The community of Arivaca, Arizona is proud to host the 4th-annual Arivaca Film Exhibition-supporting the spirit of the state's 'independent' filmmakers. The Arivaca Independent Filmmaker's Exhibition seeks to show films that embody two major themes:
First - Afternoon films showcase productions applicable to politics of the international border; nature and the environment; cultural traditions; sustainable (green) lifestyles and the preservation of authentic ways of life.
Second - Evening (short) films showcase cutting-edge experimental films that demonstrate creative works of filmmakers working independently and under the radar. Filmmaker's free to develop unique works without cultural scrutiny or expectation; resulting in new 'forms' of artistic expression through the use of creative multi-media.
Located South of Tucson, Arivaca's rural location nestled near mountains that separate it from the Mexican border, make it the epicenter of trends shaping America. Immigration, drug smuggling, human rights, government surveillance & militarization, vanishing rural life, water rights, native peoples, wilderness & endangered species, make Arivaca the canary in-the-mineshaft of trends shaping America and the world.
At the same, people of Arivaca represent many different walks of life; and share a common bond of rugged-individualism and self-determination. Arivaca is rich with artists, natural builders, organic farmers, solar-power/alternative energy, multi-generational ranchers, mineral prospectors and constitutional rights activists; and people that simply want to live in a natural environment, free of government/political interference in their lives.
I hope you enjoy perusing this website and learning about the selected films. Looking forward to see you on March 7th 2009.
Barton Santello Filmmaker & Arivaca Film Exhibition Organizer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Karl W. Hoffman
From the Director "Families, suddenly torn apart and permanently split by governments is not a new tactic for tyrannous leaders and arrogantly scared citizens fearing the watering down of their culture or to build the master race. But here in the United States of America at the beginning of the 21st century, what we are doing is shameless. Is this the country we are proud to turn over to our children after raising them to share?"
Background*: The Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club presents a documentary, “Wild Versus Wall,” about the environmental effects of the current border policy, This film covers the ecological effects of enforcement and infrastructure in the four states that share boundaries with Mexico.
Tucson-based filmmaker Steev Hise has been working on the film since January, 2007. He traveled to Texas and California during the spring to interview land managers, scientists, and activists who are working to limit the ecological impacts of border wall construction.
“I have been covering border issues in southern Arizona for a while,” said Hise. “One of the great things about this project was traveling to other places along the border and to see how people concerned about the recent border militarization have the same outlook as people do here. They are also trying to stop the Department of Homeland Security from running roughshod over natural resources and constitutional rights.”
Photographer & filmmaker Mary Scott documents the final exaltation of life and throes of death of an ancient agave. In the last expression of its life force, the plant shoots a 31 foot stalk into the air, much to the amusement of the desert birds and amazement of the desert humans who watch. The drama unfolds with joy, pathos, and surpise.
Filmmaker Valerie Elson sets a walk around the Desert Light Labyrinth to the music of Arivaca musician/composer, Mary Scott. I visited Arivaca for the first time last year to attend the Independent Filmmakers Exhibition. That's when I met Mary Scott and learned of the labyrinth that she created and which she dedicated "...to the timeless reality of pure being; the awareness that is the root of the universe, that makes perception possible. "Sadly, vandalism and the ravages of time have closed the labyrinth. With this little film, I hope to preserve its memory and have tried to capture how one "family" of relatives and friends managed (in the words of Mary Scott) to "...dissolve in the awareness of their true self, in silence an dstillness."
This upcoming piece from a trio of young filmmakers explores the resilient town and colorful people that make up Arivaca, Arizona.
"My name is Joel Smith and I am currently in post-production of a documentary on Arivaca, entitled A Line in the Sand. The piece focuses on Arivaca not only as one of the last American frontiers, but for its a front row seat to the immigration, drug trafficking, and border security debates. Our camera crew has made two trips down to Arivaca in the last year and a half, and our editor James Johenning and I are very interested in coming to the 2009 Film Expo."
"A LINE IN THE SAND" tells the story of those who have found a light in the desert in the shadow of the Border. A Border that is more militarized than ever, for reasons that are less and less clear.
Arivacans have had a front row seat to the failed Project 28 spy towers, the ongoing immigration debates, and the consolidation of the drug cartels. Yet through it all, they’ve stuck to their guns, fostering a real community with lessons for each and every one of us.
About the filmmakers: Bryce Goodman is a student at Oxford University, where he majors in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.
James Johenning is an L.A.-based editor and filmmaker.
Joel Smith lives in Los Angeles where he writes fiction and works as an academic tutor.
"This film crew has spent quality time here in Arivaca over the past couple of years filming and interviewing. We're looking forward to this preview and the final work in 2010." - Bart Santello, Arivaca Film Exhibition
This film is relevant to Arivaca because the principals in this project have visted Arivaca, Arizona several times and were inspired in part by the natural building and organic farming activities of the people in Arivaca.
Preceeding the film will be a slideshow providing background for the film. The slideshow will give details on the people involved, discuss the geographic area; provde a comparison to the work going on in Arivaca; and discuss opportunites and challenges facing the principles involved.
After the slideshow and film there will be a 10-minute question and answer session with the audience.
Produced by: Brian McLaughlin
Executive Producer: Susie Slage Dupnik
Cinematographer: Dick Fisher
Music by: Kim Braun
Edited by: Dick Fisher
"Director Dick Fisher is a filmmaker and Cinematographer in the Tucson area who has been in the film business professionally for many years. He showed 'Incident at Alma' at the Arivaca Film Exhibition in 2007, which was well-received by the audience. His high-quality work continues with 'Trouble at Hand'. Note that musician Kim Braun and actor Brian McLaughlin both of Tucson, have been represented in films at the Arivaca Film Exhibition in previous years."
Run Time: 18 min.
Director/Editor: James Bustamante
Producer: Michael L. Miller
Writer: Raquel Royce
How far will you go for the American dream? Seven years ago Javier Garcia (Greg Serano) and his wife Victoria (Camen Serano) came to the U.S. in search of a better life for their unborn child. Since that time Javier has managed to find success in the workplace and has created a solid home for his family. However, when Javier's loyalty to his people is called into question, what side will he end up on?
Supervising Prooducer - Jocelyn Jansons
Director of Photography - Shane Duckworth
Associate Producer - Philip P. Feiffer & Steve Poulton
Music - Daniel Alcheh & Steve Poulton
Music Supervisor - Michael Devenport
JAMES BUSTAMANTE was born in the small town of Las Vegas, NM. He has made over 12 short films, one PSA, and one feature (Tres Generaciones). The short film (A Brothers Love) took home 3rd prize at the Southwest Film Center Film Festival. Tres Generaciones has played at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Arizona international Film Festival, and the Visions of the Reel Documentary Showcase.
When he graduated in 2005, he worked on his 2nd feature documentary on drug and alcohol abuse in New Mexico. In 2007 he entered the New Mexico Filmmakers Intensive and was one of seven directors chosen to take part in this yearlong program. While in the program he worked on "American Dream", a short film about an illegal immigrant and his family who seek acceptance in their new country. American Dream has played at 8-film festivals this year, including the Cleveland International Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, and the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. Currently he is an apprentice for Barbara Martinez Jitner and Gregory Nava.
"... James Bustamante was showing American Dream at the 2008 Arizona International Film Festival. After the showing we talked and I told him that his film would resonate with the audience in Arivaca. Our town is just 12-miles from the international border.."
Bart Santello - Arivaca Independent Filmmakers Exhibition
Common Ground was created in 72 hours for the F.U.S.E. Film Challenge in 2008, where teams were given the task of creating a 5-minute film centered around environmental issues. SyntheticHuman Pictures was awarded Best In Challenge and Best Film in Public Submissions.
FLOW - Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis.
Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of adomineering world water cartel.
Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question ‘CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?’
Beyond identifying the problem, FLOW also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies, which are fast becoming blueprints for a successful global and economic turnaround.
FLOW's Director - Irena Salina
"FLOW took us too many countries including Africa, Bolivia, Canada, India, France and the USA. Right from the start it was very important for me to thread this story back and forth between the USA and different countries around the world. One of the things that became immediately apparent to me was that water is a truly unifying element. We all need it, we all want it and more than anything else in the world it is the one thing that connects us all. This universal concept became the heart of my film. "
"The right film, for the right location, for the right audience. Thanks to all the Arivacan's that pitched-in to help acquire the 'rights' in order to show this film" Bart Santello - Arivaca Indepenendent Filmmakers Exhibition
Directed by Irena Salina
Produced by Steven Starr
Co-Produced by Gill Holland, Yvette Tomlinson Executive Producers: Stephen Nemeth, Caroleen Feeney, Lee Jaffe, Augusta Brown Holland
Executive Producers: Brent Meikle, Cornalia Meikle, Hadley Meikle
Edited by Caitlin Dixon, Madeleine Gavin & Andrew Mondshein, A.C.E.
Music by Christophe Julien
Cinematography by Pablo de Selva, Irena Salina
Associate Producer Matt Parker
Bio: Anna Griessel lives in Southern Arizona. She shares her desert home with her spouse, teen-aged son, two snakes, and three brilliant cats. She enjoys making people laugh, and think with her work. In addition to making moving pictures she enjoys creative cooking and painting.
production company out of Green Valley, Arizona
that enjoy making artistic films. They have shown
films in the Arivaca Film Expo almost every year - and
the audience really enjoys their work ...."
When Victor returns home to mourn the death of his mother and reunite with his childhood friends, he is met with animosity and derision. Confused and upset by this unfavorable welcome, he seeks solace at the grave of his late mother, where he is reminded of her saying, “It doesn’t matter which side the beans go on. What matters is what’s inside.”
A moving tale of self discovery and sacrifice examines the lengths a family will go to to provide a better life for their son, and what problems that “better” life may bring.
Description of film (above) sourced from the Arizona International Film Festival - Tucson
Filmmaker Luis Garcia's master craftmanship in this film can be seen
in its images, editing and sound design. A classic Independent short film."
After completing his first two screenplays in 2002, Hellon conceived a feature film project to be shot with an extremely low budget in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. Writing a script around who and what he had to work with, Hellon spent the next year-and-a-half developing and shooting the college student drama "Decision To Ask Why". Hellon also wrote the screenplay, produced, and played a character in the film. Scott Hellon directed an additional feature film "Placebo", that is currently in post-production.
As a Homage to German Expressionism, silent RED is a gothic retelling of the classic fable, taking what is known and casting it in an unfamiliar light. It is a tale of lost innocence told in stark, nightmarish terms.
About Filmmaker Steve Bayless: In addition to his short film projects, Steve Bayless has been Senior Editor at Tucson’s KUAT-TV for 13 years. He has received two Rocky Mountain Emmies and several PBS awards for his achievements in public television. He teaches aspiring editors at Pima Community College while he completes his degree in Media Arts at the University of Arizona.
Cast Members: D'Anne Desiree Janet Lynn Henderson Ian Van Cleve
Assistant Directors: Hal Melfi & Jon Proudstar Make-up Artist: Sonia Campbell
Run Time: 20:16 Minutes
Release: New Version (v6.0) 2009
FILMED IN RUBY, ARIZONA "I originally went to the ghost town of Ruby to film migratory bats that reside in the abandoned mine shafts and possibly make a wildlife documentary. However, after spending several weeks in the town, getting to know the caretaker (Sundog) and filming old ruins, I knew the film could become something bigger and unique. As typical with all my productions, I first filmed artistic elements unique to that location; then created the movie from ideas, later in post-production. The result is a journey inside a dream - a dream of Ruby, Arizona"
Although the film was originally released in 2006; the film was not quite to my satisfaction. After several years of meticulous editing and working on visual enhancements, the film was re-crafted to reveal its full artistic potential. This exciting 'Director's Master' version of the film is what you will see on March 7th - Don't miss it! - Filmmaker, Bart Santello
"The Outskirts of Infinity" is truly a haunting work. The feelings that constantly swept over me while watching it were of being trapped in a twilight state between existence and non-existence. It wasn't until I saw on the closing credits where Sundog is listed as "the man between two worlds" that I realized how clearly you conveyed this feeling. Two images especially haunted me. First the ballerina dancing as the scene cross-fades onto an old piano and secondly, the closing shot where Sundog descends to...where? Back to a waking state, perhaps? I loved it and "A Produce's" music is perfection! I was captivated and genuinely unsettled by the piece." Richard Bone
Click here for "Outskirts of Infinity" showing poster
Click Image to Enlarge
Director & Cinematographer: Patrick Roddy
Writer: Ken Henderson
Editor: Andy Froemke
Production Design: Carol Anne Gayle
Music: Friends of Dean Martinez
Sound Design: Jason Canfield
Genre: Crime Drama
Run Time: 75-Minutes
"Red71 is a highly stylized production and a dark moody film utilizing local talent. Red71 exemplifies the creative work originating out of Tucson" Bart Santello - Arivaca Film Exhibition organizer