What is your film festival’s mission?
The Arivaca Independent Filmmaker’s Exhibition is a curated showcase for films and digital media that embody the artistic spirit of the independent filmmaker from insightful documentaries to creative short films. The event primarily showcases works of Arizona filmmakers and themes inspired from the desert Southwest. The Arivaca Film Exhibition also presents unique and relevant films from around the world
What role does your film festival play in supporting your film’s community?
Being an isolated rural Arizona town near the international border with Mexico, the Arivaca Film Exhibition provides an opportunity for the community to see unique and original works by Arizona filmmakers that are not widely distributed, or simply under the radar.
What is something people look forward to every year at your film festival?
The audience appreciates that the event encourages the asking of questions to the filmmaker, actors and crew in attendance after each screening. This creates a sense of interactive participation between the audience and filmmakers.
One other unique feature of the Arivaca Film Exhibition is the potluck dinner held between the afternoon and evening programs, where many in the local community bring food and drink for everyone to enjoy outside on picnic benches as the sun sets in the beautiful desert southwest. This downtime fosters networking and good conversations with filmmakers and makes the event extra special.
How did your film festival come into being?
Arivaca like most rural towns, must create its own artistic reality. The Arivaca Independent Filmmakers Exhibition was founded in 2006 by resident Bart Santello whose involvement in digital filmmaking and connections with the Arizona film scene, sparked the idea to hold the event.
What do you want audiences to take away from your film festival?
The audience that attends the Arivaca event comes-away with the realization that, apart from the commercial film industry, are flourishing multi-media filmmakers, telling their stories through the language of film. Each work a unique dialect of the creator’s own design and personal inspiration. Films screened are usually artistic, relevant and spark one’s intellectual curiosity.
Anything else you’d like to tell the audience about your festival?
Our event is called an “exhibition” rather than a film festival (website name notwithstanding), since it is not a juried event. Although unsolicited entries are welcome to be considered, films are mostly ‘curated’ by the organizer. The event is unpretentious. It’s simply a day and a half of unique films and good people.
There is no entry fee associated with the screening and the Arivaca event is free and open to the public. Even the popcorn is free! We normally show feature-length documentary films during the day and independent short films at night for the Saturday of our event. On the Friday night preceding the main event are ‘local’ films by aspiring area filmmakers.
Visit their website here.
The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.