April 20th, 21st, and 22nd was the Second Annual Gila Valley Film Festival. We held 3 nights of screenings featuring 27 films from 5 countries. We also held a luncheon for filmmakers featuring keynote speaker Avai D’Amico to raise money for local college students. It was a great weekend of events. Please check out the recordings of our panels, our filmmaker luncheon, and pictures from this year’s event.


Missed out? Look for us to announce details for the Third Annual Gila Valley Film Festival this fall!

2023 Gila Valley Film Festival Winners


Best Student Film: Arizona

“The Blind Date”

Directed by Kai Hayakawa


Best Short Film: Arizona



Directed by Freddy Pinon


Best Short Film: United States

“Art of The Spirit”

Directed by Andrew David Loewen



Best Short Film: International

“A Few Steps Further”

Directed by Omid Moallem


Best Feature Film: United States

“Her Name Was Hester”

Directed by Brian Campbell


Best Feature Film: International

“The Martin Decker Show”

Directed by Kevin Jones


Best of Fest

“The Martin Decker Show”

Directed by Kevin Jones

We submitted a feature and had an absolutely brilliant experience! Not only was the team behind the festival really strong, and excellent hosts, but we also had an industry meeting as a result! Highly recommend.

Sara Roan

I really enjoyed working with the team of the Gila Valley Film Festival. Our film was fortunate to be named Best Documentary Feature in the first year of the festival, and we greatly appreciate the honor. We all look forward to watching the festival grow in the upcoming years, and being a part of the Gila Valley Film Festival with any project we complete,

Ryan Stock

Thank you so much for selecting “We Know You’re There” to be in your lineup. I appreciated the concept behind this film festival and the guys behind the scenes of Gila really seemed to understand the millions of filmmakers out here who continue to make films and tell stories even if the don’t have funding. We find a way. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend the festival in person due to work responsibilities. Thank you for this opportunity.

Jennifer East

Great communication and quick to respond.

Ross Taylor

Very thankful to have our short film "Father's Day" Selected to be a part of the First Gila Valley Film Festival! Jacob and Joseph are good people and they did a wonderful job making this happen. Getting a Festival off the ground is very challenging. But they made it a very nice event for the filmmakers and audience. When the theater is complete, it will be a showpiece! We look forward to submitting next year and hopefully getting the chance to see how much the Festival grows. Great experience.

Christopher Studenka