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Film festival brings international flair

Film festival brings international flair



The world arrived in Tucson last month, courtesy of the Arizona International Film Festival.

AIFF took place from April 14 to May 1 at The Screening Room, located downtown at 127 E. Congress St.

Over the course of the festival’s 25 years, 95 countries have submitted films.

“We received over 800 submissions and accepted over 100 from 25 countries this year alone,” said Mia Schnaible, AIFF director of marketing and development.

The films covered categories from action to science fiction in a multitude of themes.

Los Angeles filmmaker Desmond Devenish was represented with his entry, “Misfortune.” Devenish spent three weeks shooting the crime thriller in Tucson.

Co-star and co-writer Xander Bailey worked in Tucson on the 2010 short film, “My Father’s Son.” He loved the location and convinced Devenish to shoot their new film in the city.

AIFF was the best fit for the film’s U.S. premiere, Devenish said. “Misfortune” screened to a packed house of enthusiastic and absorbed listeners on April 29.

Devenish had considered bigger festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance. “The nice thing about coming here is I shot this locally, and I have so much respect and support for this community,” he said.

The film’s world premiere screening took place in India in January.

“People don’t know what to make of it but I wanted to do it because I thought, ‘What a great experience,’” Devenish said. “To go to a country east of Europe, that’s now coming to gain even more appreciation for traditional cinema, as well as stronger financing options for overseas films.”

“Misfortune” was a collaboration of talent, with locals playing extras and working on the crew. Sound re-recording and mixing came from Tony Lamberti, who has worked on movies such as “Django Unchained” and “Inglourious Basterds” for Quentin Tarantino.

Devenish believes talent is very important, along with creativity, original ideas and passion. He has learned, however, that persistence trumps all.

His thesis project, “Split,” gained distribution at Cannes because of persistence. All meetings with distributors were booked, so Devenish crashed a breakfast meeting.

Two months later, he received an email asking if “Split” was still available. He was given a distribution deal with Shorts International, a rarity for a short film.

“Misfortune” will continue on the festival circuit.

“We have a couple more spots with this film,” Devenish said. “We’re playing Black Hills, South Dakota, and then we have an LA screening. Our goal of the circuit is to come back to Tucson and get a nice theatrical here.”

Devenish plans to generate more visibility for films in Tucson and Arizona. The state does not offer tax incentives, but he believes the legislature will be more inclined to institute inducements for filmmakers if more films are made here.

Up next for Devenish is work as an associate producer on a documentary called “Gregory Porter, Don’t Forget Your Music.” It spotlights a Grammy-winning jazz vocalist from Bakersfield who moved to New York, performed in Harlem and made a name for himself.

“He’s extremely popular in Germany and other countries in Europe but does not have any significant visibility in the U.S.,” Devenish said. “There’s a lot of talent that is present and it’s just about finding an outlet.”

Finding an outlet is also the goal of another of Devenish’s  projects—a collective called Gunnison Galaxy.

“My goal is ultimately to create a place where we can have any independent artists that work together to have distribution and great avenues and be able to more easily pipeline projects from beginning to end,” he said.

“I think there needs to be much more synergy in this industry and I see how effectively it works in smaller pockets,” he added. “I know for a fact that it’s going to be very successful when we all start working together and finding our mutual goals and are able to find a way to make all of our projects come together.”

Devenish’s philosophy of successful filmmaking exceeds profits. He believes you need to get out of your mind, let go of fear, believe in the work and know that the goal is bigger than you.

“It’s not so much about people understanding your ideas or understanding your metaphors,” he said.

Rather, he believes people come to the movies to have an experience. “If you can provide that experience for them, then you have this mutual moment and that’s wonderful.”

Desmond Devenish awaits his “Misfortune” screening. Robyn Zelickson/Aztec Press

Desmond Devenish awaits his “Misfortune” screening.
Robyn Zelickson/Aztec Press

PCC film instructor: a student of legends

PCC film instructor: a student of legends



Scorsese. Stone. Coppola. Primack?

Bret Primack rolls with legends, Pima Community College students and anyone else he meets. He is a man guided by his passions for film and jazz, but storytelling as a videographer and journalist is his stock-in-trade.

“No matter what type of film or video it is, it’s always about a story,” Primack said. “I’m a storyteller.”

He learned at the feet of giants.

Primack has always been interested in movies, but had never considered it as a career until he attended a film conference where Francis Ford Coppola spoke.

“He had yet to direct his first film,” Primack said. “He wasn’t the famous filmmaker that he was yet, but there was something really magical about him.”

Coppola crystallized it for Primack. “That’s who I want to be,” Primack said. “That’s what I want to do.”

He wrote a letter to Coppola, and Coppola responded.

In 1968, Primack’s first year at New York University, Coppola was shooting a film nearby.

Primack contacted him and they had breakfast together.

“George Lucas was there. He was like his assistant,” Primack said. “So I got to hang out with them.”

Primack sensed chemistry between Coppola and himself, and seriously considered asking to be an intern or offering to volunteer on the project.

“If I had done that, my life would have gone in an entirely different direction,” Primack said. “If I could change one thing in my life, it would be that.”

But his parents wanted him to stay in school, which he did.

Primack recognizes the opportunity he had, but understands why it didn’t happen and how it put him on a path to film school.

“I was hanging out with Francis Coppola and George Lucas and Robert Duvall—my God,” Primack said. “But it just wasn’t meant to be at that time.”

Primack entered NYU’s film school shortly after, where he was taught by Martin Scorsese and became a classmate of Oliver Stone.

From Scorsese, Primack learned a love of cinema, directors and film analysis. Primack saw Scorsese’s dedication to film and his willingness to share details with his students.

“It was an opportunity to study someone who was not only an expert but very enthusiastic and very giving in terms of what he wanted to share with his students,” he said. “You couldn’t help but want to go along with him on the journey because he made everything so cool.”

Primack came to appreciate the work of directors studied in Scorsese’s classes, including Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford.

“When you study with someone like that … suddenly the world of possibilities opens up,” Primack said.

However, another passion remained constant in Primack’s life.

Before the film bug bit him, Primack cherished jazz.

He played the trumpet as a youth and his father was a musician.

Famed jazz musician Louis Armstrong’s appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” galvanized Primack, and he was a die-hard fan.

“He was just so joyful,” Primack said. “I just wanted to climb into the screen and join him.”

In 2006, Primack eventually combined his jazz passion with his love of film in the “Jazz Video Guy,” sharing the stories of jazz musicians via video.

Primack arrived in Tucson earlier in the summer of 2001.

“I had been visiting friends out here for a couple of winters and it seemed like a good place,” he said. “So one day I packed up life and drove here.”

Today, Primack has moved toward teaching, sharing his knowledge with those who want to learn.

Recommended as an instructor to PCC by a friend and faculty colleague, he prepares PCC students in Documentary Filmmaking, Digital Video Production and Video Editing.

“I can empower them,” Primack said. “I know that there are so many opportunities coming. I think there is nothing better in this life than creating something yourself … putting it out there. I love my students, I want them to succeed.”

One of those students, Tyler Bozetski, paints a similar picture.

He’s very open,” Bozetski said. “He’s always eager to talk with people about the subject. He explains things clearly so you can understand. He’s very fun, humorous.”

Bob Mintzer, chairman of the jazz program at the University of Southern California and a Grammy-winning saxophonist, is a major supporter of Primack.

“His background in filmmaking, experience as a journalist and passion for the arts and humanities make Bret an amazing artist in his own right,” Mintzer said.

Primack tells stories in multiple ways—via video, the internet and writing. He realizes he has been lucky to meet many captivating individuals throughout his life.

“I’ve known a lot of interesting people,” Primack said.

Moe Irish / Aztec Press Instructor Bret Primack passes along his years of knowledge and passion for film-making while conferring with student Mark Yingst about a video edit for his Digital Video Production I course. The class teaches the techniques, equipment and history of digital film production.

Moe Irish / Aztec Press
Instructor Bret Primack passes along his years of knowledge and passion for film-making while conferring with student Mark Yingst about a video edit for his Digital Video Production I course. The class teaches the techniques, equipment and history of digital film production.

It’s game on for Desert Vista Gamer Club

It’s game on for Desert Vista Gamer Club



Every Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., a collection of game enthusiasts connect Playstation 4’s to Pima Community College Smart Boards, cover table tops with Yu-Gi-Oh trading card mats and plug in their laptops to an endless supply of electricity.

They battle each other on any ground, with any game and any rules. And every Pima student is welcome to join.

They meet in room C-106 at Desert Vista campus and share experiences with games old and new, controller connected and keyboard detected.

They call themselves the Gamer’s Club and the bright yellow sign in mock 8-bit typography is sure to catch your attention.

Club president Miguel Sanchez has been commander-in-chief for two years. He’s had a three-year tenure at Pima, with plans to graduate in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018.

“I’ve been just trying to keep things going and keep the club afloat,” Sanchez said. “I can’t be president forever.”

Sanchez leads fundraising efforts that help pay for tournaments that the club has been holding for the past five years.

“The gaming club has always been doing tournaments but now we do them about three times a semester,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez also maintains contact with Student Life coordinator Guadalupe Caballero, who instructs him about the requirements necessary for retaining the club’s space on the campus.

In the past, the club met in the Ocotillo Room, but library renovations forced a change. The club now meets in the much smaller Room C-106 down the hall.

The group also lost members when it learned new campus guidelines only allow Pima students in clubs.

A recent tournament, held on April 15, featured the newly released Street Fighter V for the PS4. Prizes up for grabs that day included GameStop gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $25.

The first-prize winner Adrian Demara has been attending Pima for two years with the hope of getting an advanced business certificate in the next year.

“Business is something I understand and something I think will be useful in the future,” he said.

Demara took a one-year hiatus after high school to unwind from the pressures of academics, and began classes in the subsequent fall semester. “It was all slack for a year and then boom, responsibility,” he said.

Demara said he focuses most of his gaming fuel on the first-person-shooter franchise Call of Duty, when he has the time. In addition to attending classes during the day, Demara moonlights as an elementary school janitor.

Second-place winner David Marquez began attending at the recommendation of fellow club member Steven “Kenshi” Keovongsa, who helped spur his interest in the massive online battle arena game League of Legends.

Marquez has played fighting games since a young age. An arcade near his grandmother’s house allowed him to play Street Fighter II Turbo edition.

He was running the newer Street Fighter V for practice on his laptop, while the tournament was being played in the room on the provided Smart Board.

Marquez obtained his GED from Las Artes Youth Art Program and was awarded scholarship money after graduation.

“I wanted to be an engineer that programmed video games,” Marquez said. “Originally I was going to go to the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, but I got sick my junior year.”

The setback kept Marquez from being able to the use the scholarship money he received to attend UAT but he was able to use that money for classes at Pima. He’s using his time at Pima to build up his academic background and to be better prepared when enlisting in the Army next spring.

His first attempt didn’t pan out as planned.

“I want 15 college credits so I won’t have to start out as an officer and I can get a particular job in security,” Marquez said. “I qualified for every job they had, even airborne, but the job I wanted filled up and I was put on the spot to pick a job I didn’t want.”

Marquez is currently focusing on anthropology and plans to use the G.I. Bill to pursue engineering after returning to college.

Keovongsa, who introduced Marquez to the club, hopes to boost the numbers of the group for a more rounded selection of competitors.

“We are always in need of new blood,” Keovongsa said. “It gets boring facing the same people.”

Keovongsa began attending the club in 2013 and focuses all of his attention on computer gaming.

To help pay for games and other necessities, Keovongsa previously worked with his mother in a restaurant.

He now partakes in a series of odd jobs as his form of income.

“I’m kind of like the paid go-fer for these guys,” Keovongsa said. “Whenever they need something, they just have me go.”

Keovongsa is pursuing electrical engineering, inspired by a desire to fix the electronics in his life on his own.

He plans to work in electronics while attending a four-year college for his degree.

Micheal Romero / Aztec Press Miguel Sanchez awards gift cards to winners of a Street Fighter V tournament. Gamer’s Club holds fundraisers to help pay for three tournaments per semester. The club, open to any Pima student, meets on Fridays.

Micheal Romero / Aztec Press
Miguel Sanchez awards gift cards to winners of a Street Fighter V tournament. Gamer’s Club holds fundraisers to help pay for three tournaments per semester. The club, open to any Pima student, meets on Fridays.

TOP 10 Best uses of ‘It’s a New Day’

TOP 10 Best uses of ‘It’s a New Day’



In 1974, a band called Skull Snaps recorded its first and only album. One song on the self-titled record called “It’s a New Day” begins with one of the coldest drum breaks in the history of music.

The first artist to sample the break was rapper Stezo in 1989, but many others followed suit, taking the song to new heights.

Here are my favorite cuts that respect the sample by slowing it down, speeding it up or chopping it into some other funky fresh creation:

1. “Hittin’ Switches”

by Erick Sermon

The first pick on the list might just be pulling the sample as it exists in the Stezo version, but it takes a lot of confidence to leave a sample like that and build a song around it. This one features a deep bassline that complements the break like peanut butter to jelly.

2. “Coolie High”

by Camp Lo

This track off of their album “Uptown Saturday Night” runs the drum sample with a nice SP-1200 quality to accompany some bubbly vocal stabs. The flows from Cheeba and Suede intertwine on top of the beat and I’d even go so far as to say you could play this during more intimate moments.

3. “For Corners”

by Digable Planets

This song takes the break beat and flips it on its head. They ran the break through the MPC and just had fun with it. It takes each note apart and completely reworks the sound. It’s a seven minute odyssey that plays with your senses.

4. “Put it on”

by Big L

Everyone’s favorite rapper that was gone too soon, Big L, pulls the break beat for a track off of “Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous,” which would prove to be one of his biggest hits. The reproduction of the sample here has a more groovy feel and it pairs nicely with L’s vocals for that gangster rap tinge.

5. “Mommy What’s a


by Gravediggaz

This might be the shortest track on the list but it’s one of the more interesting tracks by keeping the funky mood of the song from which it samples. The cut serves as a slight interlude and it re-arranges the high-hat hits from the break beat to put out a jazzier selection than others on the list.

6. “Real Raw”

by Craig Mack

The break is slowed down and panned from the left channel to the right and boy is it raw. The song reaches demonic levels with its gospel-like background vocals and the break pushes it to whatever edge Mack is trying to reach.

7. “Who Got Da Props”

by Black Moon

It’s impossible not to bump your head to this hit from their 1992 release “Enta da Stage.” The use of the break beat here is really bassy and downplayed to allow uninterrupted flow from the group. This one is more of a chill-out song than others on the list and it serves its purpose as such.

8. “Passin’ Me By”

by The Pharcyde

It’s the song that opens Adam Sandler’s “Big Daddy,” when he’s half asleep and is receiving that phone call from his dad. Even though you’re probably more familiar with the organ riff borrowed from Quincy Jones, the Skull Snaps drum break lies underneath and producer J-Swift does his best to mute the highs to keep the track smooth and soulful.

9. “Hippa to da Hoppa”

by Ol’ Dirty Bastard

This RZA baked song is so damn dirty it’s appropriately produced for his cousin, the late great Big Baby Jesus. The bass is so damn loud, your dad probably couldn’t even make out the drums through the Alpine subwoofer he probably had in his 1996 Dodge Stratus.

10. “Poison (95 EP)”

by The Prodigy

You could fight someone to this song, or b-boy to it or even rave to it, which is probably what people in England did when it was released in 1995. A revised version from the one found on their 1994 release “Music for the Jilted Generation,” this one pulls all of the punches with no build up, just payoff.






Taurus (April 20-May 20)

“Why do all balls look like they’re 150 years old?” -Whitney Cummings

Think of the information you’ve absorbed this year. Try to figure out why we, as humans, haven’t found the answer to Ms. Cummings question. It’s a brain teaser. Happy birthday.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

“College seems like a pretty expensive way to become an alcoholic.” -Natasha Leggero

It’s true, Gemini. Alcoholism is an issue that you are working your way into, not away from. With your all-night drinking and “a little hair of the dog,” things aren’t looking good. Get help.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

“I wanna live. I don’t wanna die. That’s the whole meaning of life: Not dying! I figured that shit out by myself in the third grade.” -George Carlin

Cancer, just don’t die this month and I think everything will be OK … at least for this month.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

“I don’t set out to offend or shock, but I also don’t do anything to avoid it.” -Sarah Silverman

You’ve done it again, Leo. You’ve pissed everyone off and didn’t even mean to. They’re upset, but what are you supposed to do? Tip toe around all of these sensitive people? Nope.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

“I believe in the institution of marriage, and I intend to keep trying till I get it right.” -Richard Pryor

Keep at it, Virgo. Things will work out eventually. Don’t forget the witness and make sure to get those signatures in ink on the pre-nup.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

“Just because you are blind and unable to see my beauty doesn’t mean it does not exist.” -Margaret Cho

Do your thing, Libra. This is your month to shine. Get out there and be as beautiful as you want to be because you are just that, beautiful.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“I’m Dave Chappelle and I’m a chronic masturbator.” -Dave Chappelle

Hey, Scorpio. Guess what you and Mr. Chappelle have in common. Yep. Do yourself, and those around you, a favor. Get a partner!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of people … that’s why I don’t like any of them.” -Roseanne Barr

People. Who needs them? Not you. Stick to yourself over the coming weeks and enjoy your solitude. Go ahead, have some “me” time.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering, and it’s all over much too soon.” -Woody Allen

Think about it, Capricorn. Life’s a ____ and then you die. So, instead of letting life be a ____ to you, make life your ____. You’ll find it much more enjoyable that way.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

“Normal is just a cycle on the washing machine.” -Whoopi Goldberg

That’s right Aquarius, let your freak flag fly! Have fun, go wild and be yourself. Your life is set up for you to be however you want to be.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

“Life is a four-letter word.” -Lenny Bruce

Sorry Pisces, this isn’t your month. Prepare yourself for the bad side of that bipolar conundrum we all call LIFE.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

“Everything’s amazing right now, and nobody’s happy.” -Louis C.K.

Aries, take a look around you and appreciate what the astrological gods have given you. Stop and smell the roses. Life is good.

Students to screen ‘La Llorona’ production

Students to screen ‘La Llorona’ production



Anyone who lives in Southern Arizona has without a doubt heard the legend of La Llorona. The weeping ghost, which figures prominently in Hispanic folklore, is said to be the tragic representation of a woman who lost her children (or drowned them, depending on the storyteller) and is cursed to wander the earth wailing and searching for them. According to the legend, she will bring misfortune to those who hear her.

La Llorona will be featured May 16-17 in a two-day digital film and video series presented by Pima Community College’s digital arts department. The screenings will include works from students in beginning and advanced classes. Some contain adult content and language.

The program will start at 7 p.m. both evenings at the West Campus Proscenium Theatre. The showings are free and open to the public.

While each night’s show will feature different student works, both will include showings of “La Llorona,” directed by digital video and film student Enoch Bradley.

Mur Caballero, a student involved in creating the movie, said about 20 to 25 students worked together to film “La Llorona” in Fall 2015.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “Everybody in the class was very passionate and motivated.”

Students spent the spring semester editing the movie. Adjunct instructor David Wing oversaw the production.

Caballero served as a producer for “La Llorona” and worked in other capacities as well. Students chose Bradley to be the director based on his written proposals,  Caballero said. The film was cast via auditions, with roles open to non-student cast members.

Caballero, who graduates from Pima this month, said she has learned about film for the last two years and continues to have a passion for filmmaking.

She and two classmates, Daniel and James Williford, decided to begin an independent enterprise, Rolling Shutter Media Company. The company works on video projects and has created videos of musical performances held in the Proscenium Theatre.

For more information about the digital screenings, call the CFA box office at 206-6986.

Pima Community College digital arts students work on the set of “La Llorona” at Tucson’s Agua Caliente Park. The film screens May 16-17. Photo courtesy of PCC Digital Arts

Pima Community College digital arts students work on the set of “La Llorona” at Tucson’s Agua Caliente Park. The film screens May 16-17.
Photo by David Harnick


Pima Writers’ Workshop opens shop May 27-29

Pima Writers’ Workshop opens shop May 27-29



The three-day Pima Writers’ Workshop is not just a workshop: It is also an opportunity to pitch literature face to face with an author or literary agent.
Director Meg Files has once again coordinated with authors and agents from across the nation to join the workshop faculty.
For the cost of $150, anyone can attend the workshop and consult with an author or agent to review their manuscript if they register by May 13. The workshop takes place May 27-29 at the Pima Community College West Campus at the Center for the Arts.
The Pima Writers’ Workshop is a noncredit class, WRT 705 or CRN 60837 for registration. Those interested can register at any Pima Community College campus in person, call 206-6468 or request a mail-in form from Files at
Requests are on a first-come, first-served basis as to which author or agent will read the  manuscripts. Registration materials will give the requirements for the manuscripts.
Some of the notable faculty include these award-winning authors:
• Tom Leveen writes primarily young adult literature such as “Zero,” “Sick” and “Shackled.”
• Priyanka Kumar is the author of “Take Wing and Fly Here,” the first book in her “New West Trilogy.”
• Kevin Canty is the author of several novels and short story collections.

A prominent agent, Regina Brooks, will be representing her agency, Serendipity Literary Agency LCC, from New York. She is the founder and president of the agency, which represents writers of  adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature.

Other faculty members include Lee Abbott, Nancy Mairs, Nahid Rachlin, Carolyn Wright and literary agents from both the east and west coasts.

For more information, call the PCC Continuing Education department at 206-6468 or email Meg Files at

Tom Leveen

Tom Leveen


Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka Kumar


Kevin Canty

Kevin Canty


Regina Brooks

Regina Brooks


Fashion on Display May 13



Pima Community College’s fashion show and event planning class will produce the fashion department’s 10th fashion show on May 13 at 7 p.m. at the West Campus Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre.
This year’s theme will be Elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. The show will spotlight garments students designed and sewed during the 2015-16 academic year.
The suggested donation is $5, with VIP seating available for $10. All proceeds benefit the PCC Fashion Club.
Special guests include Jen and Eli Crane, local co-founders of a Bottle Breacher product featured on “Shark Tank.”
They and Nicole Mackey, co-founder of True Bliss custom paper products, will mentor students selling their branded products outside the theater before the show.
Other sellers will include Patricia Ferrer, inventor of PalmFree SunGloves, and Quilan Wilhite, who created a lifestyle movement known as QMULATIVE.
For more information on the fashion show or the Fashion Club, email Yekatherina Bruner at


SandScript ‘unveiling’ May 18



It’s easy to see what’s important to Pima Community College instructor Joshua   Cochran. Inked on his right forearm is the inscription “words, words, words.”
His work for the past six years with PCC’s student literary magazine SandScript encompasses creative outlets that include prose, poetry and art.
The 2016 edition of SandScript will be unveiled in a May 18 ceremony at the West Campus Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre. Proceedings get underway at 7 p.m.
A class, WRT 162, provides the setting for production of the magazine.
“The class teaches the fundamentals of what makes a good poem, story, or successful work of art,” Cochran said. “From then on, we all read and review every work and vote.”
The publication received submissions from about 240 students this year.
Ten WRT 162 students gathered with Cochran in the West Campus Creative Writing Center twice a week this semester, sitting around a large table and pouring over submissions. Sessions were alternately intense, focused and fun.
Cochran sees his role as a guide and coach. Once discussions on submissions have taken place, class members hold a vote. Everyone at the table has an equal vote, including Cochran.
“It’s a really unique experience for every student that takes it,” Cochran said. “It’s unlike any class in the world.”
Student Michela Wilson said the most challenging part was learning to be an “objective and intelligent judge of other people’s work.” Because she had no experience in that arena, she researched how to be an unbiased and effective critic.
Classmate Autumn DeMoss, who worked on SandScript in 2015 and this semester, said she most enjoys analyzing prose submissions.
Once the WRT 162 students select publication-worthy entries, they gather for an intense weekend production session to design and assemble the magazine. It is then sent to a commercial printer.
Cochran takes pride in SandScript’s achievements. The magazine won the Community College Humanities Association’s Literary Magazine Competition in 2015.
During the unveiling ceremony, visitors can enjoy a sampling of SandScript selections through projected artwork and student readings.
Sahar Mitchell attended the ceremony last year when her short story, titled “Trees,” was selected for publication.
“I really appreciated the level of production that went into the ceremony,” she said. “That was the first time I published anything of that level. It was more than I was expecting.”
The ceremony on May 18 is free and open to the public.
For additional information, visit or email

Two bands deliver unique mix of underground rock and metal

Two bands deliver unique mix of underground rock and metal



While many tours feature lineups of musicians playing within the same genre, Napalm Death and the Melvins have decided to challenge each other’s fan bases by touring together around the world.

“We have all been friends for a long time,” Melvins’ drummer Dale Crover said. “We are fans of each other’s music and decided, why not tour together?”

Band members not only are fans of each other’s music but have collaborated on recordings in the past.

“After doing this for over 25 years, it’s very stimulating to play with bands that don’t play the same genre of music as you,” Napalm Death singer Barney Greenway said. “It’s a very privileged position to be in. We are lucky to be able to do it.”

The Melvins have been an underground heavy rock staple since forming in 1983 in Washington state, influencing many of the up-and-coming bands of the time like Nirvana.

While never reaching the same feverish popularity as other grunge bands in the ‘90s, the Melvins have maintained a healthy fan base throughout their life as a band.

“Things are better than ever for us right now” Crover said. “We seem to have an audience that stays about the same age. We keep getting new fans every year.”

The Melvins will release their newest recording, “Basses Loaded,” on June 3. It will feature a handful of different bass players playing on various songs throughout the album.

Among the bass players featured will be ex-Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic and Jeff Pinkus of the Butthole Surfers.

“We are very encouraging people to play with,” Crover said. “We let other musicians be themselves and add their own style to the music. We aren’t super control freaks or anything.”

Napalm Death formed in 1981 in Meiden, England. While none of the founding members remain in the group, the band has held a consistent lineup since 1989.

“Like most groups of people, we can have some heavy disagreements over different things,” Greenway said. “The difference is, we get over it quickly and work together to find a solution.”

Napalm Death is known as one of the most extreme bands in the world of heavy metal, playing a style referred to as grindcore that contains elements of crust punk and death metal.

Early releases typically contained songs lasting less than a minute and Napalm Death holds the Guinness Books of World Records designation for shortest recorded song, “You Suffer,” from their debut album “Scum.” It clocked in at just 1.36 seconds.

While some may just hear short blasts of noise coming from their speakers, Napalm Death members are socially conscious and often speak out against injustice and tragic world events.

“To be honest, people talk about being socially conscious or activists but it’s not like that for me,” Greenway said. “It’s a very simple thing. It’s about understanding what humanity actually is because I’m certain that some people have forgotten what that is or they never had it in the first place.”

Greenway found no shortage of inspiration in the world around him for the cutting lyrics on their 15th album, “Aphex Predator.”

The structural collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in April 2013 that claimed the lives of 1,130 people greatly disturbed Greenway. He addresses it frequently throughout the album.

“For this album, the catalyst has always been the collapse of the Rana Plaza,” he said. “For me, it compounded why we cannot accept in a civilized world that those who make the very things we consume in the West are somehow expendable. Their working and living conditions are absolutely horrendous.

“Exploitation of other human beings happens all around us,” Greenway added. “If people would come together and just talk, these things could be worked out. If we can get people to think about these things they normally would not think about, then that’s a great accomplishment for us.”

Napalm Death and the Melvins will be on tour together this year, spreading their unique styles of heavy metal around the world.

For more information, visit napalmdeathorg or

Credit The Melvins for bringing weirdness back into underground rock.

Credit  The Melvins for bringing weirdness back into underground rock.

Photo by Mackie Osborne

Napalm Death makes a sociological statement through extreme music.

Napalm Death makes a sociological statement through extreme music.

Photo by Kevin Estrada

Top 10: Poetic entries from William Stanford

Top 10: Poetic entries from William Stanford


Top 10


With the polarizing atmosphere in today’s society, it’s time we take a moment to appreciate the words of William Stanford, one of the great American poets of the 20th century.
Stanford spent four years in conscientious objectors’ camps in California, Arkansas and Illinois during World War II. Afterward, he grew intellectually but always kept his view that war was not the answer.
His poems and journal entries shine a light on the thought process of the individuals responsible for holding back mankind. These are some of my favorite passages from “Every War Has Two Losers.”

10. “Those who champion democracy, but also make a fetish of never accepting anything they don’t agree with – what advantage do they see in democracy?”
–Sept. 22, 1967

9. “Two cultures surround us. One assumes that short-term evasions for long-term goods will prevail: selling, promoting, elocution, patriotism, orthodoxy, forensics, officialism –these characterize that culture. The other relies on some kind of human immediacy and long-term rationale: professionalism, counseling, personal allegiances, quick perceptions, freedom – these characterize the second culture. Any artist lives by the second. Writers, teachers, friends obviously ally themselves with the second. Any authoritarian regime links to the first.”
–Aug. 6, 1975

8. “Some people are idealists: they keep leaning to make the world different. They should face up to the way things are, and accept them.”

“Well, my leg is broken – I guess I’ll just like that strange angle my leg has as it lies there.”
–May 1, 1979

7. “In that war we persuaded ourselves that the people we were killing were really bad.”
-Feb. 2, 1982

6. “Recently a new serenity has touched me, and a feeling of wisdom. No, this is not a proud feeling, a feeling of being in control, but an acceptance of not being in control.”
–March 5, 1991
5. “Many questions: is it better to be a big country, or a little country? Is it better to be safe by being strong, or by being friends?”
–Oct. 11, 1982

4. “The wars we haven’t had saved many lives.”
–March 31, 1985

3. “Fool that I am, I keep thinking things will work out, that we can coast along while injustice prevails, and somehow it will change.”
–April 11, 1986

2. “Living traditionally, the country life, we cultivate the ground. We know the seed will produce after its kind. Why then do we sow suspicion and hatred in some places? If we show goodwill, honesty, reliability, industry, thrift, cheer, will these tend to produce those qualities in others around us? And the contrary is true too? But do we have enemies? Whence came their feelings toward us? Can a serenity view and understand?”
–Oct. 11, 1978

1.“Success may not mean you did right.”
–July 30, 1987





Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re patient with those around you, but can be greedy. Remember the azalea during these upcoming weeks. The flower stands for a timeless message, “Take care of yourself for me.”

Gemini (May 21-June 21)
Imagine a peaceful cattail blowing in the wind by a stream whenever you start to fall off balance. This plant symbolizes peace and hope for prosperity.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)
You are loving, but cautious. It can be difficult for you to let go of things. A pink carnation indicates remembrance, fascination and divine love.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Though Leos are brave and faithful, they may be a bit bossy. Think of the pale peach rose, and dwell on its message of modesty and humility.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You are reliable, but can be a bit shy in front of others. As strange as it may seem, tuck a garlic flower into your breast pocket. Borrow some courage from this unusual plant.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libras are idealistic peacemakers who can sometimes get their heads stuck in the clouds. The gladiolus, or sword lily, will remind you to stick to your principles while maintaining sincerity.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Your powerful personality and go-to drive could translate into stubbornness. Consider coreopsis blooms and their message of cheerfulness when you feel like it must be your way or the highway.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Your incredible optimism is a desirable trait, but don’t let it turn into irresponsible outbursts around friends. The cattleya orchid symbolizes mature charm.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Though practicality is a good trait, it can turn you into a pessimist. Think of the yellow rose when life starts to get you down. Let its message of friendship and joy lift your spirits.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your honesty makes you interesting company, but you may find it difficult to connect. The iris, which stands for a loving message of meaningful friendship, will remind you to keep in touch with loved ones.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your imagination can become your escape from reality. White heather symbolizes protection and the idea that wishes will come true. Remeber this when your selflessness puts you at risk of being hurt by others.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Hotheaded and adventurous, you are a red or pink hyacinth flower. This flower symbolizes playfulness, and reminds you to not overwork yourself as the semester winds down.

Arts Briefs: Spring musical concerts on deck

Arts Briefs: Spring musical concerts on deck


Compiled by Katta Mapes

Four spring concerts will be held at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts on the West Campus. All tickets are $6, with discounts available.
More info is available at the CFA box office, 206-6986, and Box-office hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and one hour before performances.

Jazz Ensemble
April 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Mike Kuhn will direct the Pima Community College Jazz Ensemble in a program featuring big-band music from jazz eras.
Two pieces will be contributed by professional trombonist Roger Wallace: “Who’s Got the Blues,” and “Summertime.” Wallace has recorded or performed with a wide variety of musicians, including the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Wind Ensemble
April 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The Cienaga High School Concert Band, directed by Jim Matsushino, will join the PCC Wind Ensemble, directed by Mark Nelson, for this concert. Each group will perform several pieces before joining for the grand finale, “Symphonic Suite” from “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,” by John Williams.

April 30 at 3 p.m.

The PCC Orchestra, directed by Alexander Tentser, will perform various well-known works by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johann Strauss and Gioachino Rossini. The orchestra will also play an eclectic blend of pieces by American composer Leroy Anderson.

Chorale & College Singers
May 1 at 3 p.m.

Directed by Jonathan Ng, the PCC Chorale & College Singers will perform its final concert.  First the large, mixed-voice chorale will perform various classic and spiritual pieces, plus song highlights from the Broadway musical “Oliver.”
Then the College Singers, an a-capella choir, will present a similar mix of songs.
The groups will join for a performance of two final pieces, accompanied by pianist  Susan Simpson and percussionist Tony Martin.


In the April 7 issue of Aztec Press, Taylor Falshaw was misidentified in two “Love’s Labour’s Lost” photo captions. The error has been corrected online.

Tucson’s greatest spring festivals and activities

Tucson’s greatest spring festivals and activities


Compiled by Andres Chavira

With the temperature at the nice spot between winter and 100 degree summers, spring brings great festivals to Tucson. Enjoy the nice weather, games, rides and tons of carnival food.

Spring Fling

April 8-10

The University of Arizona will host the 42nd annual Spring Fling at the UA Mall. With more than 40 rides and attractions, Spring Fling continues to be the nation’s largest student-run carnival. General admission is $5.

There will be free parking April 9-10 at the parking garages on Highland Avenue, Park Avenue Main Gate, Sixth Street and Tyndall Avenue. On Friday, parking costs $5.


The sun sets over a Ferris wheel at Spring Fling. It is just one of 40 attractions available. (Photo courtesy of Spring Fling)

The sun sets over a Ferris wheel at Spring Fling. It is just one of 40 attractions available. (Photo courtesy of Spring Fling)

Chalk Art Festival

April 9-10

Professional and amateur artists, as well as children and art enthusiasts, will gather to create chalk art during the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance’s third annual festival at the Park Place Mall courtyard, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.

The event is free to the public. Festivities will take place Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Details:                                Art.php

Cyclovia Tucson

April 10

Cyclists, walkers, skaters, skateboarders and any other non-motorized transportation enthusiasts are invited to celebrate a day completely dedicated to them. During Cyclovia, certain roads are closed to car traffic from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. so riders and walkers can enjoy the “open streets.”

This year’s 2.5 mile route will begin in the Lost Barrio district on South Park Avenue at Miles Street, and end at Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. Activity hubs along the way offer entertainment, music, interactive games, demonstrations and food vendors.

The free event is open to the public.


Cyclists enjoy roads closed to motorized traffic during Cyclovia, where riders converge on a 2.5 mile route dedicated to them. (Photo by Mamta Popat)

Cyclists enjoy roads closed to motorized traffic during Cyclovia, where riders converge on a 2.5 mile route dedicated to them. (Photo by Mamta Popat)

Earth Day Festival

April 10

The 22nd annual Earth Day Festival will be held at Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd., from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The free festival will include a parade, live music, food and hands-on activities for children, as well as environmental exhibitions.

The non-motorized parade will begin at 11 a.m. on the west side of Himmel Park and proceed along a short route on Tucson Boulevard and Third Street.


Arizona International

Film Festival

April 14 – May 1

The Arizona International Film Festival, the longest running and largest film festival in the state, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016

This year’s festival will show 30 features and 58 shorts from 25 countries.

Films will be shown at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Admission costs vary.


Pima County Fair

April 17-27

The Pima Country Fair returns for its 103rd visit to the Pima County Fairgrounds. The fair will include new musical entertainment as well as the usual rides that Tucsonans look forward to every year.

Musical acts will include Nelly, MC Magic, Post Malone and P.O.D. Concert admission is included in the price of fair entry tickets.

General admission will be $8 and parking will cost $5. Wristbands for unlimited rides will be available on Thursdays and weekends.


GABA Spring Bike Swap

April 17

The Greater Arizona Bicycling Association will host the second largest bike swap meet in the country and the largest in the southwest from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Seventh Street between Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

The annual event attracts thousands of participants seeking to swap or sell bike parts and accessories.

Bicycles of every description are present and welcome. The event is free to the general public.


Water bottles by the numbers

Water bottles by the numbers


Compiled by Audrie Ford


The number

of disposable water bottles used by the average American

in a year.


The number of

those 167 bottles

that are recycled.

$1 billion

The dollar amount in plastic that’s wasted every year due to low recycling rates.


The amount of money per year spent on getting the recommended eight glasses of water a day from water bottles.


The number of water bottles that can be replaced with one water pitcher filter.


The number of gallons that the average water pitcher can filter in a year.


The number of water bottles it would take to obtain the same water in a year

as the pitcher

filter can make.


The number of cents it takes, daily, to use a water pitcher filter.