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For Immediate Release:

Thursday, March 6th, 2024

PRESS CREDENTIALING: Requests for press accreditation can be made to through March 23 when accreditation closes.

Media Contacts:
Melanie Browning

(928) 925-7909

Adam Mast

(435) 632-1795





#diff2024 | #desertscape2024

Presented by Film and Media Alliance of Southern Utah (FMASU)


St. George, UT--The 501(C)(3) nonprofit, Film and Media Alliance of Southern Utah, has announced official selections, the schedule, and ticket info for the 2024 Desertscape International Film Festival. 


DIFF 2024 will take place in beautiful St. George, UT from Wednesday, March 27th through Saturday, March 30th with the majority of the screenings and events taking place at the historic Electric Theater. Desertscape will coincide with the long-running St. George Art Festival for the very first time in 2024 and this will only add to the magic of the proceedings. This celebration of independent cinema will feature over 40 films--shorts and features–from all around the world. Multiple countries and genres will be represented throughout the festival and programmers promise a little something for everyone. 


Writer/director Josh Margolin’s charming, funny, and fittingly thrilling “Thelma” will serve as Desertscape’s opening night feature. Starring the forever likable June Squibb in the title role, this adorable gem of a movie–which made its debut this past January at the Sundance Film Festival– finds a lovable grandma taking matters into her own hands after falling prey to a telephone scammer. Not only is Squibb an absolute delight in this Magnolia Pictures release but she gets big time assists from co-stars Fred Hechinger, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, and the late, great Richard Roundtree. 


Desertscape will close out on Saturday, March 30th with a screening of the funny, observant, and altogether eye-opening love letter to film collectors, “Film is Dead. Long Live Film!” Director Peter Flynn’s immensely entertaining documentary is not only a wonderfully insightful look at film history, but it’s also a tribute to passionate and eccentric individuals who preserve that history at all costs. Mr. Flynn will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.


Other notable feature film highlights from this year’s festival will include the World Premiere of H. Nelson Tracey’s relationship dramedy, “Breakup Season,” featuring Samantha Isler (“Molly’s Game”) and Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”) as a couple at a crossroads during an emotionally turbulent holiday season. An energetic Nelson and several select members of a gifted cast and crew will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. 


Chaysen Beacham’s coming-of-age road movie, “What We Find on the Road,” featuring Finn Haney as a young man making a multi-state trek to reconnect with a dad he hasn’t seen in a very long time. 


Michael Del Monte’s Candian import “His Name is Ray,” a moving and provocative documentary that delves into a homeless man’s struggles with addiction. 


Joseph DeGolyer’s “Chicken Coop,” an understated and nuanced Christmastime drama about a man looking to patch things up with his estranged father.


James Morris’s Desertscape After Dark entry “He Never Left” featuring Colin Cunningham and Jessica Staples in a thriller that puts a little spin on slasher films. 


Additionally, in honor of The Utah Film Commission’s 100-Year Celebration of Utah Film and Television, Desertscape will also present a special retrospective screening of the unsung 80s gem, “Three O’Clock High” which was shot at Ogden High School in Northern Utah nearly 4 decades ago. Featuring Casey Siemaszko as a high school reporter and Richard Tyson as the terrifying bully he inadvertently picks a fight with, this righteously funny (and hip) comedy from director Phil Joanou, puts a fresh and youthful twist on a beloved “western” trope. 


Desertscape will feature several outstanding short films, as well. Included; The emotionally charged mini-doc "Free Play," the creature-centric "Blood Waters," the quirky animated gem "Tennis, Oranges," the sci-fi-tinged "To Err," the international Sundance entry "Dreams Like Paper Boats," the moving AFI short "Blue Hour," the Made-In-Utah immigration drama "In a Foreign and Unknown Land," and many more.


Awards in multiple categories will be handed out on the final night of the festival.  

Desertscape International Film Festival All-Access VIP Badges are only $125 (includes a swag bag, VIP lounge, and parties) with $10 single film block tickets, special $30 single-day passes, and $75 4-Day screening passes (Screenings Only) also available. For all ticket sales, CLICK HERE!


For a look at the entire 2024 Desertscape International Film Festival schedule, CLICK HERE!


**Schedule and titles are subject to change.


In addition to amazing films, you can also expect plenty of outstanding alternative programming. Desertscape will offer industry panels with special guests, a live script read, opening and closing night parties, an awards ceremony, and more. And with the second half of the festival coinciding with the venerable St. George Art Festival, there will be no shortage of artistic sights to see. Included; A live performance by the indie rock act, The National Parks. 

2024 Desertscape International Film Festival Official Selections;

2024 Official Selections DIFF Laurel #2 (Black).png


Breakup Season

USA / World Premiere

Directed by H. Nelson Tracey

Chicken Coop


Directed by Joseph DeGolyer


Film is Dead. Long Live Film!
USA / Utah Premiere
Directed by Peter Flynn


He Never Left


Directed by James Morris

His Name is Ray

Canada / Utah Premiere

Directed by Michael Del Monte



Directed by Josh Margolin


Three O’Clock High


Directed by Phil Joanou


What We Find on the Road
USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Chaysen Beacham


Audrey Taylor Artist

Directed by Ned Cordery


Bears Ears: Echoes of Time


Directed by Daniel Richardson


Been There

Switzerland / Utah Premiere

Directed by Corina  Schwingruber      


Blood Waters

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Stephen Robinson

Blue Hour

USA / Utah Premiere


Directed by J.D. Shields



USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Luke Rex


Dreams Like Paper Boats


Directed by Samuel Suffren




Directed by Bridger Roberts

Free Play

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Alex Astrella


Henry’s Hand

Switzerland / World Premiere

Directed by Laura Gilda Maiullari, Lilith Eva Fohn, and Oleksandra Gorshevikova


In a Foreign and Unknown Land


Directed by Ricardo Villanueva Avalos

Just Your (.)


Directed by Mandy Harmon


Ministry of Surf


Directed by Collins Reagan


Minutes to Go

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Rick Page


Not Him

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Sarah Young




Directed Tim Granberg



Canada / Utah Premiere

Directed by Justine Martin

One Day


Directed by Robert Cole Wilkes


Phase III


Directed by Numark Ricafranca




Directed by Ben Vasion


Rooster’s Crow

Canada / Utah Premiere

Directed by Alexandre Lefebvre


Screen Test

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Adam Shimberg

Social AnnXiety


Directed by Jason C. Brown


Tennis, Oranges

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Sean Pecknold


The Disappearance of Brandon Mull


Directed by Jason Conforto


The Time Machine


Directed by Ebrahim Ghaeini  


To Err


Directed by Derek Romrell




Directed by Jean-François Leblanc




Directed by Marlon Gonzalez


You Are Here

USA / Utah Premiere

Directed by Michael Friberg

2024 Semi-Finalist DIFF Laurel (Black).png

Additionally, DIFF 2023 received several screenplay submissions and after weeks of combing through the best of the best, the Desertscape 2024 Screenplay Committee–headed by Jason and Lara Jackson of Red Carpet Cinema– is pleased to announce the semi-finalists in both feature and short screenplay categories;


A Solidarity of Sinners
Written by Nicholas Nuttall

All Blood is Red
Written by Richard A. Levine

Written by Matthew David Rafferty, Bernadette Grady McClafferty, a
nd Thomas Ardavany

Finding the Words
Written by Dave Orvis

Go Fish
Written by Douglas Von Funkhouser

Mo Vaughn Fights the Devil
Written by Richard William Hoffman

Old Scars
Written by Richard Levine


Written by Johnathan Zarantonello

Sacred Sun
Written by Michael Louis Gould

Written by Richard Levine and Marie Bailey


The Alchemy Effect
Written by Heidi McDonald


The Mercury Club
Written by Alison Jean Cole

The Pass
Written Graham J. Northrup


The Screecher
Written by Lazar Karav

Three Rivers Meet
Written by Craig Stewart


You Know
Written by J Frederick


Checked Out
Written by Amy Santos and Sara Siggard

Come Sunrise
Written by Ben Vasion

Ek Naatika
Written by K. Lovelace

Written by Paul Amstone

Love in Chaos
Written by Shellee Godfrey


Paper Son and Little Red Dragon
Written by Howard Lun Hong


The Angel
Written by Daniel Yen Tu and Barrett Burgin

The Final Inning
Written by Mike Marsh

Till Death Do Us Part
Written by Jacob Hamblin


Tiny Little Pills
Written by Duncan Payne


Screenplay finalists will be announced on March 10th with the winners being revealed shortly thereafter.

Adam Mast--FMASU President and Desertscape 2024 Festival Director said; “This will be our 6th Desertscape outing and we couldn’t be any more thrilled about our lineup. It’s a fantastic mix of shorts and features from all around the world, and we’ll have a little bit of something for everyone. We’re equally thrilled to have a little hand in bringing a film component to the legendary St. George Art Festival for the very first time! And to be able to make this happen during the Utah Film Commision’s Celebration of 100 Years in Utah Film and Television is the icing on the cake. So much talent on display in our beautiful city and we want everyone to experience the magic firsthand.”  


John Pugh--FMASU Vice President and Desertscape 2024 Festival Director said; “Desertscape is back, and it's celebrating its momentous 6th year with a lineup that promises to be the strongest yet. We carefully curated a selection of films, engaging workshops, and enlightening filmmaker panels. Year five promises to be an unforgettable experience for all who love the art of filmmaking and film enthusiasts. Join us for year five and quench your thirst for movies!”


Jason Jackson--Desertscape 2024 Screenplay Competition Coordinator said; “I enjoyed last year’s reading experience so much, I couldn’t wait to see what this year brought and it did not disappoint. The caliber of these writers is Sundance level. It’s been an edifying adventure, one full of impeccable imagination and pensive perspicacity. If this is even a glimpse at what Desertscape has to offer, this is sure to be a festival for the books.”



DESERTSCAPE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL-- Since 2019, the Desertscape International Film Festival has served as a platform for filmmakers from all over the world to share their work in a theatrical setting. Additionally, Desertscape prides itself on creating a source of grand entertainment and enlightenment for its many attendees.  The goal is to see Desertscape evolve and emerge as a Southern Utah staple for years to come.


FILM AND MEDIA ALLIANCE OF SOUTHERN UTAH (FMASU)-- Formed in 2017, FMASU is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit designed to encourage, inspire, nurture, and educate filmmaking talent and to preserve film history and the theatrical experience. FMASU does this by way of several film-related events throughout the year, including; Desertscape International Film Festival, HorrorFest International, The Electric Film Series, A Merry Movie Christmas, and the Guerilla Filmmaking Challenges--quick turnaround filmmaking competitions that take place two times per year. While FMASU prides itself on its Southern Utah roots, it is equally interested in championing storytellers from all around the world. Of course, the primary goal is to engage everyone through the culturally expansive nature of the world's greatest art form: Cinema! 


To learn all about FMASU and or to donate, log on to

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