by Kate Newton
If you have a film you might want to share with audiences of the Yuma’s 2nd Annual Independent Film, Art and Music Festival, now’s the time: the final deadline for submissions is Monday, April 1.
The festival returns on April 19 and 20, in a town with a significant amount of Hollywood history: True Lies, the original Star Wars trilogy and Road to Zanzibar (starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) were all partially filmed there. An expected audience of 5,000 people, according to the fest’s website, will descend into Yuma to usher in a new age of Southern Arizona filmmaking.
This new age, though, won’t be lacking its fair share of nostalgia: all of the accepted films will be screened in the Historic Yuma Theatre, while the rest of the action will unfold on Main Street, where local artists and vendors will set up camp from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Short films will be screened both days of the festival with to-be-announced “feature films” playing at 8:15 p.m. both nights (the full schedule of the festival can be found here). A $5 entry fee buys you admission into a full day of screening and festival events.
The Yuma Film Festival encourages submissions from students filmmakers as part of the juried portion of the event, but stresses that “any film or video containing R-rated material, nudity, graphic violence, or in the exclusive opinion of the Yuma County Film Commission glamorizes drug use or drug references, or alcohol or cigarette consumption may not be accepted for screening.” So while that may rule out a good 95 percent of student films that I’ve encountered, it’s still worth a try.
Admitted films will be judged based their creativity, originality, technical merit, acting performance and direction in a number of designated categories, with a maximum score of 50 points. Films over 30 minutes may be publicly screened, but will not be considered in the judging portion of the festival.
You can find more information on the specific qualifications for submissions (you must pay a non-refundable $25 fee to enter your film) and general details of the festival by visiting its Facebook page as well as their website. Good luck to all who submitted!