There are plenty of film festivals in the southwest(SXSW behemoth anyone?), but no matter how big or flashy, none are offering the type of goods the city of Phoenix is about to open with.
The fourteenth Phoenix Film Festival kicks off April 3 and is quickly attracting the attention of cinephiles and filmmakers from around the country thanks to a number of robust features that all take place in one simple location. “We’re running 7 screens of content, we do parties, and have workshops; it all happens in one place. At a lot of big film festivals you have to go from venue to venue and take a shuttle or a bus or to get to the theaters and the parties, but we decided to put it all in one place.” says PFF director Jason Carney.
Unlike the juggernauts that normally dominate the realm of film festivals, PFF is building a base at the Scottsdale Harkins 101 location to give attendees a stronger and more personable connection to the filmmakers and other filmgoers. Jason and the rest of the staff have worked hard to create an open and easily accessible atmosphere. “I like to use the phrase ‘inclusive event.’ People get to come out, see the filmmakers, and then join in on the conversation with the filmmakers. It’s such an important element. We have filmmakers who can talk about the films on site. It’s a whole different vibe from just seeing a bunch of movies.”
Jason promises that the line-up for this year’s festival is no slouch with a number of the biggest studio films making their debut in the Phoenix metro. “From Fox searchlight we get things like Dom Hemingway and then from Roadside Attractions we’ve got movies like Joe with Nic Cage and Words and Pictures with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.”
The big wig movies are exciting to be sure, but Jason claims that PFF also gives Arizona filmmakers their own category that still keeps them in the running up against international heavyweights like It’s Only Make Believe from director Arild Østin Ommundsen. “Every year we have 10 films in our feature competition and every year one of them ends up being an Arizona made film.”
PFF’s philosophy as an inclusive event makes way for great horror and sci-fi genre our renegade movie lovers won’t want to miss during the late night hours each night of the festival. “Throughout the week, PFF is also the host of the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival that will feature screenings and director Q&As for all the hottest genre work in Hollywood.” Elaborates Jason, “We’ve got great stuff like The Sacrament directed by Ti West who has a great reputation in the horror community! He’ll be here on the Wednesday night of the festival.”
The PFF is just around the corner and kicks off 7:30 on April April 3 at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 with Locke starring Tom Hardy and Ruth Wilson. The robust lineup for the rest of the week long festival includes the hottest movies on the film circuit including The Joe Show, Trust Me, Mind’s Eye, God’s Pocket, and many others. The festival will round out its show when it closes out on April 10 with Richard Linklater’s twelve year pet project Boyhood.
Tickets and passes are on sale now and available through the Phoenix Film Festival website www.phoenixfilmfestival.com. Tickets may can also be purchased in person at the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket Center at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theater. Tickets range in price from $13 for a single screening to $300 for a platinum pass. If you want more information call 602-955-6444 or go towww.phoenixfilmfestival.com. It’s shaping up to be the perfect festival for renegade film buffs to ask insightful questions and get connected with some of the industry’s sharpest filmmakers and it’s a week long event you won’t want to miss.