Arizona’s biggest film festival is almost here! Both the Phoenix Film Festival and International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival will be held from April 5-15, 2018, and I spoke to the organizers behind both—Jason Carney and Monte Yazzie—to get your burning questions answered. 

Ryan Bordow: So, what exactly is the Phoenix Film Festival? 

Jason Carney: We are Arizona’s largest film festival. Every year we screen over 250 films, hold filmmaking seminars, parties, and amazing events for over 25,000 attendees at the Harkins Scottsdale 101. The Phoenix Film Festival has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals and a Top 50 Worth the Entry Fee festival by MovieMaker Magazine and has been called the most filmmaker-friendly festival out there. We are also doing 11 days this year, from April 5th-15th! 

RB: How can people get tickets? 

JC: Tickets can be purchased at or by stopping in to the Ticket Center at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd, Suite 1059 in Phoenix. 

RB: Tell me about key movies and events that you would recommend. 

JC: We’re super fortunate to have so many great films this year. There are a couple of Sundance films that I’d highly recommend, like “Searching” starring John Cho and “Blindspotting” starring Daveed Diggs. I would also recommend “Leave No Trace” starring Ben Foster and “A Kid Like Jake” starring Claire Danes and Octavia Spencer. On the events front, our party on Friday, April 6 will feature The Rhythm Nation a live karaoke band, and the next night, Saturday, April 7, we’ll have the 90s band “Vanilla Spice” bringing down the house. 

RB: Why should movie lovers go? Why should Arizonans who aren’t into movies go? 

JC: This is a no-brainer for movie lovers. 300 screenings to choose from and surrounded by people like you that have a passion for great films. For those folks who don’t know what they’re getting to or aren’t movie fiends, we offer something they’ve probably never experienced before. They get to see films before they’re released, and we have many filmmakers in attendance talking about their films. It’s a great way to get insight how films are made, as well as the bonding experience you have with your fellow filmgoers. 

International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival  

RB: So, what is the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival? 

Monte Yazzie: Now in its 14th year, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival happens in conjunction with the yearly Phoenix Film Festival, with a dedicated theater all opening weekend and screenings all week long. This year’s Festival takes place from April 5th-15th. Attendees can catch premieres of short and feature horror and sci-fi films from all over the world, along with eclectic programming of older films, special guests, and cult classics. Plus, you can enjoy all the great parties and entertainment the Phoenix Film Festival is known for. Patrons will be able to screen awesome horror and sci-fi films alongside over a hundred other independent films. It’s the best of all worlds! The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival is a program of the 501c(3) non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation. 

RB: How can people get tickets?  

MY: Tickets can be purchased at or by stopping in to the Ticket Center at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd, Suite 1059 in Phoenix. 

RB: What horror and sci-fi movies should we most look forward to? 

MY: We have a little bit of something for every genre fan taste, but there are three films that you should definitely put on your schedule. “To Hell and Back” is a great documentary about the actor who played the most definitive version of Jason Voorhees in the “Friday the 13th” films. It’s a surprisingly heartfelt and emotional film that takes a behind the scenes look at gentle giant. Also put “Rock Steady Row” on your list: it’s a unique vision that doesn’t play by the rules. The fact that the film doesn’t fit nicely into a genre is part of the appeal. Finally, check out “All the Creatures Were Stirring”, a holiday horror anthology that functions to provide a little bit of the sinister and the sweet aspects of the holiday.