10th Annual Prescott Film Festival (2019)

Welcome to the 10th Annual Prescott Film Festival!

The Prescott Film Festival was started for people who, like us, love and appreciate the movies!  Movies are an art-form that tells stories. At their best, these stories make us laugh, move us to tears, inspire us to take action, or bring us to a deeper understanding of the human condition. In 2008 I started to explore how to bring the Arthouse Cinema experience to Prescott. I was very, very lucky that my husband Don not only believed in the idea but got behind it in a big way!  Now, with the help of our creative, talented and dedicated board of directors, we are fortunate to bring some of the best independent, foreign and documentary films from across the country and around the world to Yavapai County.

On this auspicious occasion, please indulge me a few reminiscences:

The festival started as a series of monthly screenings at the Frontier Village Theaters, but held its first festival in 2010. The early festivals screened in several venues including the Elks Opera House, Prescott Mile High Middle School, Prescott Center for the Arts, and the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. 

Over the years, we have practiced many film festival traditions like pairing shorts with features, which is a nod to the way films used to be presented in the cinema. We also bring many of the filmmakers to interact with you, our audience, whether in person or via the internet to share their insights and answer your questions.  We have free workshops during the week, some of which are geared for filmmakers, while others are for film enthusiasts.

Unlike when we started over 10 years ago, people now have lots of movie choices beyond the local Cineplex, including Netflix, Amazon and other internet-based services.  So we try to turn each of our films into an event that people cannot recreate in their living rooms. I research each film, and give a curtain talk before the show to bring an educational perspective to the screening.  Many films have a related activity such as a wine tasting, a dinner, or a party—all designed to help audience members build friendships within an arts community. 

In addition to the aforementioned events, this year we have a few special events.  Our featured event is the Silent Symphony: we will screen a beautifully remastered version of The General with live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Silent Film Orchestra.  Considered by many as one of the best comedies of the Silent Era, The General is a true classic which shows just how beautiful a black and white film can be.  For over 25 years, Mont Alto has been delighting audiences across the country from Lincoln Center to the Telluride Film Festival and beyond.  They are known for their authentic photoplay style which allows the music speak for the film, just as music did over a century ago when films were not “talkies”.

We also have arranged for an exhibit of historic film posters to be exhibited in the Yavapai College Art Gallery.  The posters are from films shot in Yavapai County and Arizona.  We did this once before in 2012 in conjunction with the Arizona Centennial celebration, and it was a big hit.  However, this year we will make it even better by adding a multi-media component wherein patrons can watch clips from some of the movies featured in the posters and two opportunities to have the owner of the posters, Tom Slayback, discuss the films.

Finally, I would encourage you to explore our website to explore a retrospective of our festivals over the past decade.

I would like to thank the many local sponsors, Foundations and donors for their financial and in-kind support, as well as our board members, (who work on the festival year round,) and a group of more than 100 dedicated volunteers, who have made the festival into the success it is today. Together, we have created an event that is making Yavapai County an even better place to live. Thank you for your support! See you at the fest!

Helen Stephenson

Executive Director

Coming Soon:

  • Details on how to purchase passes and tickets
  • Schedule
  • Program Booklet
  • Special Events
  • …and much more

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  • If you require access accommodation, such as sign language interpretation, please contact the Prescott Film Festival office at least two weeks prior to the event you wish to attend at 928-458-7209 or Helen@prescottfilmfestival.com.