the buzz

Film/art festival enters homestretch and heads for gala finale

By Curtis Riggs| July 9, 2008

CAVE CREEK - Film and Arts Festival finalists are awaiting the announcement of 41 festival awards in 14 categories. Most of the Coyote Showcases have been held and announcement of the winners is just a week away.
Stephanie Light
The 3rd-annual Coyote Awards Ceremony will be held at Harold's Cave Creek Corral on Saturday July 19 at 6 p.m.

Prior to the gala event on the 19th the short story Coyote Showcase will be held at Hammerhead Jack's on Sunday
July 13 at 4 p.m.

Coyotes are Cave Creek versions of the Oscars, which are awarded to first-place winners along with substantial cash prizes. Winners in the youth and adult divisions of the film, photography, visual arts, original song, choreography, short story and poetry categories will be announced at the July 19 event at Harold's.

The winners of the Bobbi Tunstall Memorial Award for Southwestern Art and the Sonoran Arts League's "Spirit of Cave Creek" award will also be announced at the Harold's ceremony.

Aspiring singer and song-writer Stephanie Light is one of the three finalists in the youth division of the original song category for her song Willow Tree. She joins Melody DiSalvo and Kelly Maroney as the finalists in this division and category. These three aspiring musicians will be vying to win $1,000 for first-place in the category along with the coveted Coyote.

Winners in the adult divisions will receive $1,500.

Light, a 16-year-old junior at Cactus Shadows High School, enjoyed writing her song and the chance to be around other young musicians.

"I met so many cool people through that one Coyote Showcase," Light said, adding she also learned song structure through participating in the festival.

Judges in the original song category told Light they liked the melody of her song. Light's passion and emotions are evident in Willow Tree. However, the connection she establishes with her audience when she performs is what makes Light special as a singer/songwriter.

She offered the example of making eye contact with the crowd, learned from festival board member Patti Windes, to help explain how the festival helped her as an aspiring musician.

"That was very good advice," Light said. "Everyone who entered the festival was extremely enthusiastic. I'm excited about going to Harold's to meet more people."

Light is not surprised Cave Creek holds a film and arts festival, which includes writing categories, based on the number of fine writers and musicians she has met here.

"I'll get great encouragement now that I am a finalist," she said. "If a musician believes they have talent they should continue to perform and get themselves out there."

Photo Caption: Stephanie Light, of Scottsdale, is a finalist for Original Song - Youth with her performance of “Willow Tree.”
Photo by Curtis Riggs