Happy Saturday! First - an introduction:
We'd be lying if we told you we didn't love being Arizona's largest film festival. It gives us the ability to throw a great party every year and show you hundreds of amazing films. We're fortunate to be where we are.
But size and reach aren't everything. We take a lot of pride in the fact that our festival retains a "home-grown" attitude. It's run by real people - not a large media company or conglomerate. In fact, nearly every staff member you see at the festival is a volunteer. They do it for the love of film.
In this series, The People of PFF, you'll get to know some of our awesome staff members and volunteers. Maybe you'll even learn a little more about our festival. So, without further delay, we present Jason Carney.
I'm the Festival Director and the Executive Director for the Phoenix Film Foundation, the 501c3 organization that produces the festival.
How did you end up doing that?
About two weeks before the very first festival, my old pal Greg Hall (PFF Program Director) asked me if I wanted to come out and help work on the film festival. I was there a couple of hours and I was hooked. You cannot beat the adrenaline rush of the film festival. Over the few years, I did many things with the festival until becoming the Festival Director in 2005.
What do you love most about your role?
I love that we get to expose the Phoenix community to films that they can't see anywhere else. It's a great feeling to give these independent films the attention they deserve. To get to see the filmmakers at the festival and the pride they have in their films is pretty cool. So just to think we got to play a small part in making that happening is awesome.
What is the biggest challenge?
This is going to sound weird, but the festival ending is often my biggest challenge. My brain is going 150 miles per hour for the month leading up to the festival and 200 miles per hour the week of the festival. So slowing down afterwards is very difficult. My brain just doesn't want to quit.
If you want a more process-based challenge, I would go with juggling everything at once. There's just so many things going on during the opening weekend, it can sometimes get a little crazy to be in so many places.
What's the movie you're most excited for this year?
The politically correct answer is that I'm most excited about all of the movies. But secretly, I can't wait to see FDR: American Badass. It looks ridiculously amazing. The movie I'm most excited about is a film that we can't quite announce yet. It looks amazing. How's that for a tease?
What are your three favorite movies featuring a primate in a leading role?
1- Every Which Way But Loose
2- Any Which Way You Can
3- Going Ape