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What to know:
ARIZONA SUNRISE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
90 minutes
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I highly recommend this screenplay. It meets and exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging. At first I wasn't sure where this story was heading. I knew there was a death of a fellow basketball student and that Brandon was the main character and he was very likable. I had no idea how the story would develop. It develops quite well, dealing with two heavy topics in an appropriate manner. It addresses the theme of an addicted family member and one about a pointless death. I love the characters, especially Brandon who deals with a personal conflict. I also like Coach Alvarez and feel that his behavior as a teacher and coach make a difference with his students. He is a great role model. They storyline is very engaging, flows well and the themes are presented in the best of ways and resolved. The dialogue feels quite natural and believable. As a parent of a teenage myself, I can actually picture the young teens having these discussions and it seems very realistic. I can imagine this on the big screen. It has the right combination of a compelling storyline, believable characters and themes that are relatable to today's youth and families. I also like that it is positive, uplifting and inspirational, even with the student's death. It is well thought out and well written. The conflict and resolution may not stare you in the face, but are definitely there. For example, when Brandon needs to decide about forgiving. The characters and the dialogue are the strongest aspects of the screenplay. Not every character is likable, but not every character is supposed to be. The ones I like the most are the likable ones, but the two troubled teens in jail are also well done and important to the overall story. There is an entertainment aspect to this screenplay and there are also lessons about learning to forgive and of letting go and moving on. The theme of addiction in a family and death of a friend are both covered very well and in a realistic way. This film may stimulate teenagers to discuss these two topics, since many of them are not only aware of both issues, but may have experienced one or the other, or both - especially that of an addicted family member. The topic is very appropriate for today's teens and families. I found the content very accurate and very limited spelling or grammar mistakes. Very well written. I recommend this for teenagers as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
In present-day Arizona, with the help of his basketball coach, a teenage boy overcomes his parents' separation, and, death of his best friend.
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