Festival to feature numerous films

This screen shot is from “Phoenix,” a short film by Jamie Naqvi to be shown at the Grand Junction Film Festival.

Jamie Naqvi wanted to make a film about making a film, and “Phoenix” was born.

Well, that, and Naqvi needed to make a film for his graduate thesis at the California Institute of the Arts, where he graduated in June.

The Los Angeles-based filmmaker’s 10-minute drama is one of nearly three dozen films of various lengths and genres that will be screened at the inaugural Grand Junction Film Festival set for 6:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.

Two-day passes are $35. Single-day passes are $20. Tickets are available at ticketswest.com, City Market stores in Grand Junction and at the door.

Naqvi said he wanted to come to Grand Junction for his first film festival, but he won’t be able to travel from Los Angeles. However, he joked that he’s pleased more than just his friends will see the film he spent countless hours making.

“Actually, it started off about 20 to 30 minutes,” Naqvi said. “I had written a script for it, which I had to do for a thesis committee. The script was about 20 to 25 pages. When we started rehearsing things just changed. A lot got thrown out or changed and even more so in production and even more in editing.”

Naqvi’s experience as a cameraman in Los Angeles helped in the making of this film, he said.

When Naqvi decided to start submitting the short for film festival consideration, he went online in late summer and found Grand Junction’s festival had no charge.

It was all he needed to hear. He submitted the film and heard back within two weeks from founder Ross Deardorff that “Phoenix” was accepted.

“It looked interesting,” Naqvi said. “It’s basically, like, my first film festival. I’ve made a few shorts before, but they didn’t get any kind of attention.”

The Moab Area Travel Council is the exclusive sponsor of this year’s festival.

Go to gjfilmfest.org for a festival screening schedule.


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