2017 Weekend Workshop Schedule

Hosted by Festival alumni and veteran podcasters, our weekend workshop series is designed to enhance your experience at the Phoenix Film Festival by bringing together filmmakers, film lovers and industry professionals. Be a part of the conversation!

This year’s filmmaker panels will include a special Saturday and Sunday LIVE podcast, featuring some of our visiting filmmakers. So even if you can’t attend in person, you’ll be able to listen live via the Internet. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

WROTE THAT!: A Writers’ Round Table

2:30 PM

Most of the best lines of any film originated in the pages of a screenplay. Everything we see starts from a description in the script. Join our panel of screenwriters, who explore the challenges of writing feature films.

Hosted by:  Paul Osborne (Favor (2013), Official Rejection (2009), Ten ’til Noon (2006)).
Scheduled panelists: Moira Leeper (“A Light Beneath Their Feet”), James Sadwith(“Coming Through the Rye”), James Habacker (“The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man”),Larry Brand (“Beyond Glory”), and Randall Greenland (“A Way Out”).

Diverse Perspectives


Diversity in filmmaking, through the eyes of our panelists who are breaking the mold in independent filmmaking. How do diverse perspectives change what we watch in the future?

Hosted by Leigh Ann Dolan (The Governor (2007)).
Scheduled panelists: Michele Gisser (“Patagonia Treasure Trail”), Ben Changkakoti (“Patagonia Treasure Trail”), Jaime Valdueza (“BURNED”), Matty Steinkamp (“Play The Documentary”),  Nico Raineau (“Brix And The Bitch”) and Kay Bridgeman (“Foot In Mouth”).

A Directors’ Round Table


A director will read a script and envision the movie long before the cameras start to roll. Delve into the secrets behind achieving the vision, with our Festival-selected directors.

Hosted by Zak Forsman (Down and Dangerous (2013)).
Scheduled panelists: Oliver Thompson (“Welcome to Happiness”), Kenneth Mader(“Displacement”), Steve Anderson (“Lucky U Ranch”) , Nico Raineau (“Brix And The Bitch”) and Neel Upadhye (“Dating Daisy”).

Saturday Afternoon Podcast

5:30 PM

If you love to talk about your favorite movies, you’ll be happy you were part of this conversation.

Hosted by Brent Hankins and Kyle Wilson.
Guest filmmakers: Festival repeat-offenders Paul Osborne (Favor (2013), Official Rejection (2009), Ten ’til Noon (2006)) and Scott Storm (Apple Tree (2016), We Run Sh*t (2012), Official Rejection (2009), Ten ’til Noon (2006)).


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee, it’s everybody’s dream to be a famous actor, isn’t it? Veterans of independent film talk about the strings attached. And that ain’t no lie!

Hosted by Colleen Hartnett (Seven Hours in Heaven (2015)).
Scheduled panelists: Michael Merchant (“Night of Something Strange”), Sascha Alexander (“Dating Daisy”), Bay Dariz (“Welcome to Happiness”), Patrick Day (“Cut to the Chase”), and Kay Bridgeman (“Foot In Mouth”).



Hear from some of the state’s top arts organizations and find out if the arts really are alive and well in Arizona.

Hosted by Amanda Melby (Past Executive Director of IFP/Phoenix).
Scheduled panelists: Ben Watters (Grants and Operations Coordinator/Arizona Commission on the Arts), Jason Carney (Executive Director/Phoenix Film Foundation),Ron May (Founding Artistic Director/Stray Cat Theatre), Lisa Starry (Artistic Director/ Choreographer/Scorpius Dance), and Ashley Hare (Arts Learning Program Director/Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture).






Documentary filmmaking. Meet the filmmakers who have taken it upon themselves to document life as it unfolds and then to present it in cohesive montages of imagery and narrative.

Hosted by Randy Murray (The Joe Show (2014)).
Scheduled panelists: Russ Williams (Film Instructor/The Art Institutes), Ben Proudfoot(“Rwanda & Juliet”), Jeremy Simmons (“Carry On: Finding Hope in the Canyon”), Brian Ronalds (“The Final Resolution”), and Matty Steinkamp (“Play The Documentary”).

Mary & Monte


The topic is “scoring in movies”…but it’s not what you think. We’re talking movie music here, not groping in the dark. Now grow up and join us!

Hosted by Mary Papenhausen and Monte Yazzie.
Scheduled panelists: Neel Upadhye (“Dating Daisy”), Matty Steinkamp (“Play The Documentary”) and Oliver Thompson (“Welcome to Happiness”).