I’m often asked which local film festival I felt was the best of 2010. I need not ponder for long, for I have attended some real stinkers, as well as some swanky soirée’s. But by far, the best festival offering emotional, visceral, unrestricted Arizona filmmaking would have to be the Ignominious Film Gala taking place this Sunday at the Ultra Star Cinema – Pavillions in Scottsdale. This festival is mainly comprised of films created by SCC film students. These are the edits the students wanted you to see, before they were butchered and sanitized for your protection by some of their myopic film instructors. These are the student’s films as they envisioned them. Some bold, some shocking and some that should have never been made.
The 1st Annual IFG was held at the MADCAP theatre in Tempe and was organized by SCC film students Carl Jensen, James Hamilton Mitchell, Mike Mitchell and Daniel Montoya. Festival Production Manager James Hamilton Mitchell holds nothing back when explaining the impetus for the creation of the IFG. “Our group of people (Jensen, 2 Mitchells and Montoya) worked real hard on a (student) film that didn’t get into the SCC film festival. We were po’d, and then we decided to have drinks, and then we decided to do our own film festival.”
Mitchell pointed out one of the key elements that separates the IFG from all of the other film festivals; there is no judging being done and no awards are presented at the conclusion. “It’s not about competition or winning or getting prizes” Mitchell said, “It’s just about getting the community together and showing films.”
This year’s IFG will be broken up into three ‘chunks,’ interspersed with the qualudian comedy of actor/comedian Greg Tidrow. The long awaited western “Dead Man’s Hand” directed by Tyson Smith will be premiered and films from Southern California will be screened as well.
Take this Sunday night to escape the formulaic, predictable and most often, the recycled film challenge fare Arizona indie has to offer, and experience a bold and eclectic mix of films that you would probably never get to see otherwise. Admission is 7 dollars. Cash is preferred. The 2nd Annual Ignominious Film Gala will start promptly at 7pm.