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COPA Shorts Film Fest

Lenah Lankharr, Cactus Writer

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The first annual COPA Shorts Film Fest was held at the UltraStar Cinema in Maricopa from February 17th-19th. It showcased several short films from all throughout the world. Films from Austria, Norway and the U.K. made their way onto the big screen. Some of the filmmakers were there to talk about their films after the showings. There were workshops offered at the beginning of the festival, which were available to those who held day passes.

The festival ran smoothly and was very fun to be at. The films that were shown were hand-picked and though not all of them were great, it was amazing to see such a wide variety of talent. There were a few minor difficulties that occurred but the hosts quickly took care of them, which made it feel like they have been running the festival for years.

There was a broad range of films showing together, which never made it boring to watch. All the staff were very helpful and the filmmakers that were there were eager to interact with the audience, which is something you would not get at a large festival. Another thing that was special and a great addition to the program were the table reads of submitted scripts. This allowed a screenwriter to see their writing brought to life.

After all the films had been shown there was a wrap party with an awards ceremony. The comedy short, Belly Flop took Best of the Fest and was directed by Marc Guadioso. It was about a girl that thought she had become pregnant from eating chicken. The film was based on the writer’s personal experience. The Audience Choice award was given to A King’s Betrayal which is a short film about a piñata that gets purchased from a store and grows attached to its new owner. In the end the child in the film, who is a king, destroys it; the event is portrayed as the King’s Betrayal. In addition, there were many interesting, well made films that were showcased. There were ideas that I had never seen before. One film followed a mother’s story about finding her old phone that had details of her and her father’s relationship. It was a devastating story told in a unique way, and is just one of the examples of the variety of films this event had. For the first year of this film festival it was well put together and everything was handled very well. You could tell it will develop into something very special.

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COPA Shorts Film Fest