PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL TO SCREEN “WINDOWS ON THE WORLD” WITH ACTOR EDWARD JAMES OLMOS IN ATTENDANCE

                                                                                  ‘WINDOWS ON THE WORLD’

A feature film directed by Michael D. Olmos

PHOENIX, AZ, Wednesday, April 3 – The Phoenix Film Festival is thrilled to announce a screening of “Windows on the World”, a feature film directed by Michael D. Olmos, the son of actor Edward James Olmos. “Windows of the World” recently won several awards at the LA Method Film Festival, including Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

The story begins on the morning of September 11, 2001, where Fernando and his family in Mexico watch the news in horror as the Twin Towers collapse. His father, Balthazar, is an undocumented busboy on the top floor in the Windows on the World restaurant. Three weeks pass, and there is no word from Balthazar. No telephone calls, money orders, or hope that he is alive. As the family grieves, feeling the emotional and financial toll of their absent patriarch, Fernando’s distraught mother swears she sees her husband on news footage – escaping from the building ALIVE. Heroic Fernando decides to take the epic journey from Mexico to New York City to find his father and save his family. Along the way, he finds love and befriends an eclectic group of international characters that help him restore his faith in humanity, as Fernando discovers the hard truths about his father, the melting pot of America, and the immigrant experience.

As part of the Phoenix Film Festival screening, renowned actor Edward James Olmos will be in attendance.  “Windows on the World” will screen on Friday, April 5 at 7:10 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

 

About Phoenix Film Festival

The 19th Annual Phoenix Film Festival will take place from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 14. Continually breaking attendance records since its inception, last year’s festival saw over 28,000 attendees and there are hopes to pull in even more film enthusiasts this year. The eleven-day Festival will once again be held at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre located at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85054. 

For movie lovers, this is an event not to be missed. Tickets and passes are on sale now and available through the Phoenix Film Festival website www.PhoenixFilmFestival.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket Center next to the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre. Tickets range in price from $15 for a single screening to $450 for a platinum pass. For more information, call 602-955-6444.

The Phoenix Film Festival announces the World Premiere of “Alice Cooper: Live from the Astroturf”

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL TO HOST WORLD PREMIERE OF

“ALICE COOPER: LIVE FROM THE ASTROTURF”

Alice Cooper and Filmmakers Will Be in Attendance to show us his documentary/concert film that captures the original band’s 2015 reunion.

The documentary and concert film stems from a life-long Alice Cooper superfan Chris Penn who convinced the original lineup of his favorite band to reunite at his record store, Good Records in Dallas, TX, 40 years after the band parted ways.

As part of the Phoenix Film Festival World Premiere, Alice Cooper and his bandmates as well as the director, Steven Gaddis will be in attendance. “Alice Cooper: Live from the Astroturf” will screen at the Phoenix Film Festival on Friday, April 5 at 7:50 p.m. To purchase tickets, visitwww.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

 

From LiveFromTheAstroturf.com:

“To unleash the movie of the historic event, we’re going back to where it all started.  Phoenix, Arizona, the birthplace of the original Alice Cooper group, will be the first city you’ll be able to witness this concert film/documentary.”

About Phoenix Film Festival

The 19th Annual Phoenix Film Festival will take place from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 14. Continually breaking attendance records since its inception, last year’s festival saw over 28,000 attendees and there are hopes to pull in even more film enthusiasts this year. The eleven-day Festival will once again be held at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre located at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85054. 

For movie lovers, this is an event not to be missed. Tickets and passes are on sale now and available through the Phoenix Film Festival website www.PhoenixFilmFestival.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket Center next to the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre. Tickets range in price from $15 for a single screening to $450 for a platinum pass. For more information, call 602-955-6444.

Tickets are now on sale for the April 4th kick off the Phoenix Film Festival!!

To kick off the Phoenix Film Festival this year, they’ve planned for us a wonderful evening full of film, food and music!
Attending the kick off is also the best way you can show your support for the student education programs of the Phoenix Film Festival… something they’re very proud of.

Here are the details…


The Film is:

‘EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL, AND VILE’

Starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, and directed by Academy Award Nominated Director, Joe Berlinger, who will be in attendance to participate in a Q&A following the film.

A picture of domestic bliss, the happy couple seems to have it all figured out until out of nowhere, their perfect life is shattered. Ted is arrested and charged with a series of increasingly grisly murders. Concern soon turns to paranoia and, as evidence piles up, Liz is forced to consider that the man with whom she shares her life could actually be a psychopath.

The Food is:

Food and festivities will be held in the Party Pavilion with tastes from some of the best restaurants in town including:
Brat Haus, The Capital Grille, The Dhaba, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Cien Agaves, Paul Martin’s American Grille, PAZ Cantina, and The Melting Pot. And when you’re full, it’s time to go to the theatre for the Phoenix Film Festival’s Opening Night Film.

The Music is:

76th STREET PERFORMS

Haley & Spencer/76TH STREET are Dynamic Singer, Songwriter, Entertainers. 
Engaging audiences with their stories of Strength, Independence and Love throughout the Western States, performing 100+ shows annually, they are Arizona’s #1 Indie/Pop Power Duo.

How exciting!  Come sample some tasty delights, listen to live entertainment and see a star-packed film with a live Q&A afterward. Hurry and get your tickets now for the Phoenix Film Festival event!
This is what you wait all year for. See you there!

The Phoenix Film Festival has announced that the family-friendly, ‘Kids’ Day’ will take place on Saturday, April 6!!

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL TO HOST KIDS’ DAY SATURDAY, APRIL 6

PHOENIX (March 20, 2019) – The Phoenix Film Festival has announced the family-friendly, Kids’ Day to take place on Saturday, April 6. Kids’ Day is a great way for kids of all ages to come out and experience the festival. Attendees can select from a series of hands-on activity stations focusing on different aspects of film production and geared to various age and ability levels. Stations are age-appropriate and run the full gamut of the filmmaking process…and best yet, it’s FREE! Some of the fun activities include:

  • Test out your acting chops against a green screen presented by Arizona State University
  • Learn techniques of stop motion animation
  • Create your own soundtrack with instruments from the Musical Instrument Museum
  • Create your own festival poster
  • At the conclusion of the activities, guests are invited to a $5 family-friendly screening of DisneyNature’s “Penguins” (Showing at 1:05 pm)

Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

The 19th Annual Phoenix Film Festival, occurring this year from its opening night on April 4th to its conclusion on April 14th, is rapidly approaching. Continually breaking attendance records since its inception, last years’ festival saw over 28,000 attendees and there are hopes to pull in even more film enthusiasts this year.  The week-long Festival will be held once again at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theaters located at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85054. 

If you are a movie lover, this is an event that is not to be missed. Tickets and passes are on sale now and available through the Phoenix Film Festival website www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket Center next to the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theater. Tickets range in price from $15 for a single screening to $450 for a platinum pass.   For more information call 602-955-6444 or go to www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

THE PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL STARTS APRIL 4th! Get some info here!!

Today is the first of March! What this means is the Phoenix Film Festival, which runs from April 4th to 14th, is fast approaching!

The festival already has the first round of the film’s up on their site and will be adding more films to it over the next few weeks. Time to start looking at what to go see and get your tickets early so you don’t miss out… as I did a few times last year!

Prepare ahead of time! You don’t want to miss out!

Phoenix Film Festival Announces PEORIA FILM FEST Film Lineup!

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST LINEUP OF FILMS SHOWING AT PEORIA FILM FEST THIS OCTOBER

The Phoenix Film Foundation and Phoenix Film Festival are excited to announce the first round of films that will be playing at the Peoria Film Fest! A quick list of movies can be found below with more announcements to come!

  • Magnolia Pictures’ Cannes Winner for Best Actor and Oscar contender, “Dogman”
  • “White Tide: The Legend of Culebra”, a Cocaine Treasure Hunt Documentary from the Tribeca Film Festival
  • “Number 37”, a Hitchcock-esque thriller
  • Festival Premiere of “Point Defiance” starring Derek Phillps and Josh Crotty

The Peoria Film Fest will be held October 19-21 at the beautifully renovated Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18; screening a mix of independent and upcoming studio releases.

You can stay up to date on the festival at PeoriaFilmFest.com

The Peoria Film Fest is a program under the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Phoenix Film Foundation and is a sibling of the Phoenix Film Festival, the Phoenix Film Society, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, IFP/Phoenix, the Arizona Student Film Festival and the Phoenix Critics Circle.  Our mission is to support and develop the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities, and growth of independent film within Arizona.  The Foundation’s primary functions through its programs are to promote the exhibition of independent films and conduct educational programs that teach the art of filmmaking.

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2018 AWARD WINNERS

The Phoenix Film Festival is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Awards. The complete list of winners is below:

 

FEATURE FILM AWARDS

Best Documentary: “Forever B”

 

Audience Award: “Up to Snuff”

 

Best Picture: “The Idea of Manhood”

 

Best Director: Zack Wilcox – “Hunting Lands”

 

Best Ensemble: “Rich Kids”

 

Best Screenplay: Serge Kushnier – “The Idea of Manhood”

 

Sidney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award: “Becoming Who I Was”

 

WORLD CINEMA AWARDS

World Cinema Best Director: Peter Luisi – “Streaker”

 

World Cinema Best Picture: “Streaker”

 

World Cinema Best Documentary: “Becoming Who I Was”

 

World Cinema Audience Award Winner: “All the Wild Horses”

 

FOUNDATION AWARDS

2018 Phoenix Film Festival Volunteer Of the Year: Leslie Criger

 

SHORT FILM AWARDS

Best-Animated Short Film: “The Driver is Red”

 

Best Documentary Short Film: “Mott Haven”

 

Best College Short Film: “Night Call”

 

Best Live Action Short Film: “Control”

 

Best World Cinema Short: “Stealing Silver”

 

Best Latino American Short Film: “Instinct”

 

Best African American Short Film: “Baby Steps”

 

Best Native American Short Film: “Five Dollars”

 

The Phoenix Film Festival continues through Sunday, April 15.  For more information please visit www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

 

My favorite film at the festival this year…

Interview with Monte Yazzie from the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival

Monte Yazzie was extremely busy when I tracked him down for a little chat a week before the festival starts. He is the Director of the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival here in Phoenix, a husband, father and rabid movie fan. I can’t think of better hands than his for the festival to be resting. Not that he ever gets rest because Monte’s also a film critic for ‘The Foothills Focus,’ for www.dailydead.com and their publication known as ‘Deadly.’ You can find all of his reviews on his extremely interesting site www.thecodafilms.com, which covers horror, art house films, music and even his own work in the independent filmmaking community. I, being completely unaware of the horror side of the festival circuit, of course, asked him to inform me of what I have been missing out on.

Me: I haven’t yet gone but plan to so could you educate me about the festival?

Monte: It’s going into its fourteenth year. It started as its own entity for quite a few years. It was its own separate event that happened in October of every year and its transitioned to a partnership with the Phoenix Film Festival so now we run concurrently. We’ve been running with the Phoenix Film Festival now, at the same time, for probably going on six to seven years. It’s a really great partnership that we have with them and I always mention that Horror and Sci-Fi now is becoming so mainstream and crossover, it makes sense for us to play at the same time as the film festival. It’s a great opportunity for us to, kind of, expand, continue to grow and get better at what we’re doing.

 

Me: You want it to run at the same time so you can get more attendees rather than stand alone?

Monte: Part of it was just necessity. It’s hard doing a film festival in October, especially a genre film festival. And with Arizona being so widespread, trying to find a place to do that and make it run efficiently and try to compete with all the other horror events that were happening at the same time, was pretty difficult and so part of it was necessity. We needed the help from the Phoenix Film Festival to continue to grow but it has also been a great opportunity for us to expand so that we can continue to service and provide these great horrors and fantasies to our viewers.

 

Me: How and when did you get involved?

Monte: I’ve been involved in some way shape or form for probably the past seven years. But I have been going to the festival since year one. I was sitting in the audience, as a film fan, year one. It’s so amazing that I was given this opportunity to be in the audience and slowly evolve into being a volunteer to working as a judge and then moving into program management work and just four years ago I was given this opportunity to take over. It’s been pretty much a dream come true because this festival has meant to so much to me when it first started, and it still means that much to me now. To have this opportunity to be a festival director is just fantastic.

 

Me: What has been your largest attendance so far?

Monte: I believe was last year.  I don’t know the exact numbers but we had so many movies playing last year, we filled every single slot.

 

Me: What percentage of the films being submitted are you able to watch yourself?

Monte: Most of the films that are going to be programming for our showcase for the horror showcase at the festival, I have probably seen all of them. We’re talking about anywhere between, depending on the year, anywhere between ten to sixteen movies. While I’m at the festival, I often fill my schedule up and I’m sitting and watching everything at the Phoenix Film Festival because that’s something I’ve been going to from the very beginning, as well. So, this is my time to sit and indulge in cinema. I try my best when I’m not actually working at the festival, to fill those open spaces with movies that I can watch.

 

Me: How many do you see a year?

Monte: My record at the festival, right before I took over as festival director, I believe I saw thirty-seven films in seven days.

 

Me: I don’t know how you do it. Do you have any special guests coming this year?

Monte: This year we have one special guest that will be coming for our opening night. We have the world premiere of a movie called ‘Cynthia.’ It’s a crossover between- kind of a little of ‘Basket Case’ and ‘The Unborn,’ two 80’s throwback movies. But, what makes it so fun is the lead actress is Scout Taylor-Compton. She was in Rob Zombie’s Halloween I & II and she will be our special guest for the evening for that opening night film; along with the directors who’ll be there and the producers will be there, as well, so it’ll be a big event. World premieres are a lot of fun because, you know, you got the entire cast and crew; everyone wants to show up for it so we’re going to have a lot of people who were involved with the movie, here. We’re hoping we get a nice big crowd of people to come and show up for that one. It’s a lot of fun.

 

Me: How do you unwind after all of this, Monte?

Monte: I go back to the movies! For me, growing up… I started as a cinephile when I was pretty young. My parents turned me onto ‘Twilight Zone’ and King Kong movies when I was probably four or five years old. ‘Twilight Zone’ was something that shaped me into the genre fan that I am today and it just continued to grow. Every single year I got older, I seemed to watch more and more movies. In the heyday of the video store, Blockbuster Video, Video Update, Superstar Video, Hollywood Video, all those places, on my summer break, I would go into the horror section and start at A and work my way all the way to Z. That was kind of my summer thing that I would do and then I started to expand and watch more stuff. Before you knew it, I was traveling to different places to see movies. Vacation for me, well when I had kids going on vacation became about them, but before them, it was going to theatres. This week I’m in San Francisco and I can guarantee that I’ll be downtown at the Castro. I’ll be going there Thursday night to watch, Mulholland Drive on 35mm.

 

Me: How charming. I love knowing all of that about you. Now I must know, what are your favorite films, if you can narrow them down, in the two genre’s that your festival represents?

Monte: All time or only at the festival?

Me: All time.

Monte: Oh, my goodness! That’s like asking me which my favorite child is. (laughs) Science Fiction is actually pretty easy. I still have the one ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ by Stanley Kubrick. That’s the easy answer. Everyone’s going to say that. But I really love that one. I think there’s something about that movie that continues to captivate my mind every single year that I get ahold of it… it means a little something a little bit different to me every time I watch it. On the horror side, you know, the greatest horror film ever made was ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.’ I think it changed the genre. That and ‘Night of the Living Dead’ had two of the biggest impacts on what filmmakers were making at the time but ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ took it to another level. The visceral feeling that you get from that movie, that gut-punch, the fact that it looks so authentic and genuine, it just paints this portrait of horror that I think, even today, it still stands up some forty years later… that movies still has such an effect on people that I think people sometimes think it’s unreal that they were able to do that. As far as the GREATEST horror film ever made, that’s it but my FAVORITE, greatest and favorite are two different things, my favorite today, at this very moment, is probably Evil Dead Part Two, or Psycho or… there are so many! Evil Dead Part Two. That’s my favorite right now. For the next five minutes that’ll be my favorite movie until I realize I told you the wrong movie.

 

Me: Now what’s your favorite for the festival this year?

Monte: We have a lot of really fun stuff and part of the fun of programming the festival is the puzzle. You know, we can’t bookend it with just horror stuff because we are horror and science fiction so, we’re trying to meet all of those prerequisites and I think this year, as with most years, we do a pretty decent job of getting that good balance of films. This year, our opening night film is ‘Down Range.’ It’s a really visceral, kind of, gut-punch of a film. Simple premise. There’s a sniper in a tree and a bunch of college kids get broken down outside of town and what happens after that is pure mayhem and explosions of gore. But it’s a great adrenaline rush to start the festival off. We have a really subdued yet really innovative science fiction film called ‘Imitation Girl.’ It has a really strong performance from actress Laura Ashley Carter and it’s directed with such confidence by Natasha Kermani, a female director. We have that female perspective really on display this year. We have four films that are directed by females. Jen Wexler is the director of a film called ‘The Ranger.’ It’s also a simple premise, it’s a punk-rock, slasher mash-up. I just love saying that. It’s a lot of fun. Great soundtrack, great performances. It’s a slasher. Everyone loves a slasher. We have a dystopian fantasy film called ‘Rock Steady Row.’ It’s about… in the future, fraternities are in control of the school and they’re terrible people. This young boy, a college freshman, gets his bike stolen by the fraternity group and he ends up turning the tables on them. It’s not like ‘Animal House’ or ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ or anything like that, it’s like ‘Mad Max’ at a college. It’s a lot of fun. Great social commentary on the state of what college kids might be feeling their college is doing to them for them to get their education… it’s a really fun movie.

The best part of our expansion is we were able to program a majority of our films twice which gives you the opportunity or not having to make that difficult choice of picking one festival over the other. Many of our films will be playing two times during the festival so it makes it a little easier to catch them. The second weekend of our festival is kind of dedicated to horror and sci-fi. We have two dedicated screens at the theatre and we’ll be playing horror and sci-fi movies during the day so I believe if you look at Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th, you can start programming horror/sci-fi movies at 2:00 in the afternoon.

 

Me: Hmm… horror on Friday the 13th!

Monty: I know there’s a lot of people who will think it’s an obvious choice, but I was really happy with myself. We have a documentary in the festival this year called, ‘To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story.’ He’s the iconic version of Jason Voorhees from the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies so, we programmed that movie to play on Friday the 13th. When we did it, I had a big smile on my face. No one has mentioned it yet but I’m sure it’ll seem very obvious.

 

Sounds like I’m going to finally get my chance to check out Monte’s festival and I can’t wait. I’m checking my schedule now so I can get my tickets today. You better do the same and stop and say hi to Monte if you see him. He’ll love it. Don’t miss out on the fun. Come check out the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, where you can watch features and shorts in both genres from all over the globe. See you there!

Interview with Jason Carney of the Phoenix Film Festival!

I spoke with Jason Carney of the Phoenix Film Festival, now in its 18th year, and asked him a few questions about what fun the festival has in store for us this year. I was also curious about how he thinks his festival, being eleven days long as opposed to the eight it had been, will be perceived.  If you don’t know, Jason is the Director of the Phoenix Film Festival and the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. This year it runs from April 5th through April 15th.

If you’ve never gone, you should give it a try. There’s something for everyone to enjoy! There’s a very popular Kid’s Day, Middle and High School Workshops, several different Panels and each of these events are informative, educational and entertaining. I’ll let Jason fill you in on a few things, including the fact that the Harkins theatre it’s held in is even nicer than before, and that’s hard to beat. They added a bar inside which is not a bad idea with as many thirsty festival goers that walk through their doors.

 

Fred Rogers on the set of his show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood from the film, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Jim Judkis / Focus Features



Me: What is your favorite movie of the festival this year?

Jason: I think it’s ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

Me: The film about Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood? Really?

Jason: Yep. It’s really fantastic.

Me: I’ve heard it’s good. I’ll have to check it out. By the way, I thought the festival films from 2017 were terrific. What was your favorite from last year?

Jason: That was like a year ago, Shari! (Thinks) What did we play? Now I’m going to have to look up a program and see what we played from last year. (We laugh) I’m old. I can’t remember last years festival! I really liked, ‘The Hero’ the Sam Elliot movie we had for opening night. I loved it and I really like Sam Elliot. That was a good movie.

 

Me: Do you see all of the films that play in your festival… or what would your percentage be each festival season?

Jason: Percentage of movies I see? That is ridiculously low.

Me: Really?

Yeah, because of the programmers. I don’t really watch much. We bring in program directors for each category and since they’re watching all the films, you know, I trust them to make the choices. We brought on another programmer to help with some of the films from some of the smaller distributors so, he’s watching a lot of that content. I’ve probably seen maybe a half dozen to a dozen films out of the 120 feature films we’re choosing from so maybe 5 or 10 percent. You know, it’s all about having really strong people to watch the films. There’s just not enough time in my life to watch all of those films.

 

Me: I’m judging the short films for you this year and I gotta say that I’m enjoying them tremendously.

Jason: Oh, yeah. They’re so good and you see it. Our programmers watch so many and have such a great eye. I trust them to do the right thing. My job isn’t to watch the films and tell them how to program, my job is to choose the right people and put them in the right place and let them do their thing. That’s part of any, like working anywhere, you want to trust people to do their job and stay out of their way. That’s kind of how a film festival should be able to work, as well.

 

Me: What special things do you have planned for us this year and are you nervous about the added days or looking forward to them?

Jason: The big thing this year is the expansion; going from 175 screenings to 300 is huge. We’re anxious to see how that goes and what it’s like with the theater being remodeled now. There’s also that factor… to see how that features into everything. There are a lot of variables of potential change this year that we just don’t know about. It’s kind of exciting and fun to see how things play out this year. We have different new categories and things like that, that make it exciting and that’s part of what a film festival should be. It’s always changing, always evolving, you know, otherwise, you get stagnate and it becomes the same thing year after year and we don’t want to do that.

Me: What are the new categories?

Jason: There’s this cool thing, it’s called Music in Movies and so we’re showing a few new titles featuring music in film and then we’ve got some older titles that we’re showing. We’ve got this cool documentary that’s called ‘The Godfather of Hardcore.’ It’s about this hardcore punk band called, Agnostic Front and the guys will be here. These guys are, like, legendary. It’s not my style of music but these guys are great characters and even if it’s not your style of music, it’s really a cool documentary; something I might not otherwise have seen. That’s kind of what a film festival is all about.

But we also have some old titles like, ‘Empire Records’ to show the music store thing and we’ve got ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ which is our music bio-pic and ‘That Thing You Do’ and ‘Moulin Rouge.’ So, a lot of cool new things and some old stuff to kind of show how prolific music is in film.

Me: When is this all taking place?

Jason: It’s part of our second weekend.

 

Me: Speaking of, what brought you to the decision of making the festival eleven days long?

Jason: You know, we’ve been talking about it a couple of years now and it just seemed right. Our contract with Harkins was up for renewal and with it being remodeled and where we were creatively as an organization it felt right. All these things kind of came together. Like, alright, we gotta make a jump eventually so let’s do it this year. I think we’re as ready as we’re gonna be so let’s give it a go.

A lot of festivals are at ten or eleven days and so, eleven days is our magic number. We start on a Thursday and run it through the following Sunday.

Me: Everyone has loved the location in the past. Is Harkins an easy company to work with?

Jason: Harkins was super helpful and super cooperative. Even going back to when they were talking about remodeling the theatre, they wanted to kind of, start earlier but they were super cooperative with working with us on the festival last year. Our festival ended on a Thursday and they started remodel construction the Monday after the festival. They were ready to go to get that remodel done.

They looped us in way in advance, of when they were doing it, so we could start talking about how the theatre remodel was going to impact us; we could talk about expansion. All through the way in the planning stages, they’ve been nothing but a great partner. I can’t say enough things about how good they are.

Me: They better stock up on the alcohol at that new bar, I’m guessing.

Jason: I’ve warned them that filmmakers and film fans will be living it up at the festival. I think they’re going to have extra bartenders on staff so that’ll be great.

 

Me: Outside of Agnostic Front, are there any other guests coming to the festival?

Jason: We have something really cool on our closing night film Eight Grade. Bo Burnham, he’s a comedian, is going to be here. He directed the film. This was a passion project he had been trying to get made for years so he’ll be here to be a part of our closing night event and have a discussion afterward which will be awesome.

 

Me: Since you made these changes, how do you expect things to go for the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival to go?

Jason: They’ve always been solid. We’ve added some extra screenings which will be really cool. Before, they had only one theatre on opening weekend. Well, we shifted that on opening weekend where there’s just too many primary (inaudible) but the second weekend, they’ll have two screens running. That’ll be really cool to get more and more out there in terms of content for Horror and Sci-Fi fans.

 

Me: Do you attend the festival every day or only some of the time?

Jason: Oh, yeah. I’m here, gosh, bright and early and I’m leavin’ late at night. It was previously eight days, so we’ll see how it goes with these extra three days. I actually stay not too far from here at a hotel and that makes my life easier, so I can get some sleep. But it’s important for my psyche to be on site. My brain would go crazy if I wasn’t here during the festival. We spend like 350 days planning it, so I want to make sure I’m here for it. (laughs)

 

Me: It would be a lot to take. How do you unwind after all of it?

Jason: I watch a lot of T.V. I don’t watch any movies at home. That’s another thing, people are like, ‘You’re watching all the festival movies at home.’ I am not! I’m escaping films at home. If I see something, a new film that’s coming out, I see it at the theatre or I’m probably not going to see it. It’s all about breaking away from the movies at home so I watch a lot of T.V. and stuff like that. I do the baseball card thing, that’s kind of my hobby on the side, as well. Greg Hall, our Feature Film Program Director is also a baseball card guy. So, we’re movie nerds and baseball card nerds all at once.

 

If you’ve never gone to the Phoenix Film Festival, make this your first year. HERE is a link to help make your festival decisions easier. Have fun and I’ll see you there!

A24’s film ‘Eight Grade’ to be the Phoenix Film Festival’s Closing Night Film

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES

A24’s “EIGHTH GRADE” AS CLOSING NIGHT FILM

Writer/Director Bo Burnham will be in attendance

PHOENIX, AZ – Tuesday, March 27 – The Phoenix Film Festival is excited to announce the Closing Night film as A24’s “Eighth Grade”, recently featured as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition section of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Eighth Grade” stars Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan and is written and directed by Bo Burnham.

Bo Burnham is also a comedian and actor, seen in 2017’s “The Big Sick” and star of 2013’s MTV series, “Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous”. Bo will appear at the Phoenix Film Festival for a pre-screening introduction and post-screening Q&A on Sunday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

About “Eighth Grade”

Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth-grade year—before she begins high school.

About Phoenix Film Festival

The 18th Annual Phoenix Film Festival will take place from Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 15. Continually breaking attendance records since its inception, last year’s festival saw over 25,000 attendees and there are hopes to pull in even more film enthusiasts this year. The 11-day Festival will once again be held at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre located at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85054.