film festival Archives

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Year in and year out for the past quarter century, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival has been one of the more interesting flick fests around the Valley. This year, however, it’s almost as interesting for the way in which it’s delivered to audiences as for the diverse and fascinating selection of films. This year GPJFF, as with almost everything else in society, has been affected by COVID-19 precautions, and is therefore an entirely virtual...

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January and February tend to be the doldrums of the moviegoing year, full of titles that the studios want to unload with a quick release before blockbuster season, and don’t care if they’re forgotten by awards season. One remedy for this drought is to catch up on the high-profile stuff from last year you may have missed; FilmBar, for instance, is showing Bong Joon Ho’s horrifying, hilarious, wildly original surprise Best Picture winner Parasite, the...

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Peoria Film Festival—This weekend, through Sunday, October 13, marks the second annual edition of the west side fest, a presentation of Phoenix Film Festival. With the exception of a “Family Film Day” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at nearby Huntington University and an afterparty Saturday evening across the street from the multiplex, all of the Peoria festival’s events are conveniently located at one venue: Harkins Arrowhead 18. Features this year include: The Cat and the...

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A still from Love. Directed/Animated by Reka Busci  
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The Art Of Flying. Created by Jan Van Ijken.

The next offering from Phoenix’s No Festival Required film series isn’t one movie, it’s nine little movies. “The Rural Route Film Festival Touring Program: Short Films and Animations” is a compilation of the best shorts from the New York-based fest, which features non-urban subjects from around the world, often focusing on environmental issues.

If this sounds like a depressing or guilt-inducing prospect, don’t despair. It’s a surprisingly lively, engaging collection, often distressing but non-didactic and free of scolding (e.g. it’s your fault we’re watching sad polar bears floating away on melting ice). The selections are highly diverse in style and tone, and yet there’s a recurrence of themes and images between them that gives the show unity. Two of the shorts, for instance, involve the mining industry’s use of ill-fated canaries, Jesse Kreitzer’s Iowa-filmed early-20th century period mining drama Black Canaries and Marie Schlingmann’s disturbing, ambiguous thriller Canary.

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#1: Dinerwood Level 4: 2016 Welcome Diner Film Fest at Welcome Diner, September 14

Spontaneous cinematic magic – and messes -- can happen when you give groups of Phoenicians a line of dialogue, a prop, and a requirement to make a three-minute film (including titles and credits) in 48 hours. Such is Welcome Diner’s recipe for its Dinerfest film challenge – plus beer and fried food, of course. Now on its fourth fling, the festival is so popular people fill bleachers on the diner’s lawn in summer to see who will win the year’s Best Film Award and cash prize. Sponsored by Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Pabst Blue Ribbon. $1 PBR tall cans all night. 6 p.m. September 14 at Welcome Diner. welcomediner.net

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