2018 was quite a year for the Arizona Underground Film Festival, with tons of great films screened.
AZUFF 2019 is going to shake some things up, and we hope you continue to support the festival.
2018 Arizona Underground Film Festival Award Winners
Best Narrative Feature
Four drinking buddies with a dark secret reunite after ten years for a bachelor party on the Bluegrass Bourbon Trail in 1977 rural Kentucky. But when the friends discover that their favorite distillery has been turned into a winery, the newly sober groom, Gordie, seizes on an even better adventure: search for the legendary buried Prohibition money deep within the woods of Bullitt County, KY. The others reluctantly join him on his quest, only to discover there’s something much more dangerous in Bullitt County than cursed treasure. The friends may have forgotten the dark secret from their past, but the past hasn’t forgotten them.
Best Narrative Short
“Border Patrol” is a comedy centered on two polar opposite Latino Border Patrol agents: Greg, a by-the-book rookie who wants to a build a wall physically and emotionally from his new partner, Azul, a half-Mexican, margarita-drinking, free-spirit who doesn’t believe in borders.
Best Horror Feature
A college student who will do just about anything for Internet fame is kidnapped by a fan, and her reluctant roommate is the only one who can save her in this horror satire of popularity culture.
Best Horror Short
In this 80’s inspired horror-comedy, two friends perform a ritual to try and help make one of them cool enough to get a date with Brenda. They just wanted to be cool. Instead, they got a demon.
Best Documentary Feature
…a distorted portrait of an artist that explores storytelling, ego, delusion, conviction and memory. VON LMO is a musician/artist and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was a part of the late 70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet of Strazar and multi-dimensional travel, VON has also spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across the galaxy, Lori, our filmmaker and VON LMO fan, gets sucked into VON’s orbit and finds herself lost in his story.
Best Documentary Short
In Heel on Red, Sherman explores her conflict, including how Holden’s pursuit strained their relationship made more complicated due to her conviction that he traversed the clichés of fetish photography into the sanctity of art.
Best Experimental Feature
“Kairos Dirt” follows the strange happenings of a pansexual middle school lunch lady and her multiple lovers, her religious co-worker, a genderqueer student, and a “jack of all trades” astrologer/phone sex operator/psychic medium. Through a series of collective dreams a trans-worldly being invades the characters’ dream spaces, revealing an alternate realm of wanton, subconscious desires. Television monitors, radio frequencies, orifices and dreams all become portals to access this mysterious carnal dimension.
Best Experimental Short
Los Angeles is a place where artists go and are never seen again. This monumentally creative piece will shake viewers and listeners alike, reminding us all of our insignificance in space and time, to have humility in front of the mountain ahead, and know that a dream is simply a burden that invites us to try. “Vessel” is an experimental look into a day in the lives of street performers attempting to support themselves on Hollywood blvd.
“Phototaxis” draws parallels between Mothman, a prophetic and demonized creature in West Virginia lore, and Narcotics Anonymous, the main treatment program in West Virginia’s addiction epidemic. Rooted in nonfiction, this film contemplates synchronicity and the role of belief systems in perception; the tendency to assign supernatural meaning to tragedy and the unknowable; anonymous and apocryphal oral histories; and the moth to the flame.
Best Exploitation Feature
An American college student named Penny is erroneously apprehended during a dissident round-up in the banana republic of Rattica. She is incarcerated into the island penal system overseen by Wardress Von Krupp who is constructing the world’s greatest information extractor. Crocodiles, religious zealots, psycho inmates and voodoo-based experiments block her every escape. Life is cheap and the jungle explodes in Amazon Hot Box.
Best Exploitation Short
On the closing day of his beloved roller-rink, a retro robot does his best to survive his final shift despite his scummy boss, kinky coworker, and a whole host of eccentric new-age customers.
A Different Kinda’ Trek with 42 previous iconic “Star Trek” actors in this film! With Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo, Jeffrey Combs, Nana Visitor, Manu Intiraymi, and 34 more!
Four astronauts travel to the Moon on a rescue mission to determine the fate of two NASA comrades who have not been heard from in several days. The individuals they find at the Lunar Base are not whom they appear to be and, through acts of trickery and deception, nearly succeed in killing our heroes. The four return to find that everyone on the planet has been transformed into a variant life-form. Aliens from Mars have conquered Earth and now seek to destroy the last remnants of humanity. The astronauts fight back and soon discover how to rid themselves of the alien threat.