The second annual Film Fest Tucson is set to take place Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 19-22, in downtown Tucson.
The festival will feature 30 films, both narratives and documentaries in short and feature-length format. Most screenings will again take place in the historic 101-year-old Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave.
Collaboration is one of the primary missions of Film Fest Tucson, said Herb Stratford, the festival’s director. That’s why he’s reached out to local nonprofit arts and culture organizations.
All of the feature screenings are either Arizona or Southern Arizona premieres, giving Tucson audiences the first chance to see timely and powerful films for the first time, Stratford said.
New this year is a Film and Television Pitch competition called “Desert Pitch,” which will have a $1,000 cash prize, and a filmmaker panel with three visiting directors.
The presentation of the 1914 silent film “The Girl Stage Driver” will include live piano accompaniment by Jeff Haskell, a legendary figure on the Tucson jazz scene.
This screening also will feature the debut of a “lost film,” “The Bisbee Screen Test” from 1939, that was recently discovered at the Lyric Theatre in Bisbee. It was common during that era for filmmakers to search small towns in hopes of discovering the next big star, Stratford said.
Guests this year include actor/director Jim Rash (“The Descendants,” “Community,” “The Way, Way Back”); and directors Dan Mirvish (Slamdance film Festival founder), S.J. Chiro, Barri Chase, Eric Schefter and Frauke Havemann, who will all present new films at Film Fest Tucson.
This year’s program includes the documentaries “House of Z,” about fashion designer Zac Pose; “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”; “The Case of the Three Sided Dream,” about musician Raashan Roland Kirk; “A Suitable Girl,” about arranged marriages in India; and “Supergirl,” which tells the tale of a 9-year-old Orthodox Jewish powerlifter.
Narrative features include “Bernard and Huey” (with Jim Rash & David Koechner); “The Watchman’s Canoe”; “Lane 1974”; “Barracuda”; and “Delinquent.” The shorts program features eight films, including three from recent UA School of Theatre, Film and Television graduates.