The Arizona International Film Festival has returned and is celebrating its 20th birthday. The festival kicked off on Friday, April 1, with a screening of American filmmaker Frederick Marx’s “Journey from Zanskar” at the Fox Theatre.
The Screening Room’s first showing was held the following afternoon. The event was the IndieYouth screening, a showing of short films made by young adults under the age of 20. The shorts screened were created by young adults from Tucson, Massachusetts and the African Republic of Burundi.
I was lucky enough to attend that latter screening, where 13 shorts were shown. The films’ topics ranged from a man from Burundi trying to escape the country in order to provide for his family to tributes and dedications to mothers and grandfathers. Local filmmakers Matthew Sircore, Emma Wilford, Sebastian Granillo-Urquides, and Giovanna Adolph all attended the event to see their shorts shown.
Adolph’s film, titled “Stand in the Rain,” was a three-minute music video. Set to the song “Stand in the Rain” by Superchick, the video told the story of a young woman who is tortured by loss and regret. This was Adolph’s second year in the festival.
“I had to make a music video for a song that I liked for a school project,” she said. “So it was a school thing that I figured I would submit.”
Sircore and Urquides’s films were school projects as well.
The festival runs until April 20. This year’s festival features over 25 feature-length films and over 90 short films in an unusual 20 days (typically the festival is only 10 days but for the twentieth anniversary, the festival is running for 20 days).
Screenings are split between three main theaters: The Screening Room, The Fox Theatre, and the Grand Cinemas theatre at Grant Crossroads.
For more information on the festival, including the festival’s schedule, visit www.filmfestivalarizona.com