Movie written, directed, acted by Valley residents to premiere at Phoenix Film Festival

Mar 25, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: 11:31 am

PHOENIX — Movie lovers who want to support Valley creatives may want to check out “A Personal Pandemic.” This film will debut at the Phoenix Film Festival in early April.

Grand Canyon University Film Professor Jeff Breuer created the film. He wanted to explore the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Looking back, COVID deepened our cultural divide,” he said in a statement.

He felt like the mandatory quarantine also had a negative effect on people’s mental health, referring to people’s “brokenness” as a subject worthy of exploration.

“I think now more than ever it’s time to explore our own brokenness and how we can learn to move forward in spite of our failures and the failures of others around us,” Breuer added.

He also said the isolation made people more tribal and aggressive toward people with different viewpoints.

Film “A Personal Pandemic” shot entirely in Arizona

Breuer shot the 103-minute film on a shoestring budget, producing it entirely in north Phoenix and Prescott.

The four stars are all based in the Valley:

  • Joe Flowers, a professor at Paradise Valley Community College.
  • Briana Lys, a Phoenix-based actor.
  • Jedediah Jones, a Phoenix-based actor.
  • Kristen Keogh, an Arizona-based influencer and former TV anchor.

One of Breuer’s main motivators for making this movie was to support colleagues in the film industry who struggled to find work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some crew members were recent GCU graduates who got their feet wet for the first time while working on this production.

“Everyone in front of and behind the camera gave a lot of themselves to make this movie happen,” Breuer said. “It is a testament to the passion, energy and resolve of the local film community in Phoenix.”

What is the Arizona film about?

“A Personal Pandemic” follows a failing marriage that is pushed to the brink by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a film without conventional heroes and villains, Breuer added.

“The film is designed to help audiences reflect on the characters’ brokenness as humans, without casting judgment,” he said.

The Phoenix Film Festival at Harkins Scottsdale will show the film three times:

  • Saturday, April 6 at 3:55 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10 at 4:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13 at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets for the film festival start at $15.

“I hope audience members use this movie as a springboard to accept learning, evolving and changing as a part of moving forward in life,” Breuer said.

We want to hear from you.

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Movie written, directed, acted by Valley residents to premiere at Phoenix Film Festival