With the idea of starting a festival by filmmakers for filmmakers in Arizona, independent filmmakers Golan Ramras and Chris LaMont started the festival in 2000 with the help of Program Director Greg Hall and World Cinema Director Slobodan Popovic. Jason Carney has been the Festival Director since 2004. The Festival is run under the auspices of the 501(c)3 non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation. The Phoenix Film Festival is now the largest attended festival in Arizona. In 2013 it had 23,000 attendees. The festival has hosted many notable members of the film industry such as Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Arnold and Danny Trejo, as well as filmmakers Don Roos and Ken Kwapis, and featured Arizona premieres of Happy Endings, Mad Hot Ballroom and Loverboy.