2023 Arizona Underground Film Festival Award Winners
2023 was quite a year for the Arizona Underground Film Festival, with tons of great films screened. See you next year!
Best Narrative Feature
2023 / 115 min / Australia / Narrative
Directed by Hassibullah Kushkaki
Cast: Mikayla Levy
Mikayla Levy takes the lead, starring as Hannah Electra. A young girl that discovered the truth regarding the secrets of her past. Just as she discovers the truth, events take place that change her life forever.
Best Horror Feature
2023 / 120 min / USA / Horror
Directed by Chad Ferrin
Cast: Jake Busey, Lew Temple, Kate Patel, Bai Ling
Based on the terrifying true story of Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton, the pig farmer cum prolific ladykiller whose horrific crimes shocked the world. PIG KILLER graphically depicts Pickton’s felonious farmhouse of rape, torture, slaughter and dismemberment of almost fifty women. With his herculean hog, Balthazar, by his side, Willy and his menagerie of colorful cohorts terrorized Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for almost two decades until his 2002 arrest that uncovered the most bizarre series of murders Canada has ever seen.
Best Experimental Feature
2023 / 70 min / UK / Fantasy Experimental
Directed by Grant McPhee
Cast: Loro Stott, Ashley Sutherland
“The Other Side of the Forest” is a fantasy Pop-Art Fairytale starring Lori Stott (BBC’s The Demon Headmaster) and Ashley Sutherland. It is the tale of a shy young woman seeking her fame in the dark work of the 1960s folk-music underground. Lori’s journey to stardom takes her on a journey far beyond the familiar music world she is trying to break into and instead breaks out to a forgotten past of rural landscapes, magic, myth, dead Gods and mysterious fallen angels.
2022 / 9 min / USA / Animation
Directed by Kevin A. Webb
Music: Mike Watt, Cleveland “Cleve” Eaton
Animated musical tribute to bass legend Cleve Eaton with Mike Watt on an odyssey of surreal bass-centric salvation.
Best Narrative Short
2023 / 27 min / USA / Drama
Directed by Patrick Rea
Cast: Cooper Andrews, Whitney Wegman-Wood
After a collection of environmental disasters lead society to the brink of collapse a young mother must find ways to survive with her small child as they navigate the near-future apocalypse.
Best Horror Short
2023 / 14 min / Norway / Horror
Directed by Anders Elsrud Hultgreen
Cast: Susann Bugge Kambestad, Brita Grov, Roskva Yasmin Andersen
In the sewers beneath the city of Bergen, a microbiologist tries to uncover the source of a contamination of the drinking water.
Best Experimental Short
2023 / 17 min / UK / Drama, Experimental
Directed by Simone Smith
Cast: Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Mirren Mack, Stephen McMillan
A road trip pushes a dysfunctional family to the brink after their journey descends into a claustrophobic hallucinatory nightmare. THE MöBIUS TRIP is a darkly intimate and surreal portrayal of a chaotic family unit, confined in their car and fated in their familial roles. Will they ever make it to the wedding?
2023 / 66 min / USA / Documentary
Directed by Sean P Fahey
Cast: Eugene Thomas
Semi-retired Chicago security guard Eugene Thomas reflects on his life, music, and martial arts practice. Oh, and that decade between the 80s and 90s when he was an international celebrity, starring in a dozen ninja movies filmed in Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Also featuring Ron van Clief (The Black Dragon), For Kicks is a unique window into the history of black martial arts in movies.