IHSFF 2018: An Interview With Festival Director Monte Yazzie


The International Horror and Sci-fi Film Festival, which shows in conjunction with the Phoenix Film Festival, is entering it’s 14th year. The festival has made a name for itself as the film event of the year for horror fans in Arizona. It gives audiences the chance to be among the first to see great horror film, and see some indie horror flicks they might not see otherwise. The festival director, Monte Yazzie, was nice enough to answer some questions about the festival for us. Here is what he had to say:

How long have you been the director of the IHSFF?

I have been the Festival Director for 4 years.

What is your favorite part of putting together the festival?

I love the puzzle of finding films to program. With more avenues for filmmakers to showcase their work and the access to filmmaking technology becoming so readily available, there are new artists emerging with unique voices and visions to share. Working to find that good balance of horror and science fiction is challenging in a good way.

But what I think I’m most fond about is the inclusion of our filmmakers. Being able to play a small part in bringing their films to an audience is a special thing. Watching the audience connect with their films and seeing the filmmaker experience that feeling is an absolute treasure.

Over the years have you changed the types of films you select, or does it depend on the submissions?

We get so many submissions every year and it continues to grow. Every year the genre experiences change, what is popular one year isn’t popular the next. The programming team understands this and we always strive to pick the best films from the bunch regardless of what topic it wants to cover.

Festivalgoers probably noticed that the PFF/IHSFF has a longer run this year. Why is that? What are some other changes festivalgoers can expect?

We have expanded to 11 days…that’s awesome! The expansion was necessary, we never stop growing and continue to get more excellent films every year. We want to provide as much festival to the film fan as we can.

IHSFF has an entire emphasis during the second weekend with two dedicated screens!!! We have an opportunity to program more movies and allow for festival goers to catch everything that we have on the list. It’s an huge step for us.

What is a piece of advice you can give someone coming to the festival for the first time this year?

Have fun. The Phoenix Film Festival and International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival has a combined 300 films to showcase. Go to our website www.horrorscifi.com and take a look at the festival program, start figuring out the films that you want to watch, and get tickets early. We always sell out of bigger films, it’s important to make sure you get your tickets early so that you get into the theater. Recline back (yes, our theater has reclining seats), get some popcorn and a beverage, and enjoy the sights we have to show you!!!


The IHSFF and PFF will be running from April 5th through April 15th at the Harkins Scottsdale 101. Along with the link Monte provided, you can view the entire film schedule for both festivals here. I hope to see you there!

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