2020 PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL and INTERNATIONAL HORROR & SCI-FI FESTIVAL
NEW DATES ANNOUNCED: 11/12/20 – 11/22/20
Original dates (March 26-April 5, 2020) postponed due to the pandemic.
NEW Dates: November 12 – November 22
Location: Harkins Scottsdale 101
Address: 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85054
The Phoenix Film Festival has announced dates for their 20th Annual festival. The festival will run from Thursday, November 12 – Sunday, November 22 at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre. While the festival is well known for its parties and other special events, this year they are pivoting to an event that will be exclusively screening films. Executive Director, Jason Carney says, “This year celebrating the movies will be our exclusive focus.”
The festival is excited they have been able to retain the majority of the film line-up that was originally in place for the postponed March event with a few new exciting additions.
Tickets for the Phoenix Film Festival are currently available for purchase at www.phoenixfilmfestival.com. Prices are $15 for a single ticket; $45 for a flex pass, good for any 4 films showing at the festival excluding opening and closing night films; $120 for a Super Flex Pass, good for any 10 films showing at the festival; $200 for a Festival Pass and $400 for a VIP pass. All seating at the 2020 Phoenix Film Festival is reserved.
Arizona based Cloudburst Entertainment’s upcoming comedy, THE COMEBACK TRAIL, to take center stage as the Opening Night Film at the 20th Anniversary of the Phoenix Film Festival on Thursday, November 12th, 7:30pm at Harkins Theatres Scottsdale/101.
The Festival’s Opening Night celebration of cinematic excellence brings together valley tastemakers, film enthusiasts and filmmakers to discover all that is new in the world of film. “Any time you have the chance to kick off the festival with a comedy, particularly with a cast like this, you jump at it. It should be a fun night!” says Executive Director Jason Carney. Cloudburst Entertainment’s upcoming release, THE COMEBACK TRAIL, directed by George Gallo stars Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Zach Braff and Emile Hirsch.
“We are thrilled to show THE COMEBACK TRAIL to our local Phoenix Community. With an amazing cast and a fun story that everyone will enjoy, The Comeback Trail is the perfect antidote to what our community and country have gone through the last several months.” said Steve Fedyski, Cloudburst Entertainment CEO/Managing Partner. “We look forward to releasing uplifting and meaningful movies in years to come.”
INTERNATIONAL HORROR AND SCI-FI FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2020 HIGHLIGHTS
A few highlights from this year’s International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival include:
KOKO DI KOKO DA (IHSFFF Opening Night Film)
Friday, November 13 at 7:50PM
Sunday, November 22 at 5:05PM
Directed by: Johannes Nyholm
Cast: Leif Edlund, Peter Belli, Ylva Gallon
Synopsis: A once-loving couple decides to go on a trip, looking for one last chance to go back to the way things used to be. Instead, they find themselves having to relive nightmarish events of the past, as that day and the horrors it brings repeat themselves infinitely. Together they must overcome their trauma, reconcile with their past, and fight for their lives…..Over, and over, and over again.
LITTLE FISH (Science Fiction genre)
Friday, November 20 at 7:50PM
Directed by: Chad Hartigan
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Jack O’Connell, Soko, Raúl Castillo
Synopsis: A couple fights to hold their relationship together as a memory loss virus spreads and threatens to erase the history of their love and courtship.
BLOOD QUANTUM (Horror genre)
Saturday, November 14 at 7:50PM
Thursday, November 19 at 7:50PM
Directed by: Jeff Barnaby
Cast: Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Devery Jacobs, Forrest Goodluck, Kiowa Gordon, and Gary Farmer
Synopsis: The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.
ZOMBI CHILD (Horror genre)
Wednesday, November 18 at 7:50PM
Saturday, November 21 at 8:00PM
Directed by: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David
Synopsis: Haiti, 1962. A man is brought back from the dead only to be sent to the living hell of the sugarcane fields. 55 years later, at a Parisian boarding school, a Haitian teenager confesses an old family secret, never imagining that this strange tale will inspire her classmate to do the unthinkable.
EXCLUSIVE Interview with Festival Director Jason Carney
The Massie Twins: What kinds of things do you have planned specifically in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Phoenix Film Festival?
Jason Carney: We’ve got this great 20th Anniversary Reunion program as part of the festival. We have invited back eleven films and the filmmakers to be part of this year’s festival. We developed a mix of types of films with a focus on films and filmmakers that audiences have really enjoyed over the year. It’s a great way for people to see films they’ve seen before or to revisit an old favorite.
MT: Twenty years ago, did you ever imagine the PFF would be where it is today, spanning nearly two weeks with tens of thousands of attendees watching hundreds of films?
JC: Of course the festival had hopes of growth but no one had any idea that it would be so successful and relatively quickly. The first year, the team was learning basic best practices and trying to see what would work and honestly we were shocked by the number of people (3,000) that turned out. It’s been such a whirlwind and it’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years.
MT: Since “Parasite” just won the Oscar for Best Picture, do you see a potential increased interest in independent and foreign films, particularly with crowds who might not have otherwise sought out those types of films? Do you think that film’s achievement will persuade mainstream moviegoers to check out indie or foreign pictures, many of which can be found at the PFF?
JC: I think we’ve had success with that since the beginning. We’ve told audiences, “Hey, we’ve got a few big films with actors you know but check out a couple of independent films along the way.” That’s all it takes to get people hooked and some folks are just as anxious to see our indie and foreign film list as they are the headlining films. That’s a big deal.
MT: What advice do you have for short filmmakers who would like to one day submit a film to the Festival? Are there any big mistakes (like excessive length or copyrighted soundtrack selections) to watch out for?
JC: Length is huge. Trying to be in that sweet spot 7 to 12 minutes is great advice. However, make the film you want to make and be proud of. Just make sure that everything you put in the film advances your story and what you’re trying to say. Don’t fall in love with shots or full scenes. Be ready to make those tough cuts to make a tight film that audiences will quickly embrace. A 25 minute film that should be 10 minutes isn’t helping anyone.
MT: Has bringing the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival into the fold helped that event increase its exposure and get genre films to larger crowds?
JC: Absolutely. Every year we have audience members who are surprised how much they enjoy the sci-fi or horror films they put on their schedule on a whim. A festival is a great way to get out of your safe zone. It definitely helps bring genre films to a wider audience.
MT: How many years have you been doing Geek Day? And what can we look forward to when attending that event?
JC: We’ve done it for three years now and we’re toying with a new idea that we may roll out in its place. Standby for something different on Sunday afternoon.
MT: Who judges the competition films for the PFF and how are those judges selected?
JC: We’re very fortunate to have members of the Phoenix Critics Circle as judges for our competition films. Having that group of top critics in our organization is a great pool of judges to determine our winners. It’s an excellent resource. It’s a great group and they were on board with Parasite as their Best Picture way back in December.
MT: What are some of the best ways to get involved or to help out with the Festival?
JC: Volunteer! It takes over 200 volunteers for us to put this beast together. Join them and you’ll have a blast. It’s a great way to see how the festival comes together and get to see a bunch of free movies. We’re super lucky to have a great group of volunteers every year. I can’t thank them enough!