Indie Watch


Tucson born writer/producer/actor/director Dennis Leoni will be the keynote speaker at the Reel Vision Filmmakers Conference at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Tucson, held Oct. 21-23. Leoni started out as a stuntman and actor in Westerns here at Old Tucson Studios. He has since gone on to direct, produce and write numerous films and series for Showtime, HBO, Paramount, Disney and Columbia, including the critically acclaimed Showtime series Resurrection Blvd. Other film professionals scheduled to attend the conference include script consultant Linda Seger, Universal Films creative development rep Kate McCallum, Pamela Jaye Smith of Mythworks and distribution rep Mark Steven Bosko. Registration is $100, or $65 for students with a valid ID. Dennis Leoni will speak at the Featured Filmmaker Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23. There will also be a mixer sponsored by the Independent Film Association of Southern Arizona at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, location TBA. For more information and registration forms, go to, or call 325-9175. The Tucson Film Office, UA's Hanson Film Institute and Reel Inspiration are the event sponsors.


Writer and director Lisanne Skyler will be at the Loft for a free screening of her 1999 film Getting to Know You on Wednesday, Oct. 5. A native New Yorker, Skyler is a new faculty member at UA's Media Arts Department. Getting to Know You stars Zach Braff (Garden State) and Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse), and is an adaptation of three short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. She has also directed several notable documentaries, including Oldtimers (1993), No Loans Today (1995) and Dreamland (2000). The film screens at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. Information is at


Tucson will host the Puro Mexicano: Tucson Film Festival Nov. 4-6. Puro Mexicano will be the first festival in the United States strictly devoted to premieres of films by Mexican and Mexican-American filmmakers. Films will be screened at the Leo Rich Theater at the Tucson Convention Center, with a reception at the Sosa Carrillo House at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. Tickets will go on sale by the end of September. For more information, call 624-1817, ext. 138, or check


The first Micro-Cinema at Club Congress on Sept. 11 drew an audience of close to 100. The organizer, local filmmaker and musician Timothy Gassen, is looking for short films and videos to screen at the next event, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16. October's screening is Halloween-themed, so horror and sci-fi films are especially encouraged. Submission details can be found at, which is a subsidiary of Gassen's Purple Cactus Media Productions ( There is no fee for submissions. Club Congress is located inside the Hotel Congress at 311 E. Congress St. Showtime is 7 p.m., and admission is free.


A reminder that the Independent Film Association of Southern Arizona is still accepting submissions for its third Three Minute Thriller Contest. Films need to be submitted in one of five categories: thriller/horror, sci-fi/fantasy, comedy/spoof horror, experimental or youth production. All films need to be less than 3 1/2 minutes in length, and submitted before Oct. 22. There is a $13 submission fee for each film; for a registration form, go to Films may be submitted to: IFASA Three Minute Thriller Contest, c/o Jesse Nelson, 5189 Wood Owl Drive, Tucson, AZ, 85742. Jesse can be contacted at The contest is at the Loft on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.


The ongoing Lesbian Looks Film and Video Series has two screenings in October. Three new documentaries screen on Oct. 7: Walk in the Light (2005), Keep Not Silent (2004) and One Wedding and a Revolution (2004). The series concludes Oct. 21 with two comedies, Getting to Know You (2005) and The D Word (2005), starring stand-up comic Marga Gomez. All screenings are at 7:30 p.m. in the Modern Languages Auditorium on the UA campus and are free. For more information, check


The Loft is screening a different music-themed documentary each week in October. This terrific series kicks off the week of Oct. 7 with We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen, and continues Oct. 14 with the pirate radio documentary Making Waves. Oct. 21 brings brainy roots/Americana artist Jim White's Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus, and the series concludes the week of Oct. 28 with The Fearless Freaks, about the Flaming Lips. Each film will screen for a full week at about 5:30 p.m., and admission is only $5


The Loft continues its monthly Cinema Tropical series with the Argentinean film Felicidades (2000) on Saturday, Oct. 22 at noon, and Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m.


Local filmmaker Dick Fisher (The Brothers McMullen) has been tapped to direct the dramatic short film Incident at Alma, filming in late September and early October at the Gammons Gulch film set outside of Benson. Incident at Alma is based on a true story, and dramatizes the last few minutes before the legal lynching of a black farmhand in rural Arizona in 1935. It will star Colin Cunningham, Kwane Vedrene and Don Collier.


The UA Department of Media Arts is having an open house on Friday, Oct. 14. Short films by UA students will be screened; information about internships will be available, and light refreshments will be served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Marshall Building, corner of Park Avenue and Second Street. E-mail Daniel King at for more details.
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