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Arizona Underground: Interview With David Pike

Drawing of woman fighting a tentacled monster

When I found out an Arizona Underground Film Festival was launching this year, I wondered just who in the hell in their right mind would start a new underground film festival.

Turns out it’s a guy named David Pike. Below are his answers to my questions about himself and the festival, which is going to run this Oct. 17-19. The fest is also currently open for submissions, which you can get the details here on how to get your film in. Sounds like David is pretty open on what he’s looking for:

Underground Film Journal: What’s your background, e.g.: Have you worked for other film festivals? Are you a filmmaker yourself?

David Pike: I started out as a writer loving film. I started writing seriously at 16, making underground pop culture zines. For many years I was writing articles, interviews, and stories for various magazines including Crimewave Magazine and San Francisco’s Panache Magazine. During this time I decided to bring my stories to life and have directed numerous music videos that have played in film festivals in Germany, Australia, Los Angeles, etc. Right now I’m working post-production on my first 30min film, Red Door.

I got into doing film festivals last year, when I organized the Strange Behavior Film Festival in Tucson, and got my taste of how things worked on a film festival level. It was a very small fest, but I learned a lot.

UFJ: In which city in Arizona are you holding the festival and what’s the film scene like there?

DP: The Arizona Underground Film Festival will be held in Tucson, AZ. In a lot of respects it’s one of the best places to shoot films in Arizona. I feel the film scene in Tucson is very different than other film scenes around the country. Tucson filmmakers and artists are more part of a community where they help each other with each other’s works reaching the same goal.

UFJ: Why an “underground” film festival and not a more general “indie film” type of festival?

DP: Underground Film Festivals are a chance to get away from the “indie” mainstream type film. I’m a huge fan of cinema that challenges the audience, breaks the rules, and offers something different than a standard Hollywood movie. I want to showcase filmmakers with an independent vision from every genre of film.

UFJ: What exactly is an “underground film” to you and to the festival?

DP: An underground film can be any genre, any length, and most of the time will surprise you as to what will be underground. The films go beyond the “commercial” movie, and provide the audience with a different experience before viewing the film. I felt this year that Arizona had nothing in the way of an Underground Film Fest, and that the time was right for this festival.