Route 66 International Festival gets under way

Many events happening around town, including a film festival

Bob Boze Bell poses with a mural showcasing some of his artwork. It was about to be placed on the panel in the background. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Bob Boze Bell poses with a mural showcasing some of his artwork. It was about to be placed on the panel in the background. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - Rob Chilcoat watched 20 to 30 hours of film before selecting 22 movies, documentaries and shorts for the Cine 66 Kingman Film Festival that runs today through Saturday at the historic Elks Lodge as part of the International Route 66 Festival.

The film festival director wanted anything related to Route 66, and he especially favored films with footage of Kingman.

That's why he chose "Roadhouse 66," a car movie shot entirely in Kingman and Oatman. It stars Willem Dafoe and Judge Reinhold and was released 30 years ago.

He went with "Edge of Eternity," a 1959 movie that follows a deputy (Cornel Wilde) on the trail of a murderer. It shows a climactic encounter at the Grand Canyon rim with footage from Pearce Ferry Road and Route 66 through Oatman.

"Pipes and Sticks on Route 66" documents five Scottish musicians playing bagpipes and drums on a concert tour along America's most famous highway.

"Autumn of Route 66" was produced by an experimental filmmaker using a flip-phone camera to capture highway travels from her dog Rocko's point of view.

"Everything I've seen so far I've loved," said Chilcoat, who also worked on CineVegas Film Festival and Laughlin Film Festival. "I have not been disappointed. I watched a Czech film last night and I loved it."

Four of the films will be making their world premiere, including "The 66 Kid: Raised on the Mother Road," a 26-minute video based on the book written by Kingman native Bob Boze Bell.

"A year ago I got wind of the Route 66 Festival coming to Kingman and I had always wanted to do a book about growing up here and said there couldn't be a better time," Bell said as he set up his booth for today's 2 p.m. book signing at the Powerhouse Visitor Center and Museum. "It's been a very ambitious year."

Bell will show footage that he recorded on an 8-millimeter camera in the 1960s of his father driving a 1949 Ford on "fun runs" between Kingman and Seligman.

Brian Brown of Needles produced four "shorts" - or films under 55 minutes - in the Kingman area. One of his films about a Baptist church in Golden Valley took first place at the Laughlin Film Festival.

"Spirit of 66" is a 50-minute pilot for a 10-part TV series that was scheduled to air in 1992 on PBS in celebration of the highway's 66th anniversary. It has an interview with late Kingman photographer Carlos Elmer.

"The best thing about this piece is a lot of Kingman people are in it," Chilcoat said.

The film festival takes place at the Elks Lodge, 310 N. 4th St., in downtown Kingman.

The cost is $24.66 for one day, $34.66 for two days and $44.66 for all three days, with discounts for seniors and children. Active military with ID are free. Individual films can be seen for $5.66 each for the first two showings of the day and $7.66 after that.