A Night of Misfit Film Festival 2022 – Event Review

The 2022 A Night of Misfit Film festival has come and gone, and we reflect back fondly upon another legendary affair, hosted by indie filmmakers Gauthier Raad and Dineta Williams-Trigg. This year, the event was held at the famous local arts center, the Alwun House, in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, which serves as a main purveyor and advocate for the Phoenix arts scene dating back to the early 1970s. It’s a beautiful, captivating venue, and the perfect backdrop for such an amazing unique festival. 

This was our second year in attendance, and again, it did not disappoint. The red carpet was smoldering with an array of superbly talented filmmakers and fans alike, highlighting one fabulously unforgettable weekend. It was one exciting ride, and we’re already counting the days until next year’s blissful bash.

Held in the spacious courtyard of the Alwun House, A Night of Misfit Films offered two screens, one in the main patio area and a second, more intimate space off to the scenic west side of the house. There were free appetizers, candy, and popcorn for anyone in attendance, along with free coffee to help keep you warm. There was also a bar for those seeking spirits or any other type of libations one might desire.

The A Night of Misfit Films raffles were held during the intermissions between viewing blocks, dishing out some seriously wicked prizes, including two individual, one of a kind, hand-crafted horror busts (one vampire and one zombie), not to mention numerous other highly coveted items. There were all sorts of interviews, podcasts, and filmmaker panels taking place in every nook and cranny you could find, the hosts facilitating conversations and interactions with anyone and everyone within range. And, if all that wasn’t enough, there were some extremely engaging films to be seen, in addition to all the other hoopla.

The A Night of Misfit Film festival is unlike any other film festival out there. It’s more like a party amongst close friends you’ve yet to meet, or like one big giant family get-together that only happens once in a great while. Dineta and Gauthier go out of their way to include everyone in every aspect of the event, which is above and beyond the normal scope of other fests.

Opening night screened the horror and science fiction block of film, with comedy and drama showing the second night, and international shorts wrapping up the weekend in stellar fashion. There were so many phenomenal films; the judges definitely had their work cut out for them. There was even a new We Script Competition for screenwriters looking to showcase their impressive writing chops.

Winners included:

Director’s Choice: Nursery Crimes by Charles Kline

Best of Horror: Escalation by Christian Kang Bachnini

Best of Comedy: W.A.L.L.D. by Johnny Ray Gill

Best of Sci-Fi: Anemoia by Zach Karem

Best of Drama: Into the Night by Levi Elizaga /Jessica Sanders

Best of Animation: H.E.R.A. by Alaa Fleilel

Best of Arizona: Hanging Buddy by John Kestner. 

Audience Favorites Awards were as follows:

Santa Quits Christmas by Clay Ivy, 

I Love You I Got You by Gary Taylor, 

Grimoire Vol. 1 by Donovan Smith. 

The We Script Competition Award was given to Shanna Riker for her screenplay, Blood Splattered Pearls

A few favorites are listed as follows, in no particular order. They are some of the shorts that played at the festival that are definitely worth a mention. In truth, every film screened was a sight to behold and completely engaging. 

What I Did For Love – Directed by Chaunte Thorpe 

Justin has a crush on Ally, but how far will he go to get the girl of his dreams? As the world turns and burns all around them, will he jump at the opportunity to seize everything he’s ever wanted? As the saying goes, love knows no bounds, even in the zombie apocalypse. 

Beverly Ever After – Directed by John Kestner 

What would you do if you could go back in time? A young scientist experimenting with time travel gets a visit from his future self, on the night he plans to propose to his girlfriend. Will he listen to himself and heed his own warning, or will he pop the question anyway? 

Mr. Murphy – Directed by Sigurvin Edvardsson & Rútur Skaeringur 

Mr. Murphy sets out to bury his troubles, but things quickly spiral out of control as he tries his best to get ahead of the problem. What will he do as things begin to stack up? Death has a sick sense of humor in this deeply disturbing dark comedy that proves life is definitely what you make it. 

Love Me Tinder – Directed by Gauthier Raad 

Directed by A Night of Misfit Film host Gauthier Raad, love is hard to find, especially in the twenty-first century. Shareen is looking for ‘the one’, but her prospects aren’t as promising as she’d like. Will she find what she’d looking for, or will she settle for her Mr. or Mrs. right now? This is one hilarious highly relevant comedy you do not want to miss. 

Garbage People: Snow Games – Directed by Brit Tobin 

Returning from their lackluster day at the World-O-Waste theme park, Patches and Peel look to create their own winter wonderland. However, they quickly realize that their “magic snow” isn’t actually snow at all. Will they clean up their act or will they be forced to blow up the spot in this outrageously vulgar comedy?

A Night of Misfit Film is without a doubt one of the best film festivals around, and we highly suggest you check it out. If you’re looking for supremely talented, obscure indie short films to grace your screen, look no further. You’d be hard pressed to find a more caring, supportive festival with hosts who actually care about the product.

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