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Phoenix Film Festival preps for year 12

MONTE YAZZIE ~ SPECIAL FOR THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS ~ 3/21/2012

The 12th Annual Phoenix Film Festival is preparing a packed schedule poised to delight film fans during the event held at The Scottsdale Harkins 101 Theaters from March 29th through April 5th. The week-long event continues to grow and maintains the increasing fan momentum of past years. What started in 2000 as a small showcase for local independent filmmakers and enthusiasts has developed into a mainstay for the Arizona film community, garnering accolades from across the country as one of the best film festivals to attend. The festival continues to demonstrate development with each year, from the calculated film selections that offer something for every film taste, to the added amenities of educational seminars and panel discussions with filmmakers and industry veterans. There is always something to be doing at this festival.
This year at the festival audiences will have varying selections of independent films to choose from. The recently campaigned film Bully, a documentary about the bullying issue in America, will be screened for the first time in Arizona. Bully has been making media waves since being backed by celebrities, politicians, and anti-bullying organizations in regard to the MPAA’s restrictive rating for the film. The opening night film, Robot and Frank, starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, and Liv Tyler was a Sundance Film Festival hit. However, this is also a competitive festival, and there are always noteworthy films in the competition selections as well, many of which have never been screened before public audiences. Take a moment as well to watch the budding potential of some young filmmakers in the short film showcase; these films are impressive considering the resources that are available for these filmmakers.
If this isn’t enough for you yet, The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival will also happen at the same time, in the same location, as the Phoenix Film Festival. Festival Director Andrea Beesley has organized an amazing line-up of genre films to screen. The Theater Bizarre and Monster Brawl will definitely bring a unique atmosphere to the festival, not to mention an interesting combination for film fans. When discussing the grouping of these two events Beesley explains, “The combination of the two Festivals should make for a more enjoyable experience for fans. The space might not be as intimate, but there is a wealth of more films to explore and the Party Pavilion is full of really interesting programming. It should make the event more seamless and enjoyable.” What more could a film fan ask for…maybe a never-ending bucket of popcorn?
Phoenix Film Festival and International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival will be shown March 29 – April 5 at the Scottsdale Harkins 101. Festival passes and schedules are available at phoenixfilmfestival.com.