There’s a new film festival coming to Arizona this weekend! If you’re looking for information on the upcoming Peoria Film Festival, I talked to its organizer Jason Carney to get all your questions answered. Read on to discover what movies you can see and where you can buy your tickets!
Ryan Bordow: Can you tell me a little bit about the Peoria Film Festival?
Jason Carney: Oh, sure. It’s coming up from October 19th to the 21st. The City of Peoria reached out to us way back in February or March, just as we were really in the throes of doing the Phoenix Film Festival prep. Once things settled down, we reached out to them in June, and they were really supportive. Of course, we’re working with Harkins over at Arrowhead; everything worked out and fell into place nicely. Programming-wise, because we have such a tight timeline and because we didn’t lock things down until late June or early July, we didn’t do a full call for entries. For our films, we went out and recruited and curated our program this time around.
RB: That’s exciting!
JC: Yeah, it’s kind of cool! I’ve been using all the distributors and contacts and studios that we’ve made over time from the Phoenix Film Festival, reaching out to see what they had in their fall lineup, which gives us access to a bunch of different films. I think we came up with 18 really good programs.
RB: What can audiences expect at the Peoria Film Festival that might differ from what they usually get at the Phoenix Film Festival?
JC: It’s definitely a quieter pace. With the Phoenix Film Festival, we’re like boom boom boom, screening after screening with hardly any breaks in between. But this time we built a festival that has a little bit more cushion and pacing throughout the day. For a lot of folks, this’ll be the first film festival that they’ve been to, so we wanted to make it easy to go through the process. We’re running two auditoriums rather than the seven we run for the Phoenix Film Festival. There’s 18 different screenings, each film only plays once, and they’re all very different. There’s a wide variety of programming.
RB: What specific movies can people look forward to?
JC: I’m really excited about the opening night film. With Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Michael Shannon, and Hilary Swank in “What They Had”—it’s a really good drama that touches on Alzheimer’s and all the challenges that families go through when that happens. That’s a really powerful film. The movie we have for closing night is a super dark comedy with Matthew Broderick. It’s really hard to explain. It’s like a super dark comedy with a bunch of charm and heart in it—by the end, because in the first half you’re nervous about laughing. We’ve got this really cool Italian film called “Dogman”, which won Best Actor at Cannes. It’s got some violence to it, but it’s well done, and Marcello Fonte is fantastic in it. We’ve got some really good documentaries too: we’ve got this documentary called “The Last Race”, which is about this racetrack in Long Island for older, beat-up cars, but the track is closing down. There’s a lot of engaging personalities in it.
RB: What information do people need to know in order to get tickets to the Peoria Film Festival?
JC: Tickets are on sale now, and if you go PeoriaFilmFest.com, you can see the full schedule. The dates are October 19th to the 21st. We open up with one big film on Friday night, and then we run films all day Saturday and Sunday. We’ve got a big cocktail party on opening night, and on Saturday we have the industry night party, which is like a meet and greet for the local film community to network. Come see what’s going on!