Phoenix Film Festival 2022
Phoenix Film Festival 2022

The Phoenix Film Festival will be returning to its springtime home on the calendar for their 22nd film festival from Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 10 at Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theater.

The festival will once again be featuring a diverse line-up of over 200 films and hosting filmmakers from around the world. Plus, 2022 marks the return of the festival’s Party Pavilion with special events like Opening Night, Industry Night, and Film Prom.

Tickets and Festival Passes for 2022 are now on sale and can be purchased either at the festival’s website at www.phoenixfilmfestival.com or by calling the film festival office at 480-513-3195.

Pricing for tickets and festival passes are as follows:

Single Ticket – $15
Flex Pass – $45 (cannot be used for the opening or closing night films)
Super Flex Pass – $120

Festival Pass – $200
VIP Pass – $400
Platinum Pass – $450 (will be the only pass/ticket for access to the Opening Night Film)

The public can rest assured that the festival will continue to follow thorough safety protocols put in place by Harkins Theaters, which can be found in its entirety by visiting the Harkins Theaters website at https://www.harkins.com/welcome-back.

 

The Massie Twins also had an opportunity to interview Phoenix Film Festival Executive Director Jason Carney, as well as International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival Director Monte Yazzie, who shed some insights into specifics of the event.

 

Massie Twins: What are a few of the things you’re most proud of or most excited to have at this year’s festival?

Jason Carney: I’m really proud of the hard work our team has put in getting the festival ready right after having the festival in August last year. I’m really excited about our Opening Night Film, “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and this great independent film called “Scarborough” that we’re screening the second Friday.

Massie Twins: We were thrilled to see CODA, a film that played at last year’s Phoenix Film Festival, get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Many of the most lauded films of 2021 were smaller, more character-driven pieces that focused on relationships and coming-of-age dramas over spectacle and special effects. Does seeing this wider appeal in more intimate stories affect how you program the festival and does it allow independent and foreign films a better chance to connect with audiences?

JC: The great thing about a film like CODA is it makes independent and art house films more accessible to general audiences. They see how great a smaller film can be and they’re willing to give more films at festivals a chance. That’s why we’re always looking for independent films of all types. That includes lighter programming including dramas and comedies. Independent filmmakers give us strong stories because they don’t have 50 million to spend on big name stars or special effects. Storytelling is their biggest weapon, so it has to be strong.

Massie Twins: What is Industry Night and Film Prom and how can patrons and/or filmmakers get involved in these events?

JC: Industry Night is the theme of our Friday Night Party during opening weekend. It’s a great way for filmmakers to network and for everyone to learn more about what’s happening in the local industry. Plus there’s music and a bar so who’s going to complain about that? And Film Prom is our opening Saturday Night Party. It’s a great opportunity for our attendees and filmmakers to dress up and party like it’s 1995 (it’s 90s themed this year). We’ve got DJ Matty Rob spinning the best of the 90s and an opportunity to gain your street cred back with cool prom photos.

Massie Twins: On a scale of extremely thrilled to insanely thrilled, how excited are you about the return of the Party Pavilion?

JC: Can I say extremely effing thrilled? Because it’s true. For us, it’s another step forward toward normalcy with the festival. We were able to do a great version of the festival in August of 2021 but we were missing the Party Pavilion. We’ve had so many great memories and moments in there so it’s awesome to be back. Plus it’s the only place I’m almost cool.

 

Massie Twins: What are a few of the things you’re most proud of or most excited to have at this year’s festival?

Monte Yazzie: The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival are so excited to be back in the movie theaters, bringing audiences the very best in genre programming. Our opening Friday night film is a great little throwback nostalgia film called the “Iké Boys” that will give you “Mighty Morphin Power Ranger” vibes. On our second Saturday, we have “Hypochondriac,” a film that shifts horror tropes in a unique direction.

Massie Twins: Horror films oftentimes play upon current or topical fears. Have you noticed this in the films submitted this year, or have you seen any new or unexpected trends pop up in the horror/sci-fi genre?

MY: Genre films, specifically science fiction and horror, have always been a great reflection of our world. Every year one of my favorite aspects of the festival is seeing the pathways these films are taking towards storytelling. Pandemic themes of isolation, identity, and grief are represented throughout all the films this year, but so is an aspect of hope, happiness, and togetherness. The experiences learned and felt from the last two years are entirely recognizable in the films we’ve programmed in 2022. That’s the beautiful aspect of the festival; it provides an outlet for those feelings and provides an opportunity for people to find connections through those emotions.

Massie Twins: We’ve always been huge fans of the diverse selection of short films that play at the Phoenix Film Festival each year. What can you tell us about the short films for this year? As a filmmaker yourself, do you have any advice for those that want to make their own short films?

MY: Advice I always give to people new to film festivals is to start with the shorts programs. The variety of creativity from these filmmakers, some with a wealth of experience and others new to the process, is such a wonder to watch. In our Community Spotlight section of the shorts program, we have dialogs surrounding culture, history, representation, and identity shown from the perspective of a wide variety of represented communities. This broader perspective offers new insight into the world from Asian American, African American, LatinX, Native American, and LGBTQIA+ filmmakers.

From a filmmaker’s perspective, these short films offer opportunities for inspiration, collaboration, and valuable learned experiences from filmmakers who have gone through the process. Way back when the Phoenix Film Festival started, I watched short films and met the filmmakers in the audience. It’s one of the primary reasons I decided to start my filmmaking journey.

Massie Twins: On a scale of extremely thrilled to insanely thrilled, how excited are you about the return of the Party Pavilion?

MY: The tent has become such a recognizable staple of the Phoenix Film Festival. Having it back and filled with moviegoers… “insanely thrilled” doesn’t feel like a strong enough word to convey how happy it will make me.