After presenting eight fun-filled days of exceptional independent films it was time to bring the 15th annual Phoenix Film Festival to a close. The 2015 Phoenix Film Festival was a rousing success as the event’s organizers did an outstanding job of making sure that everybody who attended had a great time.
When the Phoenix Film Festival started 15 years ago, it was a very small event. This year, record crowds of roughly 25,000 came to see the top independent feature films and shorts from Arizona, the U.S. and many other countries around the globe. The Phoenix Film Festival is Arizona’s largest film festival. Over the eight day period more than 150 films were shown on 7 screens in the Harkins Scottsdale/101 theatre complex.
Opening night began with a bang as guests flocked to the Party Pavillion where they were welcomed to this year’s film festival with fabulous food, great entertainment, and a silent auction. Afterwards, attendees moved into the theatre where the festivities continued with the screening of Danny Collins, a film about an aging rock star portrayed by Al Pacino.
Fox Movie Channel Friday Night Party
A crowd estimated to be in excess of 1,500 showed up on March 27 at the Fox Movie Channel Friday Night Party. It was a fun and free night for filmmakers to get together and network. Throughout the eight day event, there were workshops and discussion groups where attendees could listen to writers, directors and actors talk about the creative process. Attendees got a chance to ask questions and interact with the talented people who provided the content for this year’s Phoenix Film Festival.
On Sunday night, the Copper Wing Award Winners were recognized for outstanding achievement in a number of different categories. Wildlike was the big winner, taking home awards for Best Picture, Best Acting Ensemble, and Best Screenplay. In some of the other categories, Unsound won for Best Arizona Feature, In Silence won for Best World Cinema Picture, and Blood Punch took the honors for Best Horror Feature.
There was Plenty to See
Over the next seven days, attendees had the opportunity to watch both feature length and shorts in a number of different categories and genres. There were touching story lines and films that really tugged at you heart. A separate category was devoted to science fiction and horror films. Documentaries showed life’s struggles in far-away places around the world.
Most Memorable Movies
While We’re Young
A truly entertaining film that poses the question of when it is time to move on to a new stage in your life. Starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, the couple faces a crossroad in their life. Do they want to try to have a baby and be parents at an older age or should they move on and enjoy life as a carefree couple without parental responsibilities? When they meet a young and hip couple, their choice becomes more clear. www.while-were-young.com
Hoping that a change of scenery will help her teenage daughter overcome her struggle with some emotional and behavioral problems, Mackenzie is sent off to Alaska to live with her uncle. At first the relationship between niece and uncle is good, but eventually it dissolves into a bad situation. The resourceful young lady gets away from her uncle and tries to make her way back to her mother in Seattle. Alone and out in the wilderness, she meets a lone backpacker, and together, the two discover the peaceful solitude and beauty of the unspoiled Alaska frontier. www.wildlikefilm.com
“Director/screenwriter Khalil Sullins makes an auspicious feature debut with his audacious sci-fi thriller that’s as engrossing as it is thought-provoking. Exploring the nascent technology that will no doubt make mental telepathy a commonplace occurrence, and that’s a world we probably won’t want to live in, Listening features style to spare… The film, which recently received its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival, instantly marks its creator as a talent to watch.” www.listeningmovie.com
Did you have a good time attending the parties and mingling with the creative types? We sure hope you did! What was your favorite movie and favorite moment? We trust that you had a pleasant stay at the Thunderbird Suites while you were in Scottsdale for the Phoenix Film Festival. Please come back to see us the next time you are visiting the area. We can’t say it enough but we really appreciate your choosing the Best Western Thunderbird Suites. To all our movie-going guests – THANK YOU!