Tuesday, April 11

My Favorite Films from Phoenix Film Festival


Phoenix Film Festival wrapped up April 2 and I'm finally over my film hangover.

I've attended the festival for many years and this year was hands down the best year in terms of variety, inclusiveness, well-edited films and great storytelling.

I applaud all the the filmmakers and festival directors for such a fun week! 

Here are 5 (technically 6) films that I can't stop talking about:


Do you like dramas, comedies, thrillers, and female-empowering films? Great! POLITE SOCIETY has it all, including a small twist you don't see coming.

This film was just a fun ride all the way through, and even better on the big screen with a packed theater laughing with you. 

And lucky for you, POLITE SOCIETY will be coming to theaters on April 28th!

If you live in Arizona, Harkins even has pre-sale tickets now available - https://www.harkins.com/movies/polite-society/2023-04-27


I was intrigued by the concept of this film to begin with and was not disappointed. 

It has the right amount of political/social commentary, great acting, an interesting conflict, and well-done special effects. Plus, just when you think the story is starting to drag just a tad, the story takes a 180 and your jaw just drops. 

There is  no information on where to watch this film at press time but once I know, you bet I'll be sharing with you.


This film is top notch horror-séance-gone-bad storytelling. My co-worker thinks it's hilarious I even have horror films categorized that far. 

But I've seen a lot of séance type films, and unfortunately, it's a trope that sometimes gets tiring to watch.

FROM BLACK should pleasantly surprise horror fans. The story is interesting, the setting stunning, the special effects phenomenal and acting from Anna Camp nicely rounds out this film.

And this is another film that you can see soon - on Shudder - April 28th. 


Talk about a hard to watch film - but an important one that deserves to be more mainstream.

There are several ethical implications in this film that make you think about how you would handle such a situation. But as a woman watching this film, the most horrific scene was seeing a mother during a tough cesarean delivery ask if she was going to be okay - and then be blatantly ignored as they spent time saving the baby. 

I still get chills thinking about it.

There's no release information yet on this film but I'll be keeping my eye out.


If you love Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN, this was a fabulous modern day re-telling. 

Like many of the films above, it does have center around current social commentary, but in my opinion, it only enhanced this re-telling. 

I look forward to see what other films Bomani J. Story puts out in the coming years.

This film will also, most likely, continue on a festival circuit before it hits mainstream theaters or streaming platforms as it just debuted at SXSW and Phoenix film Festival.

Honorable Mention - POLARIS

I knew going into this film that I was going to love it but it is definitely not for everyone.

It's not gory or extreme - it's just a very unique story - with no dialog. That's a hard sell for some. But the acting, setting, and effects still told the story beautifully and I thank Kirsten Carthew for utilizing an female, indigenous cast and for taking a chance on this film.

I'll end this article by re-iterating what a fellow movie-goer said after the BIRTH/REBIRTH screening - "That was an amazing story and why I see/support independent films." 

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