INDIE FILM FEST 2023

OUR FIRST OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 

Apachelleap-OfficialSelection

APACHE LEAP / FEATURE DRAMA

Apache Leap is a coming-of-age film that follows Keane, a young man living on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in eastern Arizona, as he navigates family stresses, financial pressures, and a broken car while trying to submit a job application before the deadline passes and his dreams evaporate. Produced on location in the San Carlos Apache Reservation and the neighboring city of Globe, Arizona, this independent feature film explores the extraordinary beauty and the unique challenges of these two communities, and the scorching ribbon of highway that connects them.

 

Director Christian Rozier

Christian Rozier began his career as a music video and commercial director, producing broadcast videos for politically engaged artists locally and internationally. His documentary film credits include 'Among the Trees', a world tour feature film that follows the seminal hip-hop group Arrested Development throughout, and 'Life In The Age Of Excess', a documentary about an emerging barter economy movement in Los Angeles. Christian is also one of the featured filmmakers in the United Nations sponsored global film 'One Day On Earth' and a screenwriter of the 2013 feature film Lineage. He has produced documentary films in Senegal and in Southeast Asia, and his documentary 'Racing The Past' has won awards at numerous festivals.

He is the director of the feature film 'Apache Leap'. Produced on location in the San Carlos Apache Reservation and the neighboring city of Globe, Arizona, this independent feature film explores the extraordinary beauty and the unique challenges of these two communities, and the scorching ribbon of highway that connects them.

Angelastale-OfficialSelection

Angela's Tale / SHORT DRAMA

A film about a woman navigating through her new life after an accident while dealing with memory loss, night mares, and a strange feeling of being here before.

Director Deonna Weatherly

*Past Award Winner at Indie Film Fest *Arizona Premiere

Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Deonna Weatherly is a director, cinematographer, and all around filmmaker. In 2020, she graduated from Indiana University with a Masters in Media with a specialization in narrative storytelling. Majority of her video and film works are inspired by art and storytelling with themes including but not limited to race, gender, and sexuality. She specializes in narrative fiction and documentary styled projects. In 2021, Deonna founded her own production company called Weatherhouse Company that focuses on providing safe spaces for women and people of color with hands-on and learning opportunities in the film and video industry. Weatherhouse  aims to create films, build community, and encourage collaboration in the process.

Blackinthenewsroom-OfficialSelections

Black In The Newsroom / SHORT DOC

Elizabeth Montgomery lands her dream job as a reporter in a major U.S. newsroom, but ends up fighting a deep-rooted system of harm.

Director Collette Watson

Collette is an award-winning musician, filmmaker and cultural strategist born and raised in South Carolina, with a passion for telling Black stories in pursuit of juicy liberated futures.

EASTWEST-officialselection

EASTWEST / SHORT DOC

EASTWEST is a short documentary featuring decker. and their epic journey to record a 16 piece ensemble at the historic Hollywood Studio known as Eastwest Studios. Through this journey Brandon Decker guides us through his process and the groups vision to help the community heal, transcend, and ultimately come together through music. Directed by award winning filmmaker Matty Steinkamp, this film gives those who are suffering a chance to breathe and be ok with the process of loss and pain.

Director Matty Steinkamp

*WORLD PREMIERE

Risefromtheashes-OfficialSelection

FROM THE ASHES / SHORT DOC

From history to the present day, BIPOC communities in Phoenix have overcome countless obstacles to create a rich and thriving tapestry of art, culture, and commerce vital to the city's health. 'From the Ashes' is an ode to the history and a toast to the present and future of Phoenix.

Directed by Oladipo Makinde

Oladipo Makinde is a writer/director born and raised in Phoenix. He is the co-founder of Co-Media; a husband and proud father to Lennon, Isabella, and Sidney. 

*GRANT RECIPIENT - STUDIO GRANT WITH THE GARDEN PHX

Lebensraum-Officialselection

LEBENSRAUM / SHORT DRAMA

*INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

GERMANY

Marie Kaufmann has to face an unusual interview that decides not only her own fate.

Directed by Hannes Maar

Hannes Maar studierte von 2011 bis 2016 Film & Animation und verbale Kommunikation an der Technischen
Hochschule Georg-Simon-Ohm in Nürnberg. Im Rahmen seines Studiums kreierte er mehrere fiktionale Kurzfilme, die auf Festivals im In- und Ausland zahlreiche Preise gewinnen konnten. Zwischen 2017 und 2022 studiert er Regie an der größten selbstorganisierten Filmschule Europes, der filmArche in Berlin und arbeitet inzwischen als freischaffender Filmemacher und Fotograf.

Hannes Maar studied Film & Animation and Verbal Communication at the Technical University of
University of Applied Sciences Georg-Simon-Ohm in Nuremberg. As part of his studies, he created several fictional short films that won numerous awards at festivals in Germany and abroad. Between 2017 and 2022, he studied directing at Europe's largest self-organized film school, filmArche in Berlin, and meanwhile works as a freelance filmmaker and photographer.

.

 

Makingloveiseasy-OfficialSelection

MAKING LOVE IS EASY / MUSIC VIDEO

*MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

On the set of the daytime Soap Opera "Makin' Love Is Easy", Director Derrick Dickstein along with his leading soap stars Don Lovely & Jenna Buscante are on the brink of a full collapse. Between scandals with the media, investigations by the LAPD, and the fallout from the lust driven Hollywood ego's roaming the set, things are about to take a fatal turn, a turn that may not be as expected.

Directed by Josh Montag

.

 

MaAShraofficialselection

MA - ASHRA / SHORT DRAMA

*International Competition *US Premiere

Pakistan

Ma-Ashraa - A story of a bride breaks up with her groom last minute due to having doubts about the idea of marriage.

Directed by Muneeb Adil

Muneeb Adil is an experienced filmmaker who has a diverse portfolio with working on feature films like Maalik and music videos like Zawal Kyun. He Brought his professional yet creative vision on board as a director and make the Ma-Ashra possible.

.

 

MrsLovely-OfficialSelection

MRS LOVELY  / SHORT DOCUMENTARY

*International Competition *US Premiere

FRANCE

In Paris, Laura starts her career as an artistic director.In her spare time, she devotes herself to an unusual passion: she imitates male transvestites and drag-queens and exaggerates her face makeup. By wanting to become "more woman than a woman" Laura finds herself confronted with the eyes of others and in particular that of her parents who did not imagine her taking this path. Now comes the time for her to choose between rediscovering a classic model girl life or breaking free from the norm by diving completely into the Drag-Queen universe.

Directed by Alexandre DEGARDIN

“Educated by magician parents, I cultivated from my childhood a taste for staging and dreamlike light. It is therefore natural that I took a specialized course in high school by following an Applied Arts course. During these three years, my tastes for photography and video grew. I also had the chance to see my very first short film project, awarded and broadcast on french TV, which prompted me to join a cinema school in Paris. I finished this course with a year in New York where I had the chance to join the creation studio of artist Matthew Barney, who was then a model for me. At the same time, I started to produce a series of documentary portraits on singular artists. These documentaries are rewarded in festivals and allow me to work for TV programs or brands. With this experience, I continue in this direction, motivated by the meeting of new artists in which I find this fantastic dimension that has forged my character

.

 

MyBoyfriend-OfficialSelections

MY BOYFRIEND / SHORT COMEDY

*International Competition *US Premiere

New Zealand

A short comedy about waking up next to a long-term partner and thinking "Who the hell is this?".

Directed by Ella Hope-Higginson

Ella Hope-Higginson is a Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland/ New Zealand) based actor, writer and filmmaker.She graduated from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. She directed her first funded short "Waitress" last year which was viewed over 26thousand times on facebook within the first months of its release. She is a multiple- award nominated playwright and her work as an actor has allowed her to observe and learn firsthand from some of Aotearoa’s most established and talented filmmakers with recent credits including feature films: The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion) Ablaze (Josh Frizzle) The Rehearsal (Alison Maclean) and UK co-pro The Stolen (Neil Johnson). She is one of nineteen filmmakers selected to adapt and direct an essay from NZ book, Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety into a new short film. Currently she is writing her first feature, a historical coming of age drama set on a Scottish settlement in New Zealand.

.

 

Neverthought-OfficialSelection

NEVER THOUGHT/ MUSIC VIDEO

FEATURING JUSS MO

*MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

'Never Thought' is a music video about a woman that finally conquers her past traumas by reconciling her faith.

Directed by Sebastian Werz

 

Parents-OfficialSelections

PARENTS?  / SHORT COMEDY

A quirky comedy about a couple navigating tough conversations, hot dogs and real dogs at a family BBQ.

Directed by Megan Swertlow

MEG SWERTLOW is an award-winning, fellowship-getting, mentorship-grabbing screenwriter and director. In just the last two years, she’s written and directed seven short films, optioned a romcom and been hired to write a feature film by Four Leaf Productions. Meg is determined to use her energetic personality and unique voice to tell female-forward stories about strong but flawed women. Her horror short films have appeared in a myriad of top genre film festivals, Fright Fest UK, Nightmares Film Festival, Renegade Film Festival, Portland Horror Film Festival, FilmQuest, and more. Her short films have been included in over 30 film festivals.

Her latest short, No Overnight Parking, was filmed in February 2022 and stars Alyssa Milano and received the Panavision New Filmmakers grant.

Her work has been included in the Middlebury Screenwriters Lab and Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab. Her scripts have won over 20 screenwriting awards. She was also a finalist in the Ryan Murphy Half-Initiative Directing Mentorship Program.

.

 

Reeper-OfficialSelection

REAPER / MUSIC VIDEO

Featuring Ambition The Great

*MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

Director - Levi Angelo Elizaga, Chase Warren

 

Sheepofficialselection

SHEEP / SHORT COMEDY

Directed by Luke Hunt 

Luke Hunt - A member of the Navajo Nation and Kainai (Blood) Reserve, Luke grew up in Northern Arizona retaining the Navajo traditions. In 2015, he received the Gates Millenium Scholarship and attended the University of Arizona; after taking time off Luke pursued filmmaking at Pima Community College and graduated in May 2022. He started his own production: Creative Natives Productions which is focus oriented on proper Indigenous Representation within the film community. His video SHEEP was family-made, with a crew of four and shot during the summer of 2020 at his grandmother's residence. 

SHEEP won the best Indigenous Voices Narrative Award at MINT 2021, and  has been screened at the L.A. Skins Film Festival, Australia, Alaska and Tucson.

 

JoeyGutosofficialselection

WHERE SHE AT / MUSIC VIDEO

FEATURING JOEY GUTOS

*MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

The infamous female convicted murderer, "Alice Rabbit" has thwarted her captors and escaped prison - but she feels no need to hide. She's got one life to live recklessly and she's ready to party. Famous Detective Joey Gutos is put on the case to retrieve her, but as he closes in he falls for her feral charm...

Directed by Chase Warren

Chase Warren is an American photographer, award winning music video director, writer and producer. At the age of 23, he has worked in the industry creating professional work for companies including Redbull Racing, The Alaska Life, and Sawyer Products. He has worked as a professional concert photographer for The Band Perry, John K, Broadside, Ryan Oakes and Kailee Morgue just to name a few. His Music Videos have been published under articles by Outburn Magazine, Buzz Music LA and Phoenix New Times. He has directed music videos for many notable artists and bands including First and Forever, Sorry X, Sundressed, Holy Fawn and Frank Zummo of Sum 41 racking up 100’s of thousands of views on Youtube. His music video for This Modern’s “Maniacal” won best music video in the 2021 Mesa International Film Festival. His photo of Kailee Morgue made the Cover of the New Noise Spotify Editorial Playlist in 2022. With a full production team of collaborators at his side in both music and film, Chase has big plans for 2023.

Wildcat-Officialselection

WILDCAT  / SHORT DRAMA

*Arizona Premiere ? Short Drama Competition

Mary Todd Lincoln, who is committed to an insane asylum by her last living relative, tries to prove her
sanity with the help of a medium and her dead son. Based on true events.

Featuring Amber Rose Mason

Written & Directed by Cat Dale (She/Her/Hers)

An eternal optimist, writer/director Cat Dale creates characters obsessed by hope in dark worlds (the
past, the future, right f***ing now). Her writing has won the ScreenCraft Pilot Launch, Shore Scripts, is a
Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinalist, featured on The Black List, and been part of the CANNESFILMS
UNLIMITED writing residency. She is producing co-written feature film Beasts Undiscovered in
partnership with the Jim Henson Creature Shop & Myriad Pictures, as well as attached to direct feature
film feminist western, Clara Boone.

 

WomaninBlue-officialselection

WOMAN IN BLUE / SHORT DRAMA

*International Competition

New Zealand

An ex-policewoman relives her memories from a dementia ward.

Featuring Temuera Morrison and Tanea Heke

Directed by Jack O'Donnell

Jack has directed fictional short films including Copper (2014) and Tama (2017), which he co-directed with Deaf filmmaker Jared Flitcroft, and screened at many film festivals including imagineNATIVE in Toronto and Hawai'i International Film Festival. As a video director he works for New Zealand Parliament where he has made documentaries, including Rainbow Voices of Aotearoa New Zealand (2019), which screened in several film festivals around the world.

.

 

Wrong-OfficialSelection

WRONG / MUSIC VIDEO

FEATURING YVES FLORENT

Directed by Sam Sausedo and Chuck Sterling *

*Past Award Winner at Indie Film Fest / MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

Sam Sausedo and Chuck Sterling are longtime creative partners, who originally met attending film school at Arizona State University. They’ve been collaborating for the better part of 7 years now, working together on numerous music videos, short films, and commercials under the banner of Smile Bomb! Productions. They now reside in Los Angeles, California and continue to pursue new creative ventures together.