FashFilmFete to celebrate iconic designers, fashion at Phoenix film festival | Phoenix New Times

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FashFilmFete festival to celebrate iconic costume designers, fashion in film

The second annual film festival at Phoenix Art Museum on Saturday explores fashion storytelling and films where fashion plays a pivotal role.
The jury and advisory panel from the inaugural FashFilmFete in 2022.
The jury and advisory panel from the inaugural FashFilmFete in 2022. Courtesy Mignon Gould
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Phoenix Art Museum is combining people’s fascination for fashion and film by hosting the second annual film festival, FashFilmFete, which explores the history of fashion storytelling through multiple mediums of film.

The festival, which runs on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, celebrates films and feature presentations where fashion plays a “pivotal” role in the narrative. The virtual festival takes place from Sunday through Oct. 8.

“It is going to be a great opportunity not only to watch these films that have been selected but also to hear from the filmmakers and their thought process when they developed these narratives and how they used fashion and style to help speak to what the narrative was,” said Mignon Gould, the founder and owner of FashFilmFete.

The festival on Saturday includes the viewing of the feature-length documentary “Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field,” four short films, a panel discussion, and a session with Michael Selditch, the director of “Happy Clothes,” and Erica Guzman, Patricia Field's right-hand woman who helped design "Emily in Paris."

Tickets for the in-person festival range in price from $20 to $75 and provide access to a single film or the entire schedule and a reception with a filmmaker meet and greet. Tickets to the virtual event are $14 to $30.

FashFilmFete will also honor the works of female costume designers Ruth E. Carter and Patricia Field.

Carter is best known for her costume designs in "Black Panther," though she has costumed more than 40 films. Carter made history when she became the first Black person to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design in 2018. At the 95th Academy Awards in 2023, she became the only Black woman to win two Oscars, winning her second for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Field is best known for costuming "Sex and the City" — work that won her an Emmy Award — as well as the television show's two spin-off movies. Field also created the wardrobe for the Netflix series "Emily in Paris."

During FashFilmFete, Carter and Field will receive the 2023 Costume Design Career Achievement Award in Film and Television.

"Our expert advisory and jury panel voted to select the Costume Design Career Achievement Award winners from a pool of 12 accomplished costume designers in the film and television categories,” Gould said. “Ruth E. Carter was selected for cultivating empowered Afrocentric costuming, both historical and fantastical; and Patricia Field was selected for her bold aesthetic that unapologetically showcases strong, yet feminine women."

Among the short films at the festival, director Maurice Porcher's "Diamond Minds" is being showcased. Three others will receive awards — Dana Nies' “American Made," “The Power is Yours” from Urivaldo Lopes and “Time is Eternal” from directors Daniel M. Lir and Bayou Bennett.

Gould said that she wanted to change the traditional angle of a film festival.

“What is a little bit different about our festivals is that most festivals run several days and in theaters,” Gould said. “We really wanted to bring people back to the museums. That brought me to collaborate with the Phoenix Art Museum.”

The fashion collection at Phoenix Art Museum features nearly 6,000 objects of couture and accessories spanning almost 500 years of fashion history.
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