PRESCOTT- While most consider a trip to the movies as going to see the latest blockbuster, film fans in the quad cities will have a chance to get a bit of a different experience during the upcoming eighth annual Prescott Film Festival.
“This is your chance to see different films with different voices,” Prescott Film Festival Founder Helen Stephenson said during a phone interview. “It’s your chance to experience films in a deeper way…these films are about people and based on stories.”
Beginning on Friday June 9th and ending Saturday June 17th, nineteen feature films, sixteen short films and twenty-one student films will be shown at Yavapai College.
Other then the style of films, another special perk at the Prescott Film Festival is filmmakers will be in attendance both at the college and via Skype providing an extra look at how the film was made along with ideas behind it. Currently, over ten of the films will feature filmmaker talks. In addition, film professionals both locally and away from the area will be conducting workshops throughout the week at Yavapai College in building three, room nineteen.
“It’s just going to be a solid ten days of fun,” Stephenson said.
The idea for bringing a film festival to Prescott started after Stephenson spent her college time and the beginning of her career in Los Angeles after moving from southern Arizona. Upon return to Arizona, she noticed Prescott did not have a film festival like those she attended in Los Angeles with some not even knowing what a short film was.
“I thought ‘wow, they’re missing an aspect of our culture if they don’t know what a short film is’," Stephenson said.
Stephenson took on the endeavor of brining a festival to Prescott for a year, working on such tasks as applying for grants, talking with other film festival directors and becoming a non-profit. Stephenson also partnered with members of the community to shape the event before making its debut in 2009.
Through the help of various board members and co-founders, the experience has continued to grow as Stephenson mentioned a 14% growth in ticket sales during the 2016 event. This year could be even more after marketing efforts from individuals helping were targeted at Phoenix to get tourists up from the valley to see the shows.
“The film festival is really this machinery, like everybody is a gear,” Stephenson said. “An individual gear that does something that makes it all happen and if I didn’t have any one of those gears, it would not happen.”
Show times for each film are available on the Prescott Film Festival website along with different ticket packages for various events and short films.
“It’s one of those things where it comes and it’s gone and if you didn’t go, you’re like ‘why didn’t I go?’," Stephenson said. “We want everyone to come because it’s so much fun and we just have a blast.”