Here’s what to expect at Phoenix Film Festival
The state’s biggest film festival is just days away! Movie lovers in Arizona need look no further than the Phoenix Film Festival, which runs from April 4th to the 14th at the Harkins Scottsdale 101. I talked to the festival’s main organizer, Jason Carney, to get information about this year’s movies and events.
Ryan Bordow: So, there’s a new Phoenix Film Festival happening soon, as I’ve heard.
Jason Carney: That’s the word on the street.
RB: When is the festival occurring, and how can people get tickets?
JC: The festival this year is April 4th to the 14th, and you can visit PhoenixFilmFestival.com for all the schedules and tickets—for all 303 screenings!
RB: Wow, that’s a lot of screenings.
JC: Tell me about it. I think last year we had 300, so we have just a few more this year.
RB: Any movies that we should be particularly excited about?
JC: Our opening night movie is really cool: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, with Zac Efron in the role of Ted Bundy. I think his performance is really crazy great. The film is surprising because it’s focused on the relationship he had with his girlfriend and how charming he was, meanwhile all the serial killing is going on—it’s a really interesting approach to that story, rather than the typical ‘murder murder murder’ thing.
RB: What about the closing night film?
JC: Oh, man, closing. I’m super excited about closing. The movie is The Farewell, a great story that’s actually based on a true story. The director originally told the story on This American Life on NPR, and that was the inspiration for the film. It’s about a Chinese-American family whose grandmother is still in China, and the family finds out that she has cancer and only has six months to live, and they try to figure out how they can surprise her in China before she passes away. It’s a really light drama, a heartfelt little film. Awkwafina’s in it and it’s a fantastic role for her.
RB: What are some of the events that people have to look forward to at the festival?
JC: We have a couple different parties that are happening. Our big Happy Hour party is on Friday, April 5th. We’ll have all kinds of entertainment going on: trivia, yard games, cornhole, that kind of thing. Our Saturday night party is our Industry Night party, which is a great way for people in the Phoenix community to network and see different things that are happening throughout the Arizona film scene.
RB: And I think I read somewhere that there’s going to be a Kids’ Day?
JC: Oh yeah, Kids’ Day is great! We do this on the first Saturday morning of the festival [April 6th]; it’s geared towards kids from 3 to 12. There will be different stations with hands-on film activities: there’s a station where they can do green screen stuff, there’s a stop-motion station, a soundtrack station where they can play some instruments, and they can walk the red carpet with props for a photo booth. It’ll be such a fun day. And it’s free! And then in the afternoon, we’ll have the Disneynature movie Penguins, which is perfect for families to ease from Kids’ Day right into the movie theater.
RB: Thanks for the information! I look forward to the festival!