What's happening in the world of independent film in Tucson.

Indie Watch 

TUCSON FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

The third Tucson Film and Music Festival--also known as the HoCo Festival--comes to downtown Tucson, Thursday, Aug. 30 through Monday. Sept. 3.

Dozens of documentaries, features, short films and music videos will be screened. Highlights include Scott Walker: 30 Century Man at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31; Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1; a collection of jazz shorts on Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m.; and a film about roller derby, Hell on Wheels, at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 3.

Tickets for the film festival will range from $5 to $10; all-event badges range from $30 to $40. Individual tickets are available at the Rialto box office starting Aug. 31, and badges and wristbands are available in advance at Hotel Congress.

Check the festival Web site or the Hotel Congress Web site for more information and a full schedule of films and music.


CASTING CALL

Tucson filmmaker Ben Lopez is currently casting for the next film his production company, VientoFuego Productions, is shooting. An independent feature shot here in Tucson, Caramelo will be shooting from late September through November. Ben is looking for Spanish-speaking actors for several roles, including a pair of males between 50 and 60 years old, several young women ages 16 to 24, and a few young men ages 16 to 22.

Résumés and headshots can be e-mailed to him, or sent directly to VientoFuego Productions, 1371 E. Louisiana Drive, Tucson, AZ 85706. Check the company Web site for additional information.


UA MEDIA ARTS

UA's Department of Media Arts was recently renamed the School of Media Arts, making it one of the UA College of Fine Arts' five professional schools. The change of status could bring more prestige to the media-arts program, and puts the program in the same league as other film schools around the country.

The program was recently awarded the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award for the 2006-2007 academic year. The award is given to recognize individuals or groups who have demonstrated a significant contribution toward enhancing the academic distinction of the UA by creating a diverse and inclusive community.

The School of Media Arts offers three undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree in filmmaking and the film/TV business. Media arts students also have access to the resources of the Jack and Vivian Hanson Arizona Film Institute, which offers programs for emerging filmmakers and others interested in the film industry. Check the Media Arts Web site or the Hanson Institute Web site for more information.


TUCSONFILM.COM POSTINGS

TucsonFilm.com is adding several hours of short films that were either screened or submitted for the 2007 TucsonFilm.com ShortFest to its online archive. Films can be viewed at TucsonFilm.com. The site streams several hours of short, independent films from Tucson and the rest of the world.

Dates and submission details for the 2008 ShortFest will soon be announced on the site. Local filmmaker and ShortFest mastermind Timothy Gassen recently published a feature piece in Super 8 Today magazine on the use of negative Super 8 film in dramatic shoots. It will be posted online in September at the magazine Web site.


IFASA MEETING

The September meeting of the Independent Filmmakers Association of Southern Arizona will be held at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 10, at Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway Blvd. Please note that due to Labor Day, this meeting is a week later than usual. The meeting will feature a panel discussion on directing. Everyone is welcome; for further information, contact Brian Mulligan at 349-8249 or by e-mail, or check the Association Web site.


EVENTS AT THE LOFT

· Buffy Sing-Along: At 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15, The Loft will host a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sing-along. There will be a costume contest, and Buffy goody bags will be available for $3; $5 admission.

· Cinema Lounge: Cinema Lounge is a monthly event that focuses on Arizona filmmakers. The next Cinema Lounge is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18, starting with a filmmaker reception at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A after the film. Check the Loft's Web site for details on the featured filmmaker. If you want to be considered for Cinema Lounge, submission forms are available at the Loft, or you can call 322-LOFT.

· Lloyd Kaufman and Poultrygeist: Schlock-and-shock filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger) will be at the Loft at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21, for a screening of his new film Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead; $8 general, $6 students and Loft members.

· Albert Maysles/Essential Cinema: Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles will be at the Loft at noon, Sunday, Sept. 23, to screen his famous film about an eccentric pair of Jackie Onassis' relatives, Grey Gardens. This is the first event of a new monthly series, Essential Cinema, that will feature classic art films from around the world. Grey Gardens will also play at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is suggested.

The Loft also has these regular events: First Friday Shorts (9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7; $5), Mondo Mondays (8 p.m., Mondays; $2) and Cult Classics (10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; $5).

The Loft Cinema is at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 795-7777 or check the Loft Web site for a full schedule of films and events, and for further information.

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