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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Indie meets global at local film fest

    Alex Guyton

    In the lobby of The Screening Room, a theater located in downtown Tucson on Congress Street, Indie the coyote, the Arizona International Film Festival’s colorful, cardboard, grinning, anthropromorphic mascot, pretends to run a big, black, bulky 35 mm projector. This year, feature films and shorts, hailing from everywhere from France, Germany, India, Australia, South Korea and other international locations, as well as from the U.S., will be shown between April 9 through April 26.

    The 24th Arizona International Film Festival launched April 9 and continues until April 26. The festival includes a mixture of short and feature length films and a vast array of different genres and subject matter. A number of films that are screening are domestic, but there are also films made in France, Germany, India, Australia, South Korea and more. The diverse lineup of films is shown at various venues around Tucson, including the Screening Room, the Rialto Theatre, Connect and the Shanty, to name a few. 

    The films, which are almost all independent productions with very small budgets and lack well-known stars or crew members, are practically guaranteed never to be shown at a typical movie theater. Today’s film industry in the U.S. favors the blockbuster, action-and-adventure film over the small, emotional, character-driven film, and many of these small movies wouldn’t have a venue at all if not for festivals like the AIFF. 

    The schedule of showings is packed with different films and programs, and it could be nearly impossible to pick one or two films out of all that are being offered; so here’s a short list of must-see items to get you through this second weekend.

    The Animated Shorts Program:

    There is a large array of short films shown, but only a fraction of them tell their story through animation. The Animated Shorts Program compiles all of the different animated short films into one program that will be screened Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at The Screening Room. Because of the much shorter amount of time they have to work with, a short film tells a story with a different method than a feature film. Add the heightened artistic style and difficulty of animation and you have a group of films that are incredibly unique, but share the same core.

    This program includes the independent films “Between Times” from the Netherlands, “Day 40” from Canada, “Nowhere” from Taiwan, “The Guardian” from Spain and “Bear Story” from Chile, as well as several domestic shorts. Full descriptions of these are available on the AIFF official website.

    “Love Is Now”

    An Australian film by Jim Lounsbury, “Love Is Now” is a feature film that incorporates romance, drama and mystery all into one 96-minute-long movie. The film focuses on two photographers, Audrey and Dean, and the summer they spend together. As the two begin to fall for each other, they embark on an epic journey that results in consequences that neither of them could imagine. 

    “Love Is Now” is being screened Sunday night at 6 p.m. at The Screening Room, and filmmaker Lounsbury will be in attendance. On the AIFF website’s description of the film, the director’s statement reads, “A rumination on how we deal with grief as humans, and how meeting someone, even for a brief time, can change the course of our lives forever.” 

    “20 Years of Madness”

    What happens when you revisit the cast members of a Public Access Television show from the mid-1990s after they’ve been out of touch for 20 years? That’s what Jeremy Royce wanted to find out in his film “20 Years of Madness.” He and his group of teenage friends bonded over the show “30 Minutes of Madness,” but quickly drifted apart after the show tanked. With this documentary, Royce reconnects the old group to find out that many are leading lives unlike anything they would’ve expected as teenagers. The film’s tagline says it all: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

    For those who are interested in the aforementioned screenings or others in the AIFF, individual tickets or various types of festival passes can be purchased. Single admission tickets are $8 for one evening screening and $6 for matinee screenings, and information on the various types of festival passes and how to purchase them can be found online at the AIFF’s official website. 


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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