AZ 100 INDIE FILM is a celebration of the Arizona Centennial showing the best of 100 short films made in Tucson.  It was hosted by the Screening Room and featured entries from past years at the Arizona International Film Festival.

METAMORA by Keisha Richardson is playful stop-motion animation showing the 2-D journey of a star over various simple landscapes.  Great background music sets the stage for this simple, yet entertaining short.

NOT 2B TOYED WITH, by Steve Bayless, is a Tucson classic short about Troy, a collector of Star Wars action figures.  He keeps them in their original packaging unopened to keep their resale value high.  One day his sister arrives on his doorstep to drop off his nephew so Troy can babysit.  The inquisitive nephew, not understanding the investment value of these “toys”…well, I think you can imagine the rest.  Nice acting, cinematography and editing.

STORYTIME FABLES by Brendan Guy Murphy - See my review here.

CAPTURE THE FLAG, by Lisanne Skyler, is a coming-of-age story about a young teenage girl on summer vacation; playing Capture the Flag with extended family out in the forest in upstate New York.  She’s emotionally processing the recent divorce of her parents. During the game, she often gets to watch the games adults play.  High production values, excellent acting and directing made this a very engaging and watchable film.  Watch the film here.

DREAM FRIEND by Aninna Lavee is a touching and spiritual take on grieving the loss of a loved one.  A mother is having a conversation with her daughter that is sometimes playful, sometimes emotionally revealing.  As the conversation progresses, we realize the mother is speaking with either the spirit or the memory of her daughter.  The story takes place outside in a garden-like setting which gave the story a gentle, loving feeling.  Nice cinematography, editing and acting.

NICHE by Eva Alcazar – See my review here.

THE COMMUTE by John Sheedy is an ironic story of two people from completely different walks of life going to work.  One is a migrant worker crossing the border on foot and on the back of a truck to fill a job. The other is a white-collar worker in middle-management driving a comfortable car on the freeway.  Great cinematography and soundtrack showed a more claustrophobic feeling for the white-color worker and a more open, uncertain feeling for the migrant worker. Nice twist at the end.

ON A CLEAR DAY, by Alan Williams, is a complex story about the trials and tribulations of having a home on the US/Mexico border.  Frank is an older rancher married to Rosa who wants to have a baby.  A young Hispanic boy, Hector, crosses the border and ends up at on Rosa’s doorstep.  Rosa wants to keep him, Frank doesn’t.  Hector surprises them both when he starts to open up.  A well-acted story of retribution, family, and life changes. 

NINE TO FIRE, by Tom Smith, is a great animation I’ve seen a gazillion times!  See my review here.

STASIS, by Grant Nelson, is an experimental film deftly showing the terror associated with approaching the opposite sex.  The effective soundtrack and editing gave this very short film a visceral experience. 

FALLOUT by Paul DeNigris is a stylish sci-fi action war story set in the future.  Terrific cinematography and CGI special effects make this a pleasurable experience for fans of shoot’em up, apocalyptic action films with lots of big guns.

THE OUTSKIRTS OF INFINITY, by Bart Santello, is an experimental film intercutting footage of a location in Ruby, AZ circa 1939’s with footage of Ruby, AZ in present day.  The beginning showed the past compared to a lonely, desolate present with some dark and depressing images supported by ominous ethereal background music. Then shots of bat migration and a happy man, played by Sun Dog, created an open hopeful feeling.  The short ended in an exploration of a mine shaft.  Descending into the mineshaft, dare I speculate, represented going within?  Great soundtrack, great shots and creative special effects filters created a visceral, emotional journey