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Must-See Films at the Scottsdale International Film Festival (This Weekend)

Something about October must say, "It's film festival time." We wrote earlier about the Talk Cinema Film Series in Scottsdale starting Oct. 19. Just up the road, starting tomorrow, is the 10th Scottsdale International Film Festival, which continues through Tuesday, October 5.

With 27 films from 20 countries, it might be difficult to choose which movies can't be skipped.

We're here to help. Because while all of the films at this year's festival are standouts (they include five Oscar contenders), there are a few flicks -- starring everything from hungry Japanese scientists to vegetarian cowboys -- that you'll want to get seats for.

1. Quick Gun Murugan (Phat Phish Motion Pictures, 2009): This Western spoof revolves around the titular character, a South Indian Tamil vegetarian cowboy battling his arch-villain, a restaurant owner named Rice Plate Reddy Nassar. Nassar wants to make a non-vegetarian smorgasbord, but Quick Gun Murugan will travel through time and space to stop him.
Showing Saturday, October 2 at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 3 at 8:45 p.m.

(More synopses and film trailers after the jump...)

2. The Chef of South Polar (Parade, 2009): Based on the comedic autobiographical essays of chef Nishimura Jun, this foodie film follows a team of Japanese scientists stationed in a remote Antarctic research station called Dome Fuji. While the scientists struggle with feelings of isolation, their chef tries to lift their spirits and tantalize their palates with elaborate meals.
Showing Saturday, October 2 at 9:05 p.m., and Sunday, October 3 at 8:40 p.m.

3. Largo Winch (Pan Européenne Production, 2008): A French film based on the Belgian comic, Largo Winch follows the adventures of the title character, who inherits a business empire after his adoptive father is murdered. He has to battle various nefarious characters to protect his inheritance, while also seeking to avenge his father's death.
Showing Monday, October 4 at 8:50 p.m., and Tuesday, October 5 at 4 p.m.

The Scottsdale International Film Festival takes place Friday, October 1, through Tuesday, October 5 at Harkins Camelview 5 Theatre, 7001 E. Highland Avenue in Scottsdale. Festival passes cost $45 for five films, $90 for ten films, and $10 for single-film tickets. Call 602-410-1074 or visit www.scottsdalefilmfestival.com for more information.

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