A Survival Guide to The Phoenix Film Festival

The Phoenix Film Festival starts this week. Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, a connoisseur of cinema, or just someone who enjoys festivals where your primary activity involves sitting down, you'll definitely want to check out this eight-day movie marathon from March 29 to April 5.

The festival offers a variety of activities -- from seminars to parties, and oh yeah, independent movies. With so much going on simultaneously, it helps to know the who, what, where, when (and how much).


Harkins Scottsdale 101 and a Party Pavilion set up outside where you can hang out with filmmakers, attend special events, and maybe even do some networking. There will be music, entertainment, and drinks. Best part of all, Party Pavilion events are FREE.

The Festival offers a wide range of passes and discounts to students through Flex, VIP Passes, and the Festival website. You can also buy tickets at a discounted price by buying them online in advance (this way, you also have a better chance of getting tickets to the films you actually want to see - sorry, Tooth Fairy 2) Get the detailed listing of prices and purchase tickets here..

The Festival screens over 150 films annually, featuring everything from indie films, to documentaries, to world cinema and every type of 'short' imaginable.

With so much to see, and only one set of eyeballs, you're best bet is to take a look at Festival's online schedule and pick your favorites. (Check out our must-see list here.) You can even log in and personalize a 'cart' of the movies you've deem interesting, to make things less confusing. For the complete schedule, visit the site here.

The Parties:
The parties will take place at the Pavilion outside the theater. Nightly events will be happening all weekend long and they'll be kicking off things with an Industry Night on Friday. This is your best chance to mingle with the film community, hand out business cards, and maybe casually slip in that screenplay you've been writing.

The Seminars:
All seminars are also FREE. Some of the more highly anticipated ones include: After the Crew Goes Home: What happens after production wraps? This seminar will take place Saturday, March 31st at 4:30 and offers insight on what happens after a movie is made.

Another great one to look out for, Actors' Roundtable: Life as an Indie Actor at 2:30pm on Sunday, April 1st, discussing opportunities in independent film and the meaning of mainstream in modern film. The event will be accompanied by a panelist of indie actors whose films will be featured in the Festival including Lance Henriksen, Blayne Weaver, Christina Rose, and Sean Elliot .

For a full list of seminars and their description, check out the Festival's seminar page here.

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