Your Favorite Movies - Khalil Sullins

Khalil_Sullins_Director_01colorWhat are Your Favorite Films?

For the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival we encourage you to Find YOUR New Favorite Movie! This week, we shift gears as we get dangerously close to PFF 2015, and transmogrify (OK, that word doesn’t necessarily work here, but it’s a cool word nevertheless) from our esteemed alumni to ask filmmakers who will be screening their films at this year’s festival about some of their favorite movies.


Khalil Sullins, is the writer/director of LISTENING – a Feature Competition film at PFF 2015. LISTENING screens Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see PFF 2015 schedule for details). Khalil and/or producer Pardis Sullins (Khalil’s wife, producer, and partner in crime), and one of the film’s lead actors, Artie Ahr will be in attendance for a Q&A after each screening.


Khalil offers his favorite films here …


  • Favorite Comedy

I love THE BIG LEBOWSKI. I'm a big Coen Brothers fan in general, but I've probably seen THE BIG LEBOWSKI more than any of their other films because it's so hilarious. I also love Jeff Bridges and the great Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler novels and radio plays, and throwing The Dude into that scenario is just genius.


  • Favorite Drama

My friends make fun of me because I like everything. I like to think I know what a miracle it is to get a film made, so I tend to over-appreciate movies, and it makes it hard for me to ever pick an all time favorite. So, I'll say one of my favorite recent dramas was PRISONERS by Denis Villeneuve. The way the tension carries and the moral dilemmas play out is fantastic, and Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and all the actors are just incredible.


  • Favorite Documentary

I think we've been in a golden age of docs for some time now. There are so many good ones in just the past fifteen years. I've always been inspired by Errol Morris' interview techniques. He lets his subjects fill the awkward silences rather than shoot off more questions, and his "Interrotron" invention produces such a heightened intimacy. THE FOG OF WAR is maybe my favorite film of his.


  • What film(s) are you looking forward to seeing at PFF 2015 (besides your own of course!!)?

ANGEL OF NANJING looks really interesting. I overcame some fairly severe depression as a child, and often credit my dad with saving my life. He's my "angel" in that way, and the story of this man in China saving people on a bridge looks very compelling.


  • What is a favorite film that you think most people have never seen, but should?

I'm a big David Fincher fan, and ZODIAC doesn't get enough love. That movie is intense, and hilarious, and he combines those two things like no one else.


  • Do you have a favorite film poster?

I love the fan-made poster trend. The screen-saver on my Apple TV right now is a collection of various Star Wars fan posters. This is a great set:trilogy LISTENING is a sci-fi thriller about penniless grad students who invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives and threatens the future of free will itself. It's really about communication, relationships, and technology, and is told as a domestic drama where the stakes keep rising until it's a full-blown thriller and the world hangs in the balance.

It's chock full of great new talent and shot in over thirty locations around the globe.


Khalil tells us that LISTENING has a bunch of festivals lined up after Phoenix and they plan to release the film later this year.

– Laurie Smith