2019 FESTIVAL REVIEW

COPA SHORTS FILM FEST 2019 brought some amazing films to an avid, interested audience.

On Saturday, February 23, a series of three workshops (free) gave new filmmakers insights into skills and concepts to enhance their filmmaking. All Saturday workshops were presented at Maricopa High School’s Black Box Theater. Maricopa DECA and National Honor Society members volunteered and helped run the events all weekend! Facility Manager Kevin Piquette was instrumental in smoothing out technology and arrangements on a very challenging weather-plagued day. (Hail and freezing conditions in Maricopa, Arizona!!)

We thank our professional filmmakers who provided this exciting content!

MONEY: FINDING FILM FUNDING
Ben Juhl, Dirt Capsule Films, served as moderator for a panel including:
Jason Ryan
Melissa Oldham
Kevin R Phipps

Approaches to finding necessary funding were offered including ways to present to funders.

Those attending were riveted!

MAKEUP SFX
Makeup artist extraordinaire Aeni Domme discussed considerations for makeup and what it is like dealing with actors. Then, she used student filmmaker Kaden Rogers as her model to demonstrate techniques. Domme showed: creating a neutral face without blushing, then in succession, a tired face; a haggard, ill face; and a series of bruises, cuts, and scars.

(See photo above.)

ENHANCING DIRECTOR AND ACTOR RELATIONS
Experienced director and actor Kevin R Phipps took the audience through ways to make on set relationships work smoothly.

In the afternoon, student films were presented at Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center.

Attendees were amazed at the quality and energy of the student films!

Awards for student filmmakers were announced, along with some special awards.
Middle School category winner, Smell the Roses, and High School category winner, The Existential Crisis of Maxwell Anderson, received awards.

The special winners were:

Special Achievement Award: Kaden Rogers who started a film club at Maricopa High School as well as steering the film club to creating a PSA that won a national award with funds for the school.

2019 Filmmaker Educator Award: Joseph Szoltysik, who inspired local Maricopa filmmakers to create their films, and has served as advocate for filmmaking locally for 3 years.

On Sunday, February 24, CSFF moved to the Maricopa City Hall, where volunteers and City Council Members Vincent Manfredi and Nancy Smith opened the facility and provided support. Special thanks to City Manager Rick Horst and City staff members Mike Riggs and Adam Wolfe for making all the details fall in place.

A full lineup of film categories mixed films from all over the world explored the human condition and provided laughter, tears, and thought-provoking ideas. Attendees were excited about the quality of the films.

A special table read of the winning screenplay, “Mia,” was performed by Maricopa High School student actors, Christina Surber, Kaden Rogers, and Derek Blakely. “Swept Away,” the film created from the screenplay and filmed in Paris, France had its US debut.

Local film reviewers Paul Bick, Melodee Breazeale, Laurie Fagen, and Michelle Sorensen
were recognized for their contribution to the festival for many hours of dedication.

The final party, catered by Catering by Helen, brought filmmakers, Arizona filmmaking officials, and attendees together to make connections.

Winners are listed below.

(2020 Copa Shorts Film Fest submission rules and details to be announced soon.)

2019 AWARD WINNERS -

WINNERS BY CATEGORY:

ANIMATION - ICONS

COLLEGE - AMERICAN LETTERS

COMEDY - FINDING HAPPY

DOCUMENTARY - ONGTUPQA

DRAMA - SUNDOWN

FOREIGN - SWEPT AWAY

HIGH SCHOOL - THE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF MAXWELL ANDERSON

HORROR/THRILLER - THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT

MIDDLE SCHOOL - SMELL THE ROSES

MILITARY VETERAN - MOUNT LIPTAK

MUSIC VIDEO - STRAWBERRY AFTERNOONS

NATIVE AMERICAN - RUNNING SHADOW

SCI-FI - 17 MINUTES

SCREENPLAY - MIA

BEST OF THE FEST - SUNDOWN

DIRECTOR’S CHOICE - TIN CAN

AUDIENCE CHOICE - TIN CAN

Thank you to everyone who submitted films and screenplays!

2020 FILM SUBMISSION RULES - COMING SOON!

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • From the moment I met Shelley and Roger I could tell they were such film enthusiasts and had a passion for creating such a wonderful event. We were honored to screen our film at Copa this year. They couldn't have been more nice and accommodating. Their communications were excellent as well. Thank you, Shelly and Roger! We hope to be a part of Copa for years to come!

    March 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Pat!

    We all loved your film - and the Audience Choice award you received reflects that!

    Please plan to join us in the future with your new short films!

    Warmest regards,

    Shelley Gillespie

  • Even though I was not able to attend due to illness in my family, I deeply appreciate the good communication and professionalism of the festival organizers and I would definitely submit again in the future.

    April 2018
  • Joseph Szoltysik

    The Copa Shorts Film Festival was full of entertaining films, networking opportunities, free workshops, and wonderful state of the art accommodations.

    February 2018
  • Alfred Thomas Catalfo

    Copa Shorts is a first class festival run by gracious people who care about film and filmmakers. We won Best Drama in 2018 with our film SPLIT TICKET and look forward to making Copa Shorts a regular stop for our future films!

    February 2018
  • Giancarlo Fusi

    Great festival and super well-organized for a new fest. Roger & Shelley Gillespie were very gracious hosts who really care about films and screenplays. As mentioned in the festival description above, I was thrilled to see my script's title and my name up on the big screen during the table-reading at last year's fest. It was a real nice touch for screenwriters who are often treated like second-class citizens at other festivals. Look forward to returning.

    November 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Giancarlo-

    Thank you for the glowing words!

    As you've already found out, your newest screenplay will be featured in a table read at Copa Shorts Film Fest on February 18th.

    So glad you're planning to attend!

    See you soon at Copa Shorts!