Arizona Film Expo
October 14-15, 2022 | TBD, AZ

The Arizona Film Expo

In 1912, actor/director Romaine Fielding Sr. (1867-1927) arrived in Prescott, Arizona, and set up the western branch of the Lubin Manufacturing Company and shot nine movies that year under the Lubin Studios moniker, before moving to Tucson and then Nogales, eventually filming some 96 movies in Arizona, as well as the 1913 Battle of Nogales.

The following year, Augustus Thomas filmed Arizona (the first of three movies with this title) in Arizona. Since then, over 5,000 films and television shows have been made in our state. As the only state to serve as a significant satellite for film production for more than 75 years, Arizona was colloquially known as “Hollywood’s Back Lot” and enjoyed a heyday of production, from westerns to science fiction, documentaries to cooking shows, tourism to local access programs.

The Arizona film industry flourished. Robert Shelton claimed that Old Tucson Studios was the second biggest tourism draw besides the Grand Canyon, with the likes of John Wayne, Ben Johnson and Gary Clarke frequently being seen there. The City of Tucson and Pima County offered, and continue to offer, free permits for filming in city and county limits. The Tucson film office (now called Film Tucson) arranged free office and storage space for long-term productions in the city. Marana opened a film office.

From 2006 to 2010, Arizona offered tax incentives to the film industry but, in 2010, the tax incentives went away. And so did most of the film industry. But some from outside the state have continued to come and Arizona-based filmmakers, animators, commercial and broadcast journalism continued to create and produce projects. Even without state-level incentives, Film Tucson and the Phoenix Film Office continued to assist hundreds of commercials, features, television series, music videos, reality TV shows, travel shows, food shows and more.

In 2016, Matthew Earl Jones was appointed as the new Arizona Film Commissioner by the governor under the auspices of the Arizona Commerce Authority. He hired a staff, started the Reel Savings program (where Marriott and other companies began offering discounts to Arizona film productions) and got Arizona State Parks & Trails and ADOT to agree to offer free permitting. Monsoon Productions began offering a 30-day, 30% cash-back rebate on equipment and services. Tucson Convention Center partnered with Film Tucson to offer its facilities as a sound stage. Arizona enjoys more than 20 film festivals throughout the year. Modern Studios opened its new headquarters in Marana. Sneaky Big opened in Scottsdale.

While we may not currently have tax incentives at the state level (although we are hopeful that a bill currently being heard in the Arizona legislature will pass) we have low sales taxes, local incentives and so many locations, people and reasons to continue to film in Arizona and for those of you outside our state to come and for you in our state to know about in order to help your production. Plus “360 days a year of sunshine”. (But we can get you a rain truck if you need one.)

Part of our mission and one of the reasons for the creation of the Arizona Film Expo is to be a workforce development and economic driver; another is to remind the world that we’re still here and we’re still making movies.

Come play with us!

The Big Idea

While actors and crew in Hollywood can be picky and choosy about their shooting locations, actors and crew in Arizona tend to view the entire state as local. Also, since attracting financing from outside the state, many here are willing to travel throughout the state to work on projects and assist each other.

While this is awesome and admirable, there exists a great need for better, centralized communication within the state film industry so we can know what is happening throughout Arizona.

The AFE is a business exposition and conference for Arizona filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, writers and crew members to:

  • Network: Get together with the greatest number of Arizona (and external) film industry professionals at once;
  • Disseminate and Gather Information: Find out and tell what is being worked on throughout our state and who/what resources are available here;
  • Build: Enlist support and financing from colleagues, businesses and other people in the greater Arizona community;
  • Educate: Workshops, how-tos, panels and programming;
  • Show Off: Show the greater Arizona community, Hollywood and the rest of the country that we’re still here and we’re still a place to come and make movies;
  • Buy/Sell: Part of the expo includes tables and booths for vendors. We will also have agents, managers and distributors in attendance, have pitch sessions and more.

Our goal is to be THE business event of the year for the film, television and media industry of Arizona.

The event will consist of trade show floor and display tables for vendors and industry professionals; cities and towns; tourist attractions; supporting industries; chambers of commerce; economic development officials and more.

Friday-Saturday, October 14-15, 2022

Your general passport is just $35 and provides access to the vendors area and panels throughout the day on Saturday. Special events Friday night and Saturday night are available as add-ons. Discounts available to military, students, teachers, nonprofit organizations and guild members (SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, PGA, DGA, WGA, etc.). Please email for your discount code.

Please join us from 6-8 p.m. for the 2nd Arizona Film & Media Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony. Arizona Film Commissioner Matthew Earl Jones will be our keynote speaker, after which emcee Mark Goldstein and Expo Chair Daryl Mallett will kick off the awards ceremony.

This year’s inductees are: Jerry Bruckheimer, Dick Van Dyke, Lynda Carter, “Black Jack” Young, Harkins Theatres, Dwight “Red” Harkins (1915-1974), Dan Harkins, Eclair Studios, Lucie K. Villa (1872-1951) and William Webster Cullison (1880-1938).

Our freshman class, inducted in 2019, were: Steven Spielberg, Barbara Eden, Gary Clarke, Ivan “Red” Wolverton, Margie Wolverton, Robert “Bob” Shelton (1921-2016), Old Tucson Studios, Tom Mix (1880-1940), Lubin Manufacturing Company (1902-1916) and Romaine Fielding Sr. (1867-1927).

Presenters will include Arizona Film Commissioner Matthew Earl Jones, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino; former Marana Film Commissioner Laura Funkhouser Cortelyou; Romaine Fielding Sr.’s granddaughter, Kaaren Boothroyd; and more. Accepting posthumous awards will be Dan Harkins, Webster Cullison & Lucie Villa’s great-grandnieces and nephews and Jack Young’s son.

A new accolade, the Robert “Bob” Shelton Award for Service to the Film & Television Industry in Arizona, will be presented. The inaugural inductees will be Harry Findysz (1958-2020) and Charlie LeSueur (1951-2019).

The Expo Team

Daryl F. Mallett

Caribou Moving Pictures The Chairman of the Arizona Film Expo, Daryl F. Mallett is a Christian and dad to five beautiful children. He is also an award-winning actor, producer, writer and a partner at Caribou Moving Pictures LLC. As an actor, Mallett has appeared in Carmady’s People: The Case of the Reluctant Major (1986), “Star […]

Genevieve Anderson

Too Loud a Solitude Vice Chair Genevieve Anderson is an artist, filmmaker and producer, making sculptures and narrative films with puppets. Driven by her fascination of the human interior, she gives form to this inner realm through the unique potential of the puppet body and the puppet figure as a distillation of being: an avatar […]

Timothy Bryant

Caribou Moving Pictures Timothy Bryant is the visionary force and founding caribou behind Caribou Moving Pictures. Growing up in Burbank, California, surrounded by the industry, his experience includes work as executive liaison to the vice president of Columbia Pictures Entertainment Television, publicity coordinator at Columbia Pictures Studios and producer’s assistant, camera assistant, client liaison and […]

Laura Cortelyou

Former Marana Film Commissioner Laura Funkhouser Cortelyou, Formerly Marana Film Commissioner and Tourism & Marketing Manager and former Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the Tucson Museum of Art, Cortelyou holds a master’s degree from Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organizational Development and a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in the History […]

Genie Joseph

Hawaii Studios Genie Joseph is the immediate past president of Independent Film Arizona (IFA) and CEO of Hawaii Movie Studios. She has written over a dozen screenplays and some of her feature films have won international awards. She was co-producer of “Beyond the Break” for Nickelodeon, which shot three seasons in Hawaii, where she also […]

Ethan Moe

Caribou Moving Pictures Ethan Moe is the director of three short films, Rude Awakening (2002), The Message (2004) and Retrocausality (2018), and has served in numerous other positions in the media industry, including 1st assistant director on Illusion (2005), editor on The Heartbreaker (2003), gaffer on Cookies for Callie (2003) and best boy/grip on Rosa […]

Cyndie Shaffstall

Film Liaison, White Mountains White Mountains Film Liaison Cyndie Shaffstall is an entrepreneur and founder of Spider Trainers. Her experience is in marketing of all kinds: personal, business and regional. In addition to owning Spider Trainers, a marketing and web-development company, she is a partner in Hidden Star, companies focused on causes she is passionate […]

Dawn Zimmermann

Caribou Moving Pictures Best-known for her fantastic artistic and costuming skills, Dawn Zimmermann has quickly become Caribou Moving Pictures’ Girl Friday. She can organize a three-ring circus faster than a speeding bullet, dodge angry producers with grace and poise and sort out an attitude of actors with calm patience. She also serves as Caribou’s office […]

Mark Crockett

Paddlefoot Productions Public library-educated nerd, pre-adolescent Mark Crockett was the only kid in third grade at Lincoln Elementary School in East Orange, New Jersey, with an adult library card (yes, he is that old). Nose buried in a book, but fleet on the playground, he was athletic enough to be the #5 Intermediate High School […]

Joe Peña

Caribou Moving Pictures Joe Peña is a Christian, husband, father of eight beautiful children. He was born in Quito, Ecuador, and grew up in Burbank, CA. He graduated from university with a double major in accounting and finance and worked as a banker and auditor for several large financial institutions for about 10 years and […]

Our Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for the opportunity to put on the Arizona Film Expo!