2019 Weekend Filmmaker Panel Schedule

Hosted by Festival alumni, our weekend filmmaker panel 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! There is something for everyone to learn at the Phoenix Film Festival's Weekend Filmmaker Panels!

The Filmmaker Panel series will be held in the party pavilion on Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7th.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

3:30 PM

“What in the world is happening!?”

Documentary Films Panel

Reality is not a TV show. Reality can be shocking, funny, awful, and educational. Rarely is it scripted. Panelists talk about the special considerations of making documentary films and the obligation to stay true to the subject matter while presenting vastly divergent of points of view.

Hosted by Bay Dariz

Michael Brown, The Weight of Water
Jordan Albertsen, BOOM!
Evan Falbaum, Jim’s Camelot
Steven Gaddis, Live from the Astroturf: Alice Cooper


“make it brief but make it count!”

Short Films Panel

There are many reasons to make short films. Lack of funding is not the only consideration, but it's at the top. Panelists discuss their strategies in focusing on the shorts format and how they feel it benefits them as filmmakers.

Hosted by Julie Lee

John Humber, Jameson
Justin Miller, Peggy
Brian O’Connor, The Seasons of Saguaro Sam
Todd Sandler, A Cohort of Guests
Paul Rivet, Snowball



“made in arizona!”

Arizona Filmmakers Panel

There are special challenges associated with being an Arizona-based filmmaker. Being in the shadow of California, the home of Hollywood, would seem to give us advantages, but just the opposite may be true. The growth of the industry is an uphill battle, especially with other States vying for the big projects and dangling tax incentives under the noses of producers. This makes Arizona filmmaking a truly grassroots effort.

Hosted by Melissa Farley

Bruce Dellis, Raising Buchanan
Chris Redish, Eleven Eleven
Gordon Green, Killing Margery Keller
Katie Rogerson, Teaching in Arizona
Adolpho Navarro, Schwagged

Sunday, April 7, 2019


"How Pictures in My Head become Words on the Page!"

Screenwriters Panel

The screenplay morphs several times from inception to final editing cut. Panelists relate their own experiences in the evolution of their stories and how they ultimately serve the needs of the finished product.

Hosted by Phuong Kubacki

Hudson Phillips, This World Alone
Jeff Hammer, CURTIZ
Ryan W. Smith, Volition
Sean Oliver, Imaginary Bullets
William Dennis, Vanilla



"unified by film" 

Diversity in Film Panel

The field is constantly widening to showcase filmmakers of diversity. Our non-traditional filmmakers have made in-roads into an industry dominated by a long-standing stereotype. Our diverse panel of filmmakers discuss the types of subject matter that brings meaning to their craft.

Hosted by Kaely Monahan

Lauren DeJolie, Crooked
Stefan Dezil, The Treadmill
Sarah Hennigan, Light
Zaina Salameh, Hot Knife Cold Butter
Aimiende Negbenebor Sela, Utopia

5:30 PM

"I'm Not Playing This Role, I'm Living It!" 

Actors Panel

Acting in film involves playing to the lens while pretending it's not there. Our panel of actors share their stories of working with directors to bring about performances for the big screen. Learn the tricks of the acting trade and improve your own game.

Hosted by Shelly Boucher

Bonnie Root, Cruel Hearts
Amanda Melby, Raising Buchanan
Jennifer Pfalzgraff, Eleven Eleven
Jeff Fields, Glitter
Marion Kerr, Disappearing Inka


"That Magic Starts Here!" 

Directors Panel

No matter how many people are involved in the making of a movie, the director is ultimately the person everyone turns to for final decisions. The entire company will literally come to a halt while the director decides. Panelists talk about their best and their worst experiences as directors and the lessons they took away from the experience.

Hosted by Joshua Provost

Sean Cunningham, Hudson
Paul Osbourne, Cruel Hearts
Tony Dean Smith, Volition
Bobby Huntley, La Vie Magnifique de Charlie
Jordan Noel, This World Alone