Amy’s Film Festival.’ I have a couple bookers who are hired, who are contractors, who are in the film festival and film industries. They come to us with any number of films throughout the year for consideration.”
This year, the city of Scottsdale is serving as the presenting sponsor, something that Ettinger calls a “very important partnership.”
“It’s a very exciting coup for us to have the support of the City of Scottsdale,” she says. “They went beyond the call of duty to get behind the festival. We appreciate that.”
Scottsdale International Film Festival, presented by the City of Scottsdale, Harkins Shea 14 Theatre, 7354 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, scottsdalefilmfestival.com, various times Thursday, November 2, to Monday, November 6. See website for pricing information.