Tag Archives: film

Phoenix Film Festival Winners

After 7 days of intense movie-going, it feels strange to not be in a theater. The 2012 Phoenix Film Festival was a ton of fun, and I’m definitely going back next year. That much awesomeness should not be missed!

Let me recap the experience before I unleash a series of micro-reviews on each event. 28 events is a lot to critique! Friday through Sunday were marathon days, 8-15 hours each day. Monday through Thursday was less intense, but it still seemed like a job – an enjoyable one, no doubt. But alas, it’s over now and it’s back to the grind of a real job and now… the writeups. It is a bit daunting, but I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Harkins Scottsdale 101 was the location, and it was really a great venue. I ended up buying a Loyalty Shirt, entitling me to a free popcorn at each movie. Popcorn became a meal replacement every day. The flavored powders helped… The Cine Capri hosted several feature films and seeing movies on the big screen never disappoints. Lots of local sponsors gave out swag and hosted events. Chipotle represented with recycle bags made from billboards – pretty sweet. They also handed out free burrito vouchers during the screening of “Fresh”. Independent Feature Project: Phoenix (aka IFP Phoenix) hosted a bunch of educational features for kids and teens as well as wrangled some film makers & their crew into doing some seminars. The biggest impact on me was hearing everyone discuss their experiences in working with their teams. Teamwork is essential, and assembling a great crew is no easy task. However, more people are involved in indie film work, with skilled and talented folks popping up everywhere. Don’t overlook the next film geniuses!

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PFF Documentary Shorts

We kicked off our time at the Phoenix Film Festival with their Documentary Shorts presentation. It’s always a gamble with shorts, but I love seeing them. If they’re bad, they’re over quickly and if they’re good, you are getting a bunch of them! I like experiencing the work of many talented artists, but sometimes it can be a chore sifting through them for the diamond in the rough. So throughout the Festival I’ve opted to see shorts in most cases unless it conflicts with a feature I REALLY want to see – which was many, write-ups to come in the next few days as I find time between screenings.

The Documentary Shorts features four powerful narratives showcasing the lives of real people and places. The 2012 lineup includes: Kaziah the Goat Woman, Sacred Poison, Randy Parsons: American Luthier, and My Caddy Won’t Let Me, four very professionally done short documentaries.

Kaziah the Goat Woman

2008. Directed by Amy Duzinski Janes. 40 minutes.

Kaziah the Goat Woman features artist and polygamy escapee Kaziah Hancock. Born on the prairie, she owes her life to the goat that nursed her when her mother could not, and has spent her life being a caretaker and protector of these ruminants on her Utah ranch. Her heart goes out not only to the goats and chickens in her life, but also her fellow humans, especially the families of fallen soldiers. Kaziah paints the portraits, for free, of service members killed in action as a show of support to their loved ones. Her organization, Project Compassion has painted over 3,500 portraits, over 950 painted by Kaziah herself.

The documentary features interviews of Kaziah telling her story of life, love and death in Utah, and tags along in her daily life. Throughout the film, we see her paint, start to finish, a portrait of a fallen soldier based off a photograph sent by the family.

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Phoenix Film Festival Starts… Now

Good news, People of Earth!

Lucky old me scored some passes to the Phoenix Film Festival – all thanks to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange! I won a contest they held as part of their Ticket Tuesday series of rewarding loyal fans and customers. Actually, there were pretty high odds of winning – less than 20 entries with only 10 winners so it was more than 50-50. So be sure to keep an eye on Bookmans!

What this means for you is that I will be kicking ass and taking names… make that just writing up some reviews for the films if my ferret-like memory will allow me to remember anything about whatever. I am, however, an expert note-jotter which got me through decades of schooling.

The Phoenix Film Festival is celebrating its 12th year in 2012. My math wizardry tells me this event is as old as the 21st century! So yeah, it’s something to be proud of. Showing over 150 films a year, the Phoenix Film Fest goes on for 8 days and truly requires a trooper such as I to experience every minute. This year, they have returned to Harkins Scottsdale 101 to spread the madness and hedonism…as well as art and culture for the more refined folk.

I won’t be attending tonight as I’m not a platinum or VIP member, so no opening night gala nor any Robot & Frank, which looks super awesome and I’m kinda bummed.

Here is a short selection of what I am planning to see (subject to ticket availability):

Hollywood to Dollywood
It’s In The Blood
Monster Brawl

…and that’s just on Friday!!!

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