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Movie filmed in Arizona takes on subject of mass shootings

(Phillip Penza/Little Books Little Films)

A new film, entitled Movie Madness”, takes viewers through the horrific sequence of a mass shooting.

It’s tough to watch at times, as the film depicts a shooting in a dark movie theater. The movie’s director and executive producer, Phillip Penza, said the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. really affected him, being a former resident of Colorado.

“It hit a spot with me,” Penza said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

Penza said he wanted to make a movie about the violent problems that are going on today.

“[The movie] actually takes you through some horrific events, and lets you know that something’s missing in our society,” Penza said.

Penza called the movie, which had its premiere in Scottsdale Wednesday night, a wake-up call. He hopes it will continue the conversation about changes that can be made to prevent mass shootings in the future.

“This is real stuff that’s going on, and what are we going to do about it?” Penza said. “We have to be held accountable.”

The movie was filmed in Flagstaff. It was the first movie Penza and his company, Little Books Little Films, ever filmed in Arizona. He said he was looking for an east coast feel without the east coast prices. Someone suggested he looked at Flagstaff.

Penza said filming there was a great experience.

“I went to Flagstaff [and] met Jerry Nabours, the mayor, who was very kind to me,” Penza said. “The whole city opened its arms to my crew.”

Penza said his next movie, a western about the making of Billy the Kid, will also be filmed in Arizona.

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