More than 130 films from 30 countries will be shown this coming weekend at the first Mesa Internal Film Festival.
There are six venues including Benedictine University; Artspace Lofts; Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea & Gallery and three screens at the Mesa Convention Center.
The festival begins with a welcoming party on Oct. 17 followed by two days of films on Oct. 18 and 19. It closes with an awards brunch on Oct. 20. Prices range from $10 to $45 and a full VIP pass for all films and events is $125.
Tickets can be purchased for two-hour blocks, full day passes, full weekend passes, welcome party and awards brunch. Tickets are available at mesafilmfestival.com.
The films range in genre and length. For example, a horror-comedy from Spain titled “Miss Me Malibu” is only a 4-minute music video about how male-female relationships are impacted by cultural forces.
On the other hand, the 90-minute documentary “After So Many Days” looks at a pair of newlywed musicians who spend a year on the road doing a concert every day.
“Not knowing where their adventures would lead them, they filmed it all, capturing the joys of playing to packed houses and the soul-crushing defeats of disinterested audiences, all against the picturesque backdrop of the cities and byways from the 14 different countries they visited along the way,” said noted director Michael Moore, who praised the film.
“On the Cusp” is a 10-minute look at a renowned New Jersey skateboarder while “The Buffalo Hunt” is a 90-minute “intimate and visceral portrait of one of the most extreme places in the Western Hemisphere,” an Indian reservation in South Dakota.
Other documentaries look at muralists, soccer stars and even a snake charmer and a Middle Eastern hangman.
There also are fictional works about aliens, serial killers and a brother and sister who reunited on the troubled family farm. Many of the fictional works have run times of 15 minutes or less.
Festival organizers warn that the films are unrated, so there may be objectionable scenes or language, so viewer discretion is advised.
But they also said in a release that the festival “aims to create a one-of-a-kind experience for filmmakers by giving them a platform to learn about the industry, watch great independent films, network and make lifelong memories and friends.
Film festivals have become a viable alternative to finding a distributor for independent films that don’t expect to be picked up by theaters.
The festival circuit can lead to screenings in museums, special events and larger venues along with paid speaking engagements for the filmmakers.