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Second Annual Film Festival

Comes To Welcome Diner

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Kitchy Downtown Eatery Hopes To Beat The Summer Slump With Short Film Contest — No More Than Three Minutes Total — Featuring Specially Selected Props And A Some Special Lines Of Dialogue


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Aug. 7, 2014 — In the short time that downtown’s Welcome Diner has been revived it has made itself a staple of the historic Garfield District. Besides being home to one of the best burgers in Phoenix, the “Welcome Burger” diner also hosted one of the most well received New Years parties of 2014. They also source almost all of their ingredients from local establishments, and make one of the strongest hurricanes in town .

Another thing the Welcome Diner has done in its nearly two-year existence is host a film festival for both fun and promotion, as well as a fundraiser for the Garfield community garden.

“Initially it (the film festival) was just an idea to get some activity going on slow summer nights. We started brainstorming it and getting other Garfield business owners to be the judges, to hype what their doing. Then it just became a total community thing,” said Wayne Coats, general manager of The Welcome Diner.

“It’s just a fun party get people together, getting creative and showing off ideas.”

Last years judges included local tattoo artist Jason Begaye, local craftsmen Brently Easton who creates custom stereo covers, as well as Derrick Pacheco proprietor of bike shop Hoodride. The three men judged the work of six teams the victor being Sam Treve’s team for their film “Cycles.”

The winning film, “was about life and the mundane routine that sort of occurs at times. It’s about a guy just kind of reflecting on what's happening while he’s doing laundry at a laundromat,” said Coats.

The event was a hit for the boxcar diner attracting more viewers than could fit in their quaint front yard, and obviously being popular enough to warrant a second go-round.

“A big part of the team at the Welcome Diner are movie buffs and a lot of us have made films and have a background in working in that medium,” said Coats.

According to Coats, the rules are that every film must three minutes long including titles: no more, no less. Every team must use a preassigned prop in the film, as well as a preassigned line. Last year’s prop was a Welcome Diner koozy and the line “drop a chicken,” a phrase used by the diner’s staff to get a piece of fried-chicken is the fryer.

All teams must also attend a meeting at 5:30 p.m. at The Welcome Diner, 924 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix on Aug. 8 to hand in their $50 registration fee as well as receive the prop, and line. Once the meeting is over the teams will have 48 hours to share their finished product to the Welcome Diner for judging.

According to Coats, 20 percent of the entry fees will go to the Garfield Community Garden, with the remaining  80 percent going to the winner of the event. The 2014 Welcome Diner Film Festival will be  hosted by Brandon Huigens on Aug. 13 and 14 at 8:30 p.m.

For more information on this year’s event visit the Welcome Diner Facebook page at

To view all of last year’s films, visit the Welcome Diner YouTube page at

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at

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