Film festivals give audiences a chance to sample up-and-coming films. Though they run throughout the year on a global scale, the globe comes to Arizona on several occasions, including the upcoming 5th annual Peoria Film Fest, starting Thursday, October 19th, and running through Sunday, October 22nd, at the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains theater with the Arizona premiere of Juno Films’ Gold Run.

Peoria Film Fest

In April 1940, German soldiers descend upon Oslo with three targets: the King, the government, and Norway’s gold reserve. Within only a few hours, parliamentary secretary Fredrik Haslund brings together an unlikely team, including his sister, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, truck drivers, and a famous poet.

Their mission is to move 40 tons of gold across the country to reach an Allied shipping convoy, outsmarting and evading the approaching Nazi forces.

The film starts at 7 pm, and your ticket purchase for the opening night film includes a complimentary beverage (beer, wine, soft drink, or water), a voucher for Harkins’ delicious popcorn (medium), a VIP bag, and an additional surprise or two.

The work the Phoenix Film Festival staff put into the Peoria Film Fest makes for a great experience – the intimacy of the entire event, catching up with friends, discussing your favorite films, either throughout the year or at the festival itself makes for a great experience.

The best part of this fest is that it’s an inexpensive night or weekend at the movies: single tickets are available for just $10, and the full festival pass is just $40.

This year, the festival is focusing the spotlight on classic sports films with tickets for just $5, including Tin Cup on the 20th at 7:05 pm, A League of Their Own on the 21st at 4 pm, Hoosiers at 7 pm on the 21st, and Rudy on the 22nd before the closing night film at 4 pm.

For those looking for family-friendly films, the fest has you covered, too: tickets to these films are free. Family-friendly programming includes Jamie Lokoff’s Sparkle: A Unicorn Tale on Saturday, October 21st at 11:30am and Sunday, October 22nd at 1:45pm.

Peoria Film Fest

When 15-year-old Annabelle runs away from an orphanage with two other kids to rescue the animals on her family’s farm, they discover a magical unicorn has taken up residence.

The Peoria Film Fest’s Family Short Films Program includes 10 family-friendly short films with a combination of animated, live-action, and live-action documentary short films. The Family Short Films Program runs Saturday, October 21st at 1:45 pm and Sunday, October 22nd at 11:35 am, so there’s plenty of time to catch all the family-friendly programming. Just supply the candy and the popcorn from Harkins’ concession stands.

You’ll want to indulge in concessions when seeing Peoria Film Fest’s Closing Night film, Peak Season, on Sunday, October 22nd at 7 pm.

Peoria Film Fest

New York yuppies Amy & Max arrive in the wealthy resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a summer vacation. Amy wants to enjoy a romantic getaway with her fiancé. But Max neglects Amy to spend the week working, leaving her to wander town alone. Amy finds a friend in Loren, a local wilderness guide, who takes her fly fishing. She’s immediately drawn to this magnetic, free-spirited stranger. Both lonely and lost in their lives, Amy & Loren spend the week together exploring the Tetons. As her bond with Loren grows into something more than friendship, Amy questions whether she’ll return to NYC with Max after all.

The Peoria Film Fest, a part of the non-profit Phoenix Film Festival, presented by the City of Peoria, runs from October 19th – October 22nd at the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains theater just off Bell Road and Loop 101 in the P83 Complex. Plenty of dining options are available. Tickets and the schedule are available at

The Peoria Film Fest is another way for Arizonans to find their favorite movie. It might be a brand-new independent film like Gold Run or a classic like Hoosiers. Either way, the Peoria Film Fest is an excellent time at the movies.