More than 50 short films will be showcased during the fourth annual Copa Shorts Film Fest, which will be held Nov. 7-9 as a virtual event.
The festival will be held on xerb.tv with its own streaming channel due to health guidelines in place for the coronavirus pandemic that limit gatherings.
“Our virtual format will give our audience flexibility in which to see films with an extra day of reviewing,” said Roger Gillespie, director of the festival. “Like Cinderella, though, all films will stop showing just before midnight, Nov. 9.”
“We’re keeping people safe,” said Shelley Gillespie, co-director and Roger’s wife.
The nonprofit festival was to be hosted by the City of Maricopa at City Hall, but the pandemic forced the event online. That, of course, gives fans the opportunity to watch from the comfort of home, Shelley Gillespie said.
On the marquee this year are entries from military veterans, Native Americans and middle, high and college students. Professional short films, from around the United States and the world, will be shown in a number of categories, including animation, comedy, documentary, sci-fi and drama.
Three filmmaker workshops will kick off the festival on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Kevin R. Phipps, an experienced director and 2019 workshop presenter, will lead workshops on “Rules for Filming During COVID” and “Creating a Film on a Small Budget.” Pat Battistini, winner of the fest’s 2019 Audience Choice award, will present on the topic, “Adding Comedy Organically.”
“We’re hoping to inspire people to pursue a career in movies,” Shelley Gillespie said.
Movie fans can view a total of seven film/workshop blocks during the festival. An after-hours block includes films suitable for a mature audience, with themes appropriate for those 18 and older.
The award for winning screenplay will be presented to a Phoenix-area resident after the “Best of the Fest” awards.
Tickets for the festival are on sale at xerb.tv. Prices are $5 per film block and $25 for an All-Access Pass. Viewers will be able to see films for a full extra day, through Nov. 9, in the flexible virtual format.
At 4 p.m. Nov. 8, the “Best of the Fest” block will highlight the best-rated film in each genre and group. At the end, viewers can vote for the “Audience Choice” winner. Winners of all the categories, except for Audience Choice, will be announced at the end of “Best of the Fest.” The Audience Choice winner will be announced on CopaShortsFilmFest.org on Nov. 10.