Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Arizona film, TV projects explore unusual topics, Phoenix Lights UFO

By Steve Hammons

Is it cosmic synergy and synchronicity or just a creative spirit that is making Arizona the focus of film and television projects linked to unusual phenomena?

The independent film The Appearance of a Man and the TV series Paranormal Matrix were both created in Arizona.

The Appearance of a Man will be featured at the 15th annual Sedona Film Festival which runs from Feb. 23 to March 1.

The Appearance of a Man earned two awards at the San Diego Film Festival in September 2008. These included Heineken's Red Star Award for Outstanding Film for Daniel Pace, writer, director, editor and executive producer. Lead actor and producer Michael Tassoni earned the festival's award for Best Actor.

The film also was also awarded Best Director at the Ohio University Film Festival, Best Feature at the Indie Fest and Best Cinematography at the Monaco Film Festival.

According to the film’s press release, it is “an intriguing, visually stunning story that begins on the night of March 13, 1997, when strange lights were seen in the Phoenix sky. An unknown, yet somehow vaguely recognized man appears in the streets of Phoenix, touching off a series of extraordinary events in the lives of those he encounters.”

Interestingly, in late January 2009, apparent new information began surfacing about the behind-the-scenes activities at Arizona’s two major Air Force bases during the Phoenix Lights incident.

The small screen is also part of recent creative endeavors in Arizona. The TV series Paranormal Matrix is being marketed by Ken Liljegren and Gregg Housey of Spectrum Video & Film, based in Phoenix. They have been conferring with programming executives from around the U.S. and internationally.

Paranormal Matrix is a half-hour program in a news-entertainment format. Segments include unconventional topics such as unusual human consciousness phenomena, leading-edge and emerging research as well as other anomalous subjects. Host Katie Cook guides viewers through these fascinating topics and guest interviews.

When the Paranormal Matrix creators had a preview party in Phoenix Jan. 22, 2008, the producer of the award-winning documentary film Phoenix Lights, Lynne Kitei, M.D., attended.


Although the Phoenix Lights incident is associated with Phoenix’s “Valley of the Sun,” the phenomena actually stretched from Arizona’s border with Nevada all the way to the Arizona-Mexico border.

The large V-shaped craft that Arizonans say they spotted probably passed near the Sedona region.

When the Sedona Film Festival begins Feb. 23, people from around the country and around the world will converge on the beautiful, mysterious and magical “red rock country” of central Arizona. The festival will feature 140 independent films.

Sedona is an ideal place for creativity, and the appreciation of it, to bubble up into the consciousness.

Known around the world for its mystical energy vortexes, Sedona is located at an altitude of 4,500 feet on Arizona's Colorado Plateau. It is about 125 miles north of Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert (elevation 1,100 feet) and about 30 miles south of the pine-covered mountains of Flagstaff (at 8,000 feet).

Native Americans considered the Sedona area a special place. And today, it is a location enjoyed by people who want to experience the outdoors, the unique geography, the fine inns and resorts as well as the wonderful art galleries. The metaphysical bookstores, shops and healers also add to the special flavor of Sedona.

Whether Arizonans and visitors are enjoying the mountains, the desert or the special regions in-between, the unique beauty of the state continues to inspire the appreciation of Nature and Earth.

Telling the stories of humanity, in the forms of film, television, art and other creative endeavors, are part of the Arizona experience. Even “the ancient ones” did this – you can find petroglyphs and pictographs or "rock art" as well as the ruins of ancient peoples who lived throughout Arizona.

Wouldn’t they be fascinated by the platforms such as film and TV and the creative works being developed in Arizona?

The Appearance of a Man and Paranormal Matrix are just two examples of the creative spirit in the Grand Canyon State. They seem to reflect a special perspective on life and our Universe that is part of living in Arizona.