Located within the quaint, little town of Tombstone, Arizona, the best Western filmmakers in the world gather to show off their work and compete for awards to prove who has the chops to make it in the rigorous film industry.

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History and Significance

This is the second edition of the festival, starting its legacy in January of 2023 to rousing success. The festival has gained popularity since and now includes selections from not just local filmmakers, but national and international creators as well, and a screening of a John Ford film that has not seen the light of day in decades.

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The festival is one of a kind, focusing specifically on Western films, which gives genre-specific films a spotlight that they may not have found at a festival like Sundance or Cannes.


After four days of screenings, the judges were ready to select the winners of various awards. While not everyone could come out on top, all the films were met with rousing applause and were celebrated for their creativity, ingenuity, and passion. With that being said, we needed winners, and here are the films that got that far.

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  • Best Locations: Bite the Dust, Dir. Christopher Sheffield
  • Best Costumes: Two Bullets for the Devil, Dir. Manuel Olaya
  • Best Gunfight: Hear Me Scream, Dir. Ella Alise Rogne
  • Best Stunt: Bloody Fury, Dir. Jordan Inconstant
  • Best Set Design: Bite The Dust, Dir. Christopher Sheffield
  • Best Sound: Dark Side of the Moon, Dir. Lincoln Reed
  • Best Cinematography: In the Arena, Dir. James Winegar, Alex Kramer
  • Best Screenplay: Six Days to Die, Dir. Matthew Campagna
  • Best Actress: Marlene Pedersen Chauviere, Hear Me Scream
  • Best Actor: Kellen Garner, Bite the Dust
  • Best Short Film: Bloody Fury, Dir. Jordan Inconstant
  • Best Feature Film: Steppe, Dir. Maxim Akbarov

While only a small amount of films could win the awards in the end, every submission was incredible, showcasing the talent and passion of Western filmmakers and reminding us why we love the shootout-fueled adventures in the desert.

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The Third Annual Tombstone Film Festival will take place on January 23rd-26th, 2025, and submissions open on May 1st of 2024.

LOOK: Which movies were filmed in Arizona?

Stacker compiled a list of movies filmed in Arizona using data from Movie Locations, with additional information about each film collected from IMDb.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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