History

IFP Phoenix (formerly the Phoenix Film Project) is an organization with quite a bit of history.  This history is rooted and intertwined with both the Phoenix Film Festival and the Phoenix Film Foundation.  For those who are interested enough to know how we got where we are, this is for you.

2000

The Phoenix Film Foundation was founded by Chris LaMont and Golan Ramras, with the purpose to support the soon to be first Phoenix Film Festival.

2001

The inaugural Phoenix Film Festival was held in 2001 at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix with attendance of over 3,000. Celebrity guests include Alison Anders and Tommy Davidson.

Karl T. Hirsch was named 2001 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year in the opening year of the festival.

2002

In 2002, the Phoenix Film Project was created, with volunteer Executive Director Rob Sucato at the helm. The mission of the Phoenix Film Project is to create a community for local, independent filmmakers in the Valley of the Sun.  The Phoenix Film Project would later become IFP Phoenix.

The second annual Phoenix Film Festival has attendance over 5,000 with honored guests including Candy Clark (American Graffiti) and Brian O’Hallaran (Clerks).

Mark T Jaggers, Bryce Prevatte and Chris Rogers were named 2002 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 2nd Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

2003

Phoenix Film Festival attendance reaches 7,000 and celebrities in attendance grow to include actor Edward Burns and directors James Foley and John Waters.

Wayne Dickmann was named 2003 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 3rd Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

2004

The Phoenix Film Project launches the Phoenix area’s first ever “48-Hour Film Challenge” for filmmakers, a trend that would continue to become the longest-running 48-hour film challenge in the Valley.

Susan Brigham was named 2004 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 4th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

The Phoenix Film Society is created as a membership-based filmgoer community group to attend screenings and discuss films.  The Phoenix Film Festival shifts to Harkins Scottsdale 101 and expands to four days with huge success as attendance increases to 11,000. The Educational Outreach program for high school students is started and the Party Pavilion makes its debut.

2005

Amanda Melby and Julie Holman take the helm of the Phoenix Film Project (soon to become IFP Phoenix) as the volunteer Co-Executive Directors.

In April 2005, SCREEN WARS was launched, a weekly thirty-minute television show on AZ-TV. It showcases three-minute short films and provides unprecedented exposure for Arizona filmmakers. The first season ran from April 2005-April 2006 and garnered seven Rocky Mountain Emmy ® nominations and four wins.

The Ronalds Brothers (Brian Ronalds and Dean Ronalds) were named 2005 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 5th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

The inaugural International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival was held in October of 2005 with over 3,000 attendees.

2006

In March 2006, the Phoenix Film Project was re-named Independent Feature Project: Phoenix.  IFP Phoenix was created with the unanimous approval of all of the other IFP chapters throughout the country (New York, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seattle).

The Middle/High School education program (operated by IFP Phoenix at the Phoenix Film Festival) is expanded to four days and now includes hands-on workshops for school groups covering screenwriting, acting and production.

Bruce Dellis was named 2006 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 6th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

The Arizona Student Film Festival was created as a showcase and educational opportunity for Arizona high school students.

Jason Carney is hired as the Phoenix Film Foundation Executive Director, and also assumes responsibility as the Phoenix Film Festival Director.  Julie Holman steps down at the end of the year and Amanda Melby assumes the sole Executive Director position.  The Foundation moves to new offices and adds a classroom, photo studio, library, conference rooms and audition rooms, all available for member use.

2007

The second season of the TV show SCREEN WARS aired from January, 2007 – April 2007 and garnered four Rocky Mountain Emmy ® nominations, including Best Arts/Entertainment Program.

The summer of 2007 began the Four Seasons Film Challenge which comprised of four rounds:  Summer (48-Hour), Fall (“Buddy Films”) and Winter (“New Year’s Resolution”).  The Top 5 films from each of these squaring off in the Spring Finals round at at IFP/PHX’s screening at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival.

IFP Phoenix hires it’s first dedicated staff member, an Operations Manager to help with daily operational administrative tasks.

Paul DeNigris was named the 2007 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 8th annual Phoenix Film Festival.

IFP Phoenix hosts the first It’s a Wrap Party as a way to encourage networking, and to raise funds for the organization.

2008

A new film challenge series was introduced: the Beat The Clock film challenge.  This round of challenges required our filmakers to make short films in progressively less and less amount of time: Summer (48-Hour), Fall (36-Hour) and Winter (24-Hour) The Top 5 films from each of these squaring off in the Spring Finals round at at IFP/PHX’s screening at the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival.

Bivas Biswas was named the 2008 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 8th annual Phoenix Film Festival.

IFP Phoenix created a new award to acknowledge an outstanding volunteer each year.  The IFP Phoenix Volunteer of the Year was Education Director, Joe Gruberman.

2009

Independent film producer, Stu Pollard visits IFP Phoenix for a 2-day intensive Producers Lab, covering the business behind making your film successful.

Webb Pickersgill was named 2009 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 9th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

The IFP Phoenix Volunteer of the Year was MS/HS Education Director, Jennifer Pfalzgraff.

2010

In early 2010, professional writer Bill Grundfest (Mad About You), comes to IFP to teach a 2-day intensive workshop, “Write Like a Pro!”.

A surprise award was announced at the 2010 Beat the Clock Finals, presented at the Phoenix Film Festival.  Bob Marquis’ film, An Uplifting Tale was selected by Screenvision to play as pre-screening entertainment at select Harkins Theatres in the Phoenix Valley.

Paul Hoeprich was named 2010 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 10th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

The IFP Phoenix Volunteer of the Year was Filmmaker, Webb Pickersgill.

2011

Actor extrodinaire Alan Arkin visits IFP Phoenix for two incredible events: a evening of discussion to a packed house of film enthusiasts, and an acting improvisation seminar with a handful of our local actors.

Amanda Melby steps down as volunteer Executive Director of IFP Phoenix after 6 years of service, and Webb Pickersgill steps up to fill the position.

Brian Skiba was named the 2011 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 11th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.

In May, the Editing Lab opens with 3 Macs and 4 PC’s running an array of software including: Final Cut Studio 3, Adobe CS4 Production Premium, Adobe CS5 Production Premium, Avid Media Composer, Gorilla Professional, Final Draft 8.

In July, 2011 the new IFP Phoenix website is launched.

2012

The 2012 Phoenix Film Festival hosts it’s most successful event ever in April, 2012.

In May, the Phoenix Film Foundation relocates their offices permanently to the Scottsdale 101.

Webb Pickersgill steps down as the Executive Director of IFP Phoenix and relocates to Los Angeles, CA to continue to pursue his craft as a feature film cinematographer.  Jason Carney, Executive Director of the Phoenix Film Foundation takes responsibility for the position.

Diane Dresback was named the 2012 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year at the 12th Annual Phoenix Film Festival.