International Film Festival to feature students' work
Late night movies bring back cheesy horror genre
Alongside more than 100 other contributors, some UA affiliated filmmakers will showcase their production talents during the Ninth Annual Arizona International Film Festival.
Media arts senior Zach Keyworth and 1994 University of Arizona media arts graduate Troy LaFaye both have submissions in the festival, which will be screened at the "Movies at Midnite" this weekend and next.
"It's a great opportunity - even if you put shit in, you get feedback," said Keyworth, whose film "The University Beast" will be shown next Friday and Saturday night at 11:30. "You don't learn from college, you learn by doing."
LaFaye's film "Go to Hell" will be shown tomorrow and Saturday night at 11:00.
The festival, a project of the Arizona Media Arts Center, will give aspiring filmmakers a chance to show their work before an audience.
Caren Deming, president of the board of directors at Arizona Media Arts Center, explained the significance of the festival for its creators.
"Of course any filmmaker wants to have work shown, it helps circulation," she said. "Also, they really like to have audience response, and at a festival it's quite a knowledgeable audience."
In 1998, LaFaye contributed a short film to the festival, but "Go to Hell" is his first feature-length work to be shown in Tucson.
"It's a throw back to the drive-in era -A mix of horror, science fiction, fantasy into one movie that's fun," he said.
The plot combines professional wrestling, tabloid journalists, supernatural demons and the Vatican in the space of 90 minutes.
"It's a comedy, believe it or not," said LaFaye, a UA graduate of the Bachelor's of Fine Arts program.
LaFaye also said filmmaking is based on enthusiasm rather than the excitement of movie premieres and large studio contracts.
"There's no such thing as glamorous filmmaking," LaFaye said. "But if you have the passion to get through it, you will."
After making a few short films both at UA and independently in Minnesota, LaFaye experienced the most frustration with the financial aspects.
"It's the world's most expensive hobby next to amateur space exploration," he said. "There's a lot of work, but you get paid to deal with make believe all the time - what a rough job."
With new advances in filmmaking technology, Keyworth was able to make "The University Beast" for $11,000 - not including payment for the cast and crew, which amounted to $55,000.
"Digital video was why we were able to do a feature length film for this little and still spend a lot on special effects," he said. "It doesn't look like film, but it's 10 to 20 times cheaper and easier to edit.
"Building the beast itself was a big pain in the ass," Keyworth added.
The festival cooperates with several UA departments such as media arts, women's studies and physics as they bring in speakers and panel discussions.
"There are lots of Arizona premieres, and people can see these movies nowhere else," said Deming.