“Bringing the community together for the power of story.”
By Lisa Morgan
“No matter who we are or where we are at, every person has a story to tell. Through the power
of story, we begin to realize how similar we are, not how distant we are. The AMFM Fest (Art Music
Film and More) is about bringing artists together to tell their stories, be it through music, art or film,
meanwhile evoking stories from within our own community.” This is the mission statement of Rich
Henrich, Director of Film4Change and Founder, Co-Director of AMFM Fest, an event providing our desert
community with four days of independent progressive art, music, film and more. 20 emerging bands, 50
independent films, art installations, panels, workshops and parties will all offer endless opportunities to
connect with other independent thinkers, artists, musicians, film makers, designers, curators, creators
and culture makers.
Film4Change is known for producing festivals that partner with communities to inspire positive
change through the arts. The desire of the Cathedral City’s Counsel Members and Mayor DeRosa to
host an event within the city for the sake of social and economic development, combined with the
city’s park and the Mary Pickford Theater’s state of the art facility, created the perfect location and
opportunity for them to launch this event dedicated to the year round community of the Coachella
Valley. They have gone to great pains to make this event accessible to everyone with ticket prices
starting as low as $5 for students and seniors and capping at $199 for full VIP access for all four days.
The AMFM Fest will also be partnering with the Boys and Girls Club and the fantastic media
program at Cathedral City High School. The Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City will enjoy a special
concert by punk rock sisters and Warped Tour veterans, Miracle Dolls who will be giving away their
signed guitars after their performance. Student works from Cathedral City High School’s media program
will be showcased at the Mary Pickford theatre, allowing students to get the full sense of being movie
makers, seeing their work on the big screen complete with the red carpet entry. “Our goal is to develop
opportunities and become the bridge between the creative talents that exist in this valley and the
industry that exists in Hollywood. If you are a super talented kid and you’re not quite finding your way,
you can actually learn and make connections with people on your chosen career path,” shared Henrich.
This first annual festival will be honoring Michael Madsen, the American actor who has
appeared in more than 150 films, most of them small independent films. Many know him from his
iconic rolls in in such films as Reservoir Dogs, Free Willy, Piranhaconda, Donnie Brasco, Kill Bill and Sin
City. Michael will be doing a reading from his latest poetry book, “Expecting Rain” and will be kicking off
the festival with a reception at Mary Pickford Theater and a comedy show presented by Comedy Film
ART: Artists to be showcased at the event include Elizabeth Christopher and Scott Christopher.
The works of Craig Semetko, world renowned photographer of the absurd and ironic will be shown
along with those of Kimberly Zsebe, dubbed “the next iconic artist” by the Huffington Post. There will
also be some interesting, suprise sumbissions from celebrity artists.
MUSIC: Along with Miracle Dolls, a large lineup of 20 bands will be performing throughout the
event. Those bands include Family Wagon, Tramps in Stereo and The Record Company, Billy Watson
and His International Silver String Submarine Band, DJ Alf Alpha, DJ Day, DJ Jopin, Patrick Sweany, The
Lost and Found and Tribesmen. CV Weekly will also be hand selecting and presenting five local bands
(TBA) to be showcased alongside this talented lineup.
FILM: Over 50 independent film artists will be shown, including more surprise celebrity
submissions. Ed Asner and Sean Stone (son of Oliver Stone) will be in attendance for the screening
of “American Road”. This fascinating documentary using Walt Whitman’s poetry as a touchstone,
examines the mystique of “the road” in American literature, art, and music. The film looks at how
the concept has “manifested throughout the nation’s history, inspiring the creation of a lore in which
ramblers, hobos, beatniks, and backpackers become iconic representations of the American soul.” Mark
Twain, Woody Guthrie, Jack Kerouac and others are contextualized within their work and historical
events. Ed Asner is featured as the voice of Walt Whitman while commentary on the road as a symbol
of freedom and transformation is provided by Anne Waldman, John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield
War), J. D. Hall, and historian Adam Green.
Graham Elwood and the Comedy Film Nerds will be screening their recently produced, comedic
documentary, entitled “The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled”. There will also be a sneak peek at “Legalize
It” featuring Willie Nelson. Other great documentaries included will be “Solar Revolution”, “We Win or
We Die” and “Wild Horses and Renegades”, featuring Daryl Hanna, Sheryl Crow and Viggo Mortensen.
A collection of short films will be presented including animation and several films from Slam Dance that
will include a block of horror shorts. Event founder, Rich Henrich and partner, Robert Galarza, Esq. Co-
Director of AMFM Fest, both professional producers, will be showing a sneak peek of their newest film
starring Michael Madsen titled, “Serpent in the Bottle”.
There will be a special program for Patrick Swayze fans called, “Crazy for Swayze”
commemorating the 5th year of the American icon’s early passing wherein there will be a screening of
“Point Break” and “Road House”. The 20th Anniversary of the movie, “Dazed and Confused” will also be
celebrated with a showing of the film that will have a surprise, special guest appearance of a member of
PANELS: Several panels will be scheduled covering important industry topics. Those panels will
include “The Legal Aspects of Film”, “How to Make Music Videos”, “Artists Rights” as well as a “Music
Supervisors” panel for those trying to get their music into film and television.
VOLUNTEER & SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: “We really want the community to participate;
to come to the festival and be able to help us grow and shape this festival as we move forward. We
have opportunities for volunteers to work with bands, artists, and film makers as well as in general
production and street teams. It’s also a great opportunity for sponsors to contribute and be part of this
“I’m really developing a strong component on educational side incorporating my background as
a teacher at Institute of American Indian Arts and Santa Fe University of Art and Design to mentor young
film makers and young creative that are trying to continue doing what they do and become professional
at play,” shared the event founder. “We are always trying to find places where we can gather, that
are accessible financially and logistically, so our community can be exposed to artists and their work in
general. Ultimately it’s really about creating a new story ~ a new story for local artists, for Cathedral City
and for the greater desert community.”
For more information follow AMPM Fest on Facebook or go to their website at www.amfmfest.com.