Welcome - Free Event

Event Date: Saturday - March 29th, 2008

Arivaca Community Center
Universal Ranch Road

, Arizona 85601

As an alternate to mainstream films, Arivaca, Arizona is proud to host its 3rd annual film event that supports the spirit of the 'independent' filmmaker. Features and short-works filmed in Arizona or made by Arizona filmmakers will be presented.

Arivaca; despite its remote location near the Mexican border south of Tucson, is at the epicenter of trends shaping America. Immigration, drug smuggling, human rights, government survelliance & militiarization, vanishing rural life, water rights, Native peoples, wilderness and endangered species are just of the few issues we're dealing with.

At the same, the people of this area represent many different walks of life, have a common bond of individualization and self-determination. Arivaca is rich with artists, natural builders, organic farmers, solar-power/alternative energy, multi-generational ranchers, mineral prospectors and constitutional rights activists; or simply people that want to live in a natural environment and be free of government/political interference in their lives.

The Arivaca Independent Filmmaker's Exposition seeks to show films that embody the independent spirit of rural life at the border, by showcasing works applicable to this area and the lives of people trying to preserve an authenic way of life.

Also, this media exposition showcases cutting-edge experimental films that demonstrate the creative works of filmmakers, working independently and under the radar and thus are free to develop unique works without cultural scrutiny or expectation, resulting in new 'forms' of artistic film.

ATTENTION FILMMAKERS: For details about this event in regards to submitting a film, and/or for accommodations, dining, sightseeing, artist's co-op and other attractions, visit our community web-portal at http://www.arivaca.net/

Looking forward to see you on March 29th!


Barton Santello
Filmmaker & Arivaca Film Expo Organizer


12:00 noon "Living on the Border"

Film: Living on the Border
Director: Karl W. Hoffman (Arivaca, AZ)
Genre: Photo-Journalism
Run Time: 20-minutes

The border is not just a place; it is the very thinnest line between the lives of human beings, subject to different laws, cultures and heritage, all intertwining for generations.

This film is not just a collection of photographs documenting the plight of the illegal immigrant, but an intermingling of this phenomenon with everyday life on the border.

Of the 1,940 miles of the America/Mexico border I have carefully chosen this few hundred mile stretch and the small town of Arivaca, Arizona (population 200) to center my attention on because it is so typical of the small, isolated, south western border towns, yet so vulnerable to change. Once we found this place, my wife and I sold our ranch in northwestern Colorado to move here so that I could photograph the everyday activities and evolution of life on the America/Mexico border.

The majority of the Mexicans that come here are a caring and considerate people who just want to work and return to their home in Mexico and their families where the cost of living is lower and medical and dental care is affordable. Closing the border creates many problems and hardships for both sides as well as escalating opportunities for people smugglers. The illegal drug trade is a totally different problem relating to social and economic values which is an American problem because we have created a consumer market for these products.

The images in this exhibition need no more explanation than the quiet contemplation into the moods, feelings and emotions resulting from the transformation of a quiet border town into a proverbial war zone.

Karl W. Hoffman is an internationally recognized artist in gold, creator of fine art jewelry and precious metal sculpture. He has shown his artwork in some of the most prestigious galleries and museums throughout the country, for the past 35 years.

A self-taught professional photographer, and aside form his internationally acclaimed fine art images, Karl has freelanced in photojournalism, graphic design, commercial photography, crime scene photography, aerial intelligence photography for the military and currently published in U.S. News and World Report. Karl has recently finished a two-year documentary recording everyday life on the American/Mexican border, the last American frontier as it vanishes before us, for which he has been nominated for one international award and one national award in photojournalism.

For more information on Karl W. Hoffman and Living on the Border, please explore the following links:



1:00 PM "Clips of Air"

Film: Clips of Air
Director: Janay Brun (Arivaca, AZ)
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: 2007
Run Time: 15 - Minutes

Arivaca wildlife researcher Janay Brun presents an inside glimpse of people, places and things found in the wildlands along the border with Mexico. The Coronado National Forest, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, wilderness mountain areas and native lands are all the back-drop for a collection of rare video and images from places few travel.

What you'll discover in this visual postcard is a look at fascinating wildlife sightings and historical human migration that go essentially unseen night and day.

Director: Janay Brun is a wildlife reseacher with the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project. She lives in Arivaca, base camp to launch her forays into the desest wilderness.


1:20 PM "Butterflies"

Film: Butterflies
Genre: Documentary
Production & Direction: Mary Scott (Arivaca, AZ)
Music: Mary Scott
Release Date: 2008
Run Time: 10-min

A look at the mesmerizing butterflies of southeastern Arizona with an original music score by Mary Scott.

Mary Scott is a musician and wildlife photographer from Arivaca. After years of focusing on birds, she turned her attention to butterflies in 2007.


1:35 PM "Harvest Rain"

Film: Harvest Rain
Genre: Documentary
Director: Ruben Ruiz (Tucson)
Production Company: Del Sol Productions
Release Date: 2003
Run Time: 29:40 minutes

In this film, director Ruben Ruiz documents the dream of ranch owners and conservationists Valer and Josiah Austin to restore critical desert plant and animal habitat through the construction of 'trincheras' or rock curtains in stream beds and washes.

The story takes place in the Sierra Madre Occidental, part of a chain of mountains that extend from northern Mexico into Arizona and New Mexico. With mountains reaching over 9,000 feet and valley's lying 6,000 feet below, this area encompasses several ecological zones; including pine forests, oak Savannahs, mesquite-studded grasslands to desert low-lands.

After many years of hard work and over 20,000 trincheras constructed, the transformation of life back into the land is shown in the film. Causes of land degradation include drought; over grazing; and historical land management practices that did not consider its impact on a fragile arid ecosystem.

This documentary includes interviews with the Austins, biologists, skilled craftsmen and conservationists on both sides of the border. The film also travels back in time to examine ancient Mexican cultures, which illustrate the application of rain harvesting techniques as a necessity of desert life for survival.

Harvest Rain not only provides ecology education about the environment which we live, it is also an inspirational film for any desert land owner that would like to apply simple techniques to harvest water, prevent damaging erosion and restore habitat.

DIRECTOR: RUBEN RUIZ is a documentary filmmaker/musician who has created programs about and throughout the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.

Aonther recent Ruiz film: "Vaquero:The Sonora Cowboy" has received awards from The Chicago Film Festival and from the Aurora film Festival. The Arizona Commission of the Arts selected "Vaquero" for a touring exhibition portraying Mexican rural history. The exhibit was viewed throughout numerous famous museums of the American West.

Ruiz has created programs that have been broadcast over regional PBS television. Ruiz, an eighth generation Mexican American, continues to work in cultural media, write music and strives to create a partnership between the U.S. and Mexico where cultural walls and misconceptions are torn down.

(Photo) I’m wearing the ball cap with my daughter, Nadine and a famous vaquero who has spent most of his life in the Mountains of Northern Mexico - Plutarco Santa Cruz. I’m trying to do a documentary of this guy- he has seen gun battles, stabbings, drug deals, wolves in the wild etc…Ruben

Ruben Ruiz's commercial website: http://www.dspmediapro.com/


2:30 PM "The Line"


Film: The Line
Genre: Drama
Writer and Director: Kent Bassett
Producer: Michelle Johnson
Editor: Melissa Brown
Cinematographer: Andrew Davis
Production Company: Sleeper Productions
Origination Format: Super 35 mm
Release Date: 2007
Runtime: 23 minutes

Alvaro Nuñez has crossed the border many times, but this time is different: his son Omar is coming with him to live and work in the U.S. For Danny Jackson the Arizona borderland is home, although since his mother left he has been struggling to adjust to life there with his father Luke. The Line follows these fathers and sons as they attempt to rebuild their relationships under new circumstances, an endeavor made even more important by the high stakes of life at the border. When their paths cross, each person, and each family, is changed forever.

View the trailer at "The Line" official website:


Festival Note: This film was shot in Arivaca at Janet & Joe Arachy's property at the east side of the 40's. Also local Arivacan Tom Lewis was an extra in this film!

Writer and Director: Kent Bassett

Kent Bassett is an independent filmmaker with a masters of fine arts in film production at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. He is the director of three short films as well as an accomplished editor and writer. He first became interested in filmmaking as teenager and began his study of film directing at 16. He continued to pursue film at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he studied production and film theory as part of his undergraduate education. The Line is his largest production to date and his most personal. Growing up in Arizona, Bassett was surrounded by debates on immigration and specifically the U.S.-Mexico border. This film is an exploration of the lives of those Arizonans most directly affected by the border-migrant workers and ranchers.


3:00 PM "Another Trip To The Moon"

Film: Another Trip to the Moon
Director: Tim Gassen (Tucson, AZ)
Production: Purple Cactus Media Productions
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 2004
Run Time: 30-minutes

Film Summary: An astronaut must repair and launch a vintage 1951 rocket to the moon -- or he'll never be born.

Timothy Gassen boasts more than 20 years of professional experience in all phases of media production — including years of award-winning work as a print journalist, author, filmmaker and audio producer.

He holds a B.F.A. degree in Motion Picture Direction from The Ohio State University, and is also an alumnus of The University of Arizona, where he was selected for the Renny Harrison Film Scholarship. Gassen has worked on the sets of major Hollywood films and a wide variety of independent film and video productions. He has directed numerous music videos, with his work airing nationally and internationally.

The PCMP owner is also a music composer and publisher, with more than 75 compositions currently in print. He has produced more than a dozen albums, mostly in the alternative rock genre.

Gassen is a former staff reporter for the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, and staff columnist for Magnet, a national music magazine. He is currently a columnist for InsideHockey magazine, and is now writing an ice hockey book. His print work appears in newspapers and magazines throughout the globe, and he won a 1995 Arizona Press Club Award. Gassen has also authored two successful books on rock music.


3:45 PM "Asphalt Gospel"

Film: Asphalt Gospel
Writer/Director: Scott Griessel (Green Valley, AZ)
Genre: Documentary Film
Release Date: 2007
Run Time: 98-minutes
Production Company:

On Easter 2006 six ordinary people left their homes, jobs and families for a journey on foot into the heart of America. Against the background of increasing intolerance from the Christian Right, they spread a message of compassion and inclusion. The entire walk was filmed to create a movie of the journey and experience and to use in the creation of education and inspirational resources. They learned that Christians and non Christians are all unique individuals with hopes and dreams and fears that cannot be reduced down to a one size fits all mentality that is so common in today’s fast paced world.

Watch the "Asphalt Gospel" trailer on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exylTcuDLuY

Scott Griessel (Green Valley, AZ) is a writer/producer/director with a national client list. With over 20 years in the film and video business Scott has created national, regional and local commercials, infomercials, training videos, music videos, a short film called “7 Digits,” a television pilot called “AZ Crazy” and series of videos for children called “When I Grow Up.” His video, film, photographic and film work for clients like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Saab and North American Van Lines has taken him to distant places like Germany, the U.K., Holland, Canada, Austria, and even Hollywood. (OK. It’s not that far away, but it is another universe). Scott and his wife Anna are the owners of Creatista. Before starting Creatista, Scott was a creative director and partner at the nationally honored creative agency, LaBov & Beyond.

See an interview with Scott Griessel on YouTube. Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjdKceINq7M


6:30 PM "A Moment In Ruby"

Film: A Moment in Ruby
Writer & Director: IX
Production: Resistance Cipher Movie Company
Music Composed by: Hamdija Ajanovic
Director of Photography: Troy Kurtz
Release Date: 2006
Run Time: 14:36 minutes

Synopsis: Based on the true events of August 21st 1921, A Moment in Ruby recreates the story of robbery and murder that took place at Ruby Arizona General Store and Post Office, which at that time was leased by Frank and Myrtle Pearson. An incident that subsequently led to the largest manhunt in Arizona's history at that time.

This film is personal to the filmmaker, since his grandmother Margaret Pearson was a survivor of the tragic events of that day. This film is a tribute to her.

Filmmaker: IX has a very diverse background with his main focus being Media, Media Arts, Film and Theatre. He's done everything in those industries from hanging lights to directing a feature film. Must of his work has been in corporate imaging and investment promotion videos (for which he has won several national awards), but prefers to put his talents to work for meaningful causes and purposes. He holds a degree in Media Arts/Theatre Arts from the U of AZ and have 20+ years experience in that regard.

IX has been active in border issues and immigrant rights issues. He can be reached via email at filmmaker9@gmail.com


6:55 PM "Mzungu" (Film Teaser)

Mzungu (2-Minute Film Teaser)
Directed by: Barton Santello
Production Company: Psychotropic Films
Expected Release Date: Fall 2008

View film 'teaser' on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPltmNn3LdQ


7:05 PM "Intangible"

Film: Intangible
Creator/Director: Barton Santello (Arivaca, AZ)
Production: Psychotropic Films
Genre: Experimental
Music: A Produce
Release Date: 2007
Run Time: 8:30 - minutes

Intangible: "..that which cannot be easily defined, formulated or grasped; vague.."

Digital filmmaker Barton Santello presents a unique an original picture assembled from decades-old 8mm film. Images of memory embodied in decaying media; chosen for their visual texture and artistic quality, are presented in a dream-like sequence, that awakens a fragmented perception of a past diminished by the element of time.

Imagery for this work was choreographed to a psycho-active score by renowned ambient electronic musicians 'A Produce' & Loren Nerell.

Official Selection - 2008 Arizona International Film Festival

Barton Santello is a filmmaker, natural builder, solar power enthusiast and multi-media artist living in Arivaca, Arizona.

For more info see: Psychotropic Films


7:15 PM "Day Residue"

Film: Day Residue
Creator/Director: Barton Santello (Arivaca, AZ)
Production: Psychotropic Films
Genre: Experimental
Run Time: 12:40 minutes
Release: 2006 & 2008

Film Synopsis: Day Residue - I term used to describe waking events that become the basis for our night time dreams - is for this work, the filmmaker’s waking dream of present-moment life in Arivaca, Arizona.

In this newly-updated 2008 release - images and sound weave a dream-like tapestry of Arivaca life in a new perspective. Digital Filmmaker Barton Santello in collaboration with world-class ambient/electronic musician Richard Bone, present their latest psycho-active film experience.

Barton Santello is a filmmaker, natural builder, solar power enthusiast and multi-media artist living in Arivaca, Arizona.

For more info see: Psychotropic Films

Photo by Karl W. Hoffman


7:30 PM "Tip Jar"

Film: Tip Jar
Written & Directed: Stephen C Krystek
Director of Photography: David Matteson
Production Company: Synthetic Human Pictures
Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 4-Min

SYNOPSIS: Surviving on tips is a tough way for a waitress to make a living. To make matters worse, they have to deal with customers asking them out all the time, misreading their flirtatious customer service for something else. Two waitresses decide to counter their customers' advances with elaborate excuses that not only let the guys down easy, but encourage them to leave a bigger tip!

All goes well until one customer won't take 'no' for an answer. Now both waitresses must team up to show him their only interests lie with the tip!



About Stephen C Krystek: Art has been in Stephen's life since birth. With painters, poets, and photographers from both sides of his family, it was not a surprise when he began drawing before he could walk.
Encouraged and supported by his parents, he grew up in a very creative environment, which has allowed him to dabble in animation, print deisgn, and now films. Stephen has written and directed three short films and is in development on several feature films to be shot in the next couple of years.


7:35 PM "Vicenta"

Film: Vicenta
Genre: Documentary
Director: Angela Soto (Tucson)

Writer: Charles Baca
Cinematographer: Linda M. Dols
Music by: Mezela and Gritos Y Palabras
Production Company
: Pan Left Productions
Release Date
: 2007
Run Time: 9:00 minutes


“Why are you doing this (film), my life isn’t anything special?” - Vincenta Soto

Film Synopis: "Vicenta" is personal story for filmamker Angela Soto. Her mother, Vicenta Soto, was a seamstress/farmer/housekeeper that raised Angela as well as her three sisters and her brother on her own. Angela found her mom and sisters to be the source of strength and inspiration which has become the basis of this film along with a short story written about her mother by Charles Baca. Filmed in Tucson Arizona

Cast: Baby Vicenta & 8-Year Old Vicenta: Danae G. Chabolla Stauffer / 19-Year Old Vicenta: Angela Soo / Extra: Elena C. Stauffer

Angela Soto was born on January 25, 1961 in Tucson, Arizona. She is the youngest of five children. Her mother, Vicenta Soto, was a seamstress/farmer/housekeeper that raised Angela as well as her three sisters and her brother on her own. Angela found her mom and sisters to be the source of strength and inspiration. She believes that they are all very strong, loving, and amazing women and hopes to tell all their stories one day. She has worked at the Arizona Daily Star for 22 years, starting in the library and moving to the Metro desk where she now writes for the Neighbors Section.

About 25 years ago she picked up her first still camera, taking pictures and telling stories for fun. Not long after, the video camera made it into her hands. Through classes at ACCESS Tucson she was determined to do more films and to show them to an audience besides her family. Her 10-minute short film titled, “El Dia de Un Muerto” screened at the 3rd Annual All Souls Film Festival in December 2005 as well as at Nuestras Raices Film Festival in February 2006 in Tucson.

In March 2006 her full-length feature film, “Mia’s Journal,” was shown at the Wingspan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival in Tucson, drawing the largest festival audience. It also screened at the Arivaca Independent Filmmakers Exposition in March 2007 in Arivaca, Arizona.

Angela recently finished a short narrative titled, “Good Grief,” that showed in the 5th Annual All Souls Film Festival in Tucson.She currently lives with her partner, Linda Dols, of seven years. They have three dogs and a home she loves to tile. Mosaic is another one of her passions. They had a commitment ceremony April 8, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. Her short documentary, “Vicenta” was shown at the 2007 Nuestras Raices Film Festival and she’s working on a script that she hopes to sell to Hollywood called “Green Corn Tamales.”


7:45 PM "Max Biggs Big Break"

Film: Max Biggs Big Break
Director: Scott Griessel
Production: Wow Creative
Genre: Western Drama
Release Date: 2003
Run Time: 23 - Minutes

Starring veteran Broadway, TV and commercial actor Donald Elson, Max Bigg's Big Break tells the story of a few hours in the life of a down-and-out cowboy actor. Many local Tucson people worked on Max. It's got a great cast and fabulous celebrity appearances from LA actors Donald Elson, Valerie Elson and Aashna.

When Max meets the mysterious bartender, Yama, things start to get strange and Max Biggs then must face his biggest role: Himself.

View a trailer of Max Biggs on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZSVMv5NP90


8:35 PM "Skateboarding Arivaca"

Film: Skateboarding Arivaca
Director: Colt Hoffman (Arivaca)
Production: Colt 45 Productions
Release Date: 2008
Run Time: 10 Minutes

Synopsis: Skateboarding Arivaca is a short film starring Brian & Dylan Dursema and Colt Hoffman. Skateboardingis about how three thrill seekers ride the newly built Arivaca Park.


8:50 PM "Not 2B Toyed With"

Film: Not 2B Toyed With
Genre: Narrative - Comedy
Director: Hal Melfi
Producers Steve Bayless & Tina Huerta
Director of Photography: Martin Rubio
Writer & Editor: Steve Bayless
Original Score: Howard Kessler
Assistant Director: Jon Proudstar
Release Date: 2006
Run Time: 11:40 - min

Bellerophon Media,

Lost River Productions



announce the completion of the comedic short:

Not 2B Toyed With.




Synopsis: Obsessive STAR WARS© toy collector Troy is about to discover the power of the dark side when his nephew invades his perfectly packaged world. What’s a toy supposed to do?

Background: Tucson, AZ [January 7, 2007] – Award winning filmmakers and television producers enlisted elite film crew and cast to film the short production Not 2B Toyed With. Executive Producer Steve Bayless is an Emmy-Award winning editor. His work is seen each week on PBS stations nationwide in the The Desert Speaks series produced via KUAT-TV, the PBS affiliate in Tucson, AZ. Steve wrote the 12-minute script as an homage to his friend Rusty Smith, who passed away 3 years ago. Rusty, who suffered from the debilitating disease Cystic Fibrosis, was an avid STAR WARS© collector since childhood. He and Steve had hoped to one day produce their conspired concept for this short.

Official Website - More Info & Trailer: Not 2B Toyed With

Cast: Frank Pecka, Steven Renteria, Tiffany Boxx-Hampton, Suresh Sivanandam, GinaBarb Sarris, JT Keane, Mike Landwehr, Ryan Fagan, D’Ann Desiree, and Alexandria Proudstar

Additional Crew:

Gaffer: Nathan Shelton
Best Boy: Richard Zepeda
Production Crew: Tom Casey, Herschel Slosberg, Darren Biggs,
Julio H. Garcia, Joyce Matthews, Juan C. Heinrich, Olivia Gorushi, and Kieffer Payne
Sound Production: Jake Sutton
Property Master: on Set JT Keane
Make-up, Hair and Costume: GinaBarb Sarris
Still Photography: Ryan Fagan Medics and Technical Consultants Sandy Moore and GinaBarb Sarris


9:05 PM "The Fertility Doctor"

Film: The Fertility Doctor
Director: Robert Richards (Arivaca, AZ)
Cast: Barry Delk
Genre: Experimental
Release Date: 1986
Run Time: 6:30 Minutes

Idea behind the film: Robert Richards: "Mention 'addiction' and people usually think of alcohol and other drugs, or, compulsive behaviour involving eating, gambling or violence. But humans seem to be addicted to overcrowding their home planet to the point of oblivion even when nature refuses to cooperate."


9:15 PM "Delivery"

Film: Delivery
Creator/Director: Till Nowak (Mainz, Germany)
Production: frameboX
Genre: CGI - Science Fiction
Release Date: 2005
Run Time: 9- minutes

Synopsis: In a grey, industrial and uninhabited future, an old man lovingly waters a flower, perhaps the last flower to exist. In his home, across from a factory spewing gas, noise and bad vibrations, the vision of which constantly reminds him that the world isn‘t what it was, the man caringly tends the flower because he knows it‘s his last hope. Unexpectedly, he receives a surprising package that could change the world, at least his world, and perhaps a little more. A surrealistic fable on the world to come, the portrayal of a corrupt society infested by machines, that has forgotten the human being, a future in which there is still place for hope: flowers can grow again. Delivery has been screened at more than 150 filmfestivals worldwide and won more than 30 international awards.

Till Nowak was born in 1980 and lives in Mainz, Germany. In 1999 he started his small studio "frameboX" and works as a freelancer for 3D, print and web media. During the last 8 years he has produced hundreds of projects like brochures, animations, visualizations, flash applications and other kinds of artwork. He works mainly for creative agencies as well as clients like ZDF, SCHOTT AG and others. He is now focussing on cinema and art.

Learn more about, Delivery, Till Nowak, his studio frameboX and detail about his multi-media art on his website frameboX.de