Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Phoenix Film Festival Short Screenplay Search


Thank you to all who submitted their screenplays to the 2018 Phoenix Film Festival Short Screenplay Competition. We are very excited to announce this year's winners!


First Place

The Siberian Trap by Jeffrey Howe

An FBI agent investigating the death of a gay Chechen refugee masters chess to extract what she needs from an informant -- and learns the true meaning of "pawn sacrifice."

Second Place

Stranger by Shervin Kermani

An old, deep, nonchalant voice resounds throughout a papier maché mock up of the universe, filled with planets and stars. Far from serious, this is a quirky, rough voiced but sentimental “God” here to tell his most upsetting tale: a great love story that never happens.

Third Place

Saline County, Illinois by Jeffrey Howe  

A meticulous 1890s stationmaster finds a widow and her young children abandoned on his station platform.


Ozzy by Chris Hoshnic

A disobedient dachshund attempts to train himself for his new owner when a dog-shaped gift is placed under the Christmas tree.

Costume Drama by Ben Gruner and Tyler Garn 

A young girl gets more than she bargains for on Halloween when things get a little too real.

The High Dive by Brian Patterson

Four generations of Soliz men take in the sun at the water park. Two of them, Eddie and his great-grandfather, Naldo, each face an important rite of passage.

The Rental by L. P. Lee

A London tenant must find a new place to live or be forced to make a life-changing sacrifice.

The Confectionery Prince by Jeffrey Howe

When the Queen's Steward tries to kill the newborn heir to the throne, the Royal Confectioner finds herself entangled in a plan to stop him -- but destiny comes in more than one flavor.

Going Back by Rebecca Semik

Bobbi faces the choice between her past first love and her present fiance. Her future depends on whether she can find closure with her past.

Here to stay by John Kestner and Bill Pierce

The sad final ending to one of America's first rockers: Danny Rapp abruptly ends a tour and takes his own life in a Quartzsite, Arizona motel room. Based on a true story.

Contact information for winning screenplays is available for producers by emailing

Here they are... the posters for the 2017 Phoenix Film Festival

Thanks to the hard work and talents of Phoenix Film Festival Art Director Marty Freetage and Designers Lisa Maria Lara, Alex Patrick Merrill, Amy Borenstein, and Brittney Rislund we are proud to unveil the official posters for the 2017 Phoenix Film Festival!

Pulp Fiction
Designer: Marty Freetage
Photographer: NBMA Photography



Toy Story
Designer: Alex Patrick Merrill

PFF - NXNW.jpg


North By Northwest
Designer: Amy Borenstein
Photographer: NBMA Photography



Say Anything
Designer: Brittney Rislund
Photographer: NBMA Photography

IHSFF - Tron.jpg

International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival
Designer: Lisa Maria Lara

Presenting De Palma Week!

See some of your favorite movies back on the big screen as the Phoenix Film Festival presents De Palma Week.

You know Brian De Palma from his amazing slate of movies from over the last forty years including iconic films like Carrie and Scarface. In June, we’ll be celebrating this legendary filmmaker with a retrospective of his career and a screening of the new documentary, De Palma -- all at the Harkins 101 in North Phoenix. But the coolest part about it is you helped us choose one of the films!

On June 13th, we’ll be screening Carrie on the big screen at the Harkins 101

On June 14th, we’ll say hello to Scarface.

For the June 15th screening, as our Audience Choice screening, you chose... Dressed to Kill !

So here's our lineup for De Palma week:

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016


Directed by Brian De Palma Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving

Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

A discussion will follow the film.



TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2016


Directed by Brian De Palma Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer

Synopsis: After getting a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) stakes a claim on the drug trade in Miami. Viciously murdering anyone who stands in his way, Tony eventually becomes the biggest drug lord in the state, controlling nearly all the cocaine that comes through Miami. But increased pressure from the police, wars with Colombian drug cartels and his own drug-fueled paranoia serve to fuel the flames of his eventual downfall.

A discussion will follow the film.




dressed to kill DRESSED TO KILL

Directed by Brian De Palma Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen

Synopsis: When Liz Blake (Nancy Allen), a prostitute, sees a mysterious woman brutally slay homemaker Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson), she finds herself trapped in a dangerous situation. While the police think Liz is the murderer, the real killer wants to silence the crime's only witness. Only Kate's inventor son, Peter (Keith Gordon), believes Liz. Peter and Liz team up to find the real culprit, who has an unexpected means of hiding her identity and an even more surprising motivation to kill.

A discussion will follow the film.





Directed by Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow

Synopsis: One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma's career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito's Way, and Mission: Impossible. In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his more recent years as a respected veteran of the field. In the end, what emerges is a funny, honest, and incisive portrait of a truly one-of-a-kind artist, and an exhilarating behind-the-scenes look at the last 50 years of the film industry through the eyes of someone who has truly seen it all.

A discussion will follow the film.

Click here to check out the trailer for De Palma -

Tickets are not available for purchase for this film. Stay tuned to learn how you can win tickets to see De Palma!

Tickets to Carrie, Scarface and Dressed to Kill are on sale now and are just $5.00 each. We will also have a special advanced screening of the new documentary De Palma on June 16th, but that's not a ticket you can buy! You have to win them. Not to worry. We’ll have several opportunities for you to win tickets leading up to De Palma Week and of course at the screenings of Carrie, Scarface and Dressed to Kill. All screenings will be held at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 with a post-film discussion following each.

Join us as the Phoenix Film Festival celebrates Brian De Palma!

Click here to get your tickets -


It's become one of your favorite events at the Phoenix Film Festival and this year's Silent Auction HAS BEEN EXTENDED! Continue the excitement of the 2016 Phoenix Film Festival Silent Auction!  We have opened the Auction for "Part Deux".  Starting today, April 12th through Sunday, April 17th at 6pm, you have the opportunity to bid on a very limited list of items.  Opening bids as low as $5 on some items valued at over $100 and more.

All auction proceeds go to Phoenix Film Foundation, a 501c3 Non-profit Organization, whose purpose is to support and develop the growth of independent filmmaking in Arizona.

All you need to do is click on our auction site HERE to see all of the amazing items!



auction 2Can't make it to the festival? No problem. This year, we will be online with many of our auction items, so everyone can join in on the fun.

All you need to do is click on our auction site HERE.


Check back soon to see some of the cool items you could be bringing home!



If you were a bidder with us last year, your login information still works for this year. If you are a new bidder this year, WELCOME!

[button link="" type="big" color="red" newwindow="yes"] BECOME A BIDDER[/button]

Be ready to bid on items the moment our auction goes live by registering early for your bidder number.



The Phoenix Film Foundation is a 501c3 and depends on the kindness of donations from the community. Do you have something that you would like to donate to the Foundation for our Silent Auction? If so, contact Brenda at [/box]

Get to Know Your PFF 2016 Filmmakers - Valerie Weiss

It's that time of the year again! PFF 2016 is just around the corner and we want to introduce you to some of our newest filmmakers.  This week we chatted with the team from A Light Beneath Their Feet, and the film's director Valerie Weiss.  VAL

What should festival goers know about your film? 

A Light Beneath Their Feet is a commanding performance, Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black) plays Gloria, an Evanston mother wrestling with bipolar disorder and an imminent empty nest. Her dedicated daughter Beth (Madison Davenport) has a bright future ahead, but must decide if she will stay near home to care for her unpredictable mom or follow her own path.

How did you first learn about the Phoenix Film Festival, and what made it the right fit for your film?

We produced a movie called Bread and Butter directed by Liz Manashil that screened at the Phoenix Film Festival. Liz raved about the festival so we decided we couldn’t miss it this year!

What are you most looking forward to at the festival?

Our writer, Moira McMahon Leeper, will be attending and representing the film. I know she is very excited about the whole idea of the festival and sharing our film with the amazing audiences of Phoenix.

What do you most enjoy about the independent film world?

Being able to tackle topics that can have a profound affect on our society and help change the world we live in.

What projects are you currently working on?

Valerie Weiss, our director, is directing a feminist coming-of-age action film called The Archer that shoots in April 2016.  PhD Productions has several other films and television shows in development. Feel free to get in touch for more info!

Tickets and Passes are on sale NOW!

Passes and tickets are available now for the 2016 Phoenix Film Festival! We have a great line up of films for you this year. Check out our SCHEDULE! The schedule is arranged by venue and gives you a great visual of when everything is happening.

And, of course, if you don't have your passes or tickets yet, CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

Purchasing your passes online through Brown Paper Tickets will allow you to choose what films you would like to see right on the web. Then when you come to the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket office, you can get your passes and tickets all at once! It couldn't be easier.

We are also available to help you purchase tickets at the Festival office by calling 480-513-3195.

See you at the Festival!


[button link="" type="big" newwindow="yes"] SCHEDULE[/button]

[button link="" type="big" color="red" newwindow="yes"] TICKETS[/button]

Get to Know Your PFF Alumni-Scott Storm

As a Phoenix Film Festival alumni attendee, you may recall Scott’s award winning Best Documentary We Run Sh*t at PFF2012, or perhaps Ten Til Noon in 2006. His latest contribution is a #PFF2016 animated short – and already multi-award winner – The Apple Tree. Scott shares a bit of his experience with us below. ScottStorm

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently I'm hard at work at my next animated short, the dark, psychological medieval tale, Custodian.  I started it while still working on The Apple Tree because you have to start when inspiration strikes.  It's been a great way to deal with the delays of my next full-length feature, a political thriller, set in the world of Chicago politics, called OPPO.  It was written by Glenn Jeffers and will be produced by Anthony Miller and David Scott Hay.

What advice do you have for independent filmmakers?

I'm not one to give advice because I believe that every artist’s journey is unique, but I will say that you should always be working on something.  The independent film world is tough, highly competitive and not for the faint of heart.  Vacations are a waste of valuable time.  Surround yourself with good people, most often if they are smarter than you are, and have strengths in areas where you yourself have weaknesses.  Jettison any bad apples in your circle, even those that may once have been allies.  They will only bring you down.

Above all ... A. B. C.  Always.  Be.  Creating.

What are some rookie mistakes to be avoided?

Thinking you know more than you do and pretending you know something when you don't.  Always take meetings yourself, even if they are with crew-members, or financiers you'd rather not deal with. You must always be the face of your project.

What is your go-to camera and/or favorite piece of equipment? 

Adobe Photoshop.  For animation anyway.  I create in Photoshop and composite in After Effects.  When shooting live action, I leave the shooting to someone more knowledgeable than I.  I've never been much of a camera geek.  Whatever gets the job done and looking its best.  Trust your DP – even if it's yourself.

What’s one of your quirks on-set?

Talking loudly and being impatient.  I'm aware things take time, but time is money.  I tend to grow prickly if things take too long ... and this extends to the editing process.  I don't believe it should take a year to edit a feature film unless your shoot extends that period.  Another quirk is that I expect everyone else to work at LEAST as hard as I do.   It's a tad unrealistic, but it's something I rarely compromise on.  I have fired people for being lazy and not pulling their weight.  I've never regretted it.

As a filmmaker, what can you not live without?

I cannot live without my favorite movies, which I often look to for inspiration.  I cannot live without TIME to create.  It may sometimes appear selfish to friends and loved ones, but if I don't have long stretches of time to do what I love to do and what I do best, I transform into a hideous beast.

The Apple Tree screens thrice within the Animated Shorts Program at #PFF2016

Check out the schedule, and get your tickets here!

Learn more about the film … and Scott:


Contributed by Laurie Smith

Scorpius Dance Theatre rocks the house Saturday Night!

catwalkScorpius logoThe Phoenix Film Festival welcomes Scorpius Dance Theatre for a one-night-only encore of their wildly popular show, CATWALK! Staged on a runway, this original contemporary dance production fuses funky, local fashions, sexy athleticism and the distinct choreography of Lisa Starry. Catwalk features different choreographic works that are connected by video montages and fashion runway spoofs.

Drawing inspiration from pop culture, Lisa Starry, director of Scorpius Dance Theatre created this all-original, contemporary dance production based on the popularity of today’s fashion scene and fashion television reality shows.

Scorpius hits the Catwalk at the Phoenix Film Festival's Party Pavilion on Saturday, April 9 at 9:30PM. Best part is, this amazing show is FREE to the public!

Come out to the Phoenix Film Festival's Party Pavilion on Saturday night to see Catwalk and stay for some drinks and fun because the party goes until 1am!