The Phoenix Film Festival is an annual event that showcases some of the best independent films in the world. Chris LaMont and Golan Ramras started the festival in 2000 and saw it grow to become the largest movie festival in the state. Every year, more than 27,000 attendees come out to watch films and rub elbows with celebrities. The 11-day festival includes screenings of popular films and independent productions as well as opportunities to meet with directors, actors and producers. If you love movies, you won't want to miss the Phoenix Film Festival.
For 2020, the Phoenix Film Festival will run from March 26 to April 5. Most of the scheduled events will take place at the Phoenix Film Foundation, which is located in the northeast end of the valley. Other events will take place in the surrounding area. The Phoenix Film Foundation's address is 7000 E. Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Opening Night kicks off the festival on March 26 at 6:00 p.m. with local restaurants popping up to serve some of their top dishes. You don't need to worry about finding drinks or snacks as these restaurants will set up early in the day. After dining on some of Phoenix's best food, head over to the silent auction area and make a bid on exclusive gifts and merchandise that you won't find anywhere else. The excitement continues with the Opening Night film in the theater.
On Friday, March 27, you can head over to Arizona's Biggest Happy House, which Tito's Handmade Vodka will sponsor this year. The party starts at 5:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Film Festival Party Pavilion and rages through the night until 1:00 a.m. You can grab a dog from the Short Leash hot dog food truck and enter trivia contests to win big prizes. The party also features signature drinks with no cover charge and fun games.
If you missed making a bid on Opening Night, consider taking part in the festival's silent auction. Bids are accepted online from March 22 to March 29 and in-person from March 26 until the 29. You can bid on signed memorabilia from television shows and films as well as merchandise and travel packages.
Industry Night is another fun part of the Phoenix Film Festival that is free to attend. More than 1,200 actors, producers, directors and others in the industry will come out to talk business and discuss entertainment news. This is your chance to hear about upcoming productions, too.
The Phoenix Film Festival welcomes children to attend and hosts Kids' Day on Saturday, March 28. Kids' Day lets young film fans learn about the industry through projects designed just for them. It even offers opportunities for older kids to make short movies.
On the last day of the festival, filmmakers and fans can attend the awards ceremony and see who won in different categories. The Phoenix Film Festival gives awards for the best documentary, best screenplay and best ensemble cast. You may also see winners from around the world and those who won in specific categories relating to Arizona. There are even awards given to the best horror films.
There are festival panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday, too. Though the festival hasn't yet announced who will attend, the panels usually feature filmmakers who were involved in the festival's featured movies. View the entire lineup of events to make sure that you don't miss a thing.
During the first week of April, the festival becomes the Arizona Student Film Festival and shows films and productions made by local college students. Though not part of the official festival, it gives you the chance to see up-and-coming filmmakers and talk with them after the screenings.
Though the Phoenix Film Festival does not offer on-site camping, it has a great location that is close to some of the leading RV parks in the city. RVshare makes finding a rental RV easy. The platform lets you search by size, age, type of rental and other factors. Whether you travel with a group or on your own, you can find a rental in Phoenix for the festival. Some of the top RV parks you might consider include:
• Covered Wagon RV Park
• Desert Shadows RV Resort
• North Phoenix Campground
• Desert Sands RV Park
• Pioneer RV Resort
Most of these RV parks and campgrounds offer amenities such as:
• Back-in and pull-thru sites
• Wi-Fi access
• Dump stations
• Quiet hours
• Camp stores
• Clean bathrooms
• Hot showers
To get a break from the city, you can stay in one of the local campgrounds close to the film festival. Some of the campgrounds closest to the festival include the Phoenix Metro RV Park and Desert's Edge RV Park. Both of these RV parks are within 15 miles of the Phoenix Film Festival.
You can also stay in hotels such as the Residence Inn Phoenix Desert View at Mayo Clinic. This hotel partnered with the Phoenix Film Foundation to offer a reduced price for guests. You can book one or more nights for only $189 per night online and view all the amenities at the hotel, too. This rate is only valid until March 11, but you may also reserve your room over the phone.
The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa is right down the street from the Residence Inn. It gets good reviews from guests who appreciate the swimming pool, fitness center and other on-site amenities.
Other nearby hotels include the Sleep Inn, Fairmont Princess Hotel and Hampton Inn and Suites. Some of these hotels may only rent to those 18 to 21 or older. All hotels require a photo ID and a deposit when you arrive.
Phoenix is about a 10-hour drive from Salt Lake City and six hours from Los Angeles. Guests coming from Las Vegas can get to the festival in less than six hours.
Directions from Los Angeles:
When coming from LA, you'll want to take I-10 east and follow it into Arizona. Once you reach downtown Phoenix, you can take I-17 north to the 101 Freeway east to the Phoenix Film Foundation. Keep in mind that the events take place in locations all across the city and not just at the foundation.
Directions from Flagstaff:
The easiest way to get to Phoenix from Flagstaff is via I-17 south. Head east via the 101 Freeway to the foundation.
Free parking is available for visitors in a lot on Scottsdale Road. You'll find this lot if you arrive via the 101 Freeway or Mayo Boulevard. This lot also has spaces to accommodate buses and RVs. Though other parking lots are open during the festival, some charge a daily fee.
By reserving tickets to the Phoenix Film Festival online, you can make sure that you don't miss any of the fun activities. Before you buy, take a look at what you get at each ticket level.
Platinum: With a platinum pass, you get the first available seats and access to more than 250 films. This pass also includes a VIP gift bag and access to Opening Night along with entrance to the VIP area in the Party Pavilion. With your $450 pass, you also get a free tee.
VIP: VIP tickets sell for $400 and come with all the benefits of a platinum pass except that you don't get entrance to the Opening Night party.
Other passes: With a single ticket for $15, you can attend any film that you want to see. Golden tickets cost $25 and are good for one screening. These tickets come with priority seating, too. Other tickets sell for between $45 and $200. Those holding a VIP, platinum or golden ticket receive the first seats at each screening. The venue will then seat those who have a festival pass before seating those with individual tickets and other passes.
RVshare wants to know all about the fun you had at the Phoenix Film Festival. Feel free to send the pictures you take during the festival to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your favorite memories. You might just see those stories shared on the site's social media pages and blog.
Check @PhoenixFilmFestival and follow the event on Instagram and Twitter to hear about all the celebrity appearances and fun things to do.
Please note, this is not the official source of the event information. While we try to be as comprehensive as possible, some details may have changed since the time this article was written. Please confirm final details with the official event page.