For two nights, people crowded the Welcome Diner front patio to watch 11 short films made in just 48 hours. Each team was randomly assigned an odd genre to make a film, with such options as "talking animal sitcom" and "coming-of-age time travel." What the teams made in just two days ranged from odd and experimental to dramatic and emotional, with many teams going for laughs overall.
Though all the films were interesting to watch in their own right, only one could win.
With a given prop and genre, along with a specific line of dialogue to include in their films, the guidelines appear restrictive -- especially considering that including a bag of biscuits, this year's prop, in a movie about a superhero bromance isn't the easiest thing to do.
Though sometimes you could see the line of dialogue coming, which was "we look forward to serving you," teams definitely got creative with plot. Some films featured competitive hot dog eating, time travel, Abraham Lincoln and robots, and people in animal masks hitting up Grand Avenue haunts like Bikini Lounge.
In the end, host Brandon Huigens announced the winners, whom he said the judges "felt very strongly about." Howl Theatre took the top prize with a French language film called Soupe, which artfully and comedically told the story of a hair in one diner's soup. It was certainly well-acted, which is no surprise coming from the troupe. They were even able to fake French fluency, which they admitted to in their acceptance speech.
The team won $440 in cash, which they said will go toward its next theater project. However, the folks at the diner and the judges, which included Aaron Johnson of Lawn Gnome, Nicole Underwood of Roosevelt Row, John Sagasta of Jobot, and Kris Gade of the Garfield Community Garden, made enough awards so that every competitor won a prize pack with about $75 worth of swag and gift certificates to local businesses.
Here are the rest of the winners:
Best Kiss Journalism Student by Tom McCoy and Fransisco Orozoco
Best Fight Scene Superhero Bromance by the Devivo Family
Best CGI I'm So Glad We're Home by Nesbit Family
Best Sound Effects Dinner Party by SeaSalt Creative
Best Animal Sitcom Robots by All The Beautifuls
Best Comedy Talking Animal Sitcom by Camelbackpackers
Best Use of Line of Dialogue Sausage Festival by Dolly Dagger
Best Ensemble Cast You Can Eat It by President Mckinley Productions
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Best Use of Genre Isadora Duncan by Persona
Best Use of Prop The Run by Media Sheep
If you're interested in watching all of the films for yourself, keep an eye on Welcome Diner's YouTube channel over the weekend because they will all be posted there.