When 2020 gives you lemons, if you are the fastest growing Film Festival in Arizona, you simply make more popcorn. The Chandler International Film Festival (CIFF) returns for its 5thyear with expanded access for film enthusiasts with online viewings, drive-in events at Chandler High School as well as traditional theater viewings at Harkins Theater Chandler Fashion Mall.

Featuring over 120 films from more than 35 countries and six continents, this year’s Festival will take place January 21 to 24, 2021.

“Despite the challenges this year, we wanted to look at the positive and make the Festival even more stronger than in year’s past by giving film lovers more ways to watch the films and attend events,” said Mitesh Patel, CIFF president and festival director. “Our goal is to showcase diversity, innovation, and uniqueness through the works of filmmakers from across the world in a local setting. Our drive-in events and online options this year give us the ability to reach more people.”

Events such as the red carpet opening ceremony, closing ceremony, Q&As with producers and actors, previously held at Harkins Theater, will now occur at Chandler High School during the drive-in events.  Each drive-in event can accommodate up to 100 cars. 

CIFF was created to bring together filmmakers, industry professionals and film fanatics to celebrate all genres of cinema. Along with a diverse mix of international films, the weekend will include a variety of programming and events including a red carpet, opening ceremony, award ceremony, filmmaker workshops, Q&As, panel discussions, daily after parties, and celebrity guest appearances. 

Past celebrities attending the festival include Michelle Rodriguez, Brian Sacca, Robert Davi, Anna Chazelle, John-Paul Howard and Lee Chambers.

As part of the Festival’s mission of giving back to the community, CIFF is partnering with two nonprofits this year, ICANand AZCEND. Each organization will receive 100% of the profits from a select festival film.  

ICAN is a free youth center in the East Valley that offers programming for youth, teens, families and the community. AZCEND, located in downtown Chandler, changes lives by nourishing minds and bodies to create a connected, thriving community.

Sponsors of the Chandler Film Festival include Harkins Theaters, WAYMO, Yelp, Hilton Garden Inn, Residence Inn Chandler, Wolter Realty, Mortgage Right and Casanova Bro Pizza.

For more information about CIFF and to purchase tickets, visit www.chandlerfilmfestival.comor check the Facebook page @ChandlerFilmFest.