Filmstock! The Second Coming!


Observations on an interesting evening by Kimber Leigh – Special to Glendale Daily Planet

James A. Lee - Photo by Bobby Shook

From the moment you stepped foot in the theatre, for the FILMSTOCK SPRING FILM FESTIVAL, 2011, you could feel something new and fresh in the air just as you do on the first day of Spring!

You could see paparazzi from afar and a Red Carpet Style that is new to Phoenix Film Shorts Festivals.

As you enter the theatre you are greeted like a VIP from Jeremy Clayton, Ryan Pierson, and James Lee.

Their style and gratitude for the filmmakers, talent, and crew in Phoenix is unprecedented. After you are greeted your picture is taken behind the Filmstock backdrop with curious onlookers watching the buzz take place.

In another area of the lobby, James Lee was entertaining the crowd in waiting with the film game, “Are you smarter than a filmmaker?” He somehow found his way in my direction and asked me if I wanted to play.

I informed him, I am definitely not smarter than a 5th Grader, and certainly not smarter than a filmmaker. Hence, I did not win the prize money that was being given away to those who answered correctly. It was awesome to see him engage the audience from outside the theatre as well as inside.

Once inside, you are greeted again by, Ryan Pierson, to escort you to your VIP seats. The area was roped off and yes, there were some VIP’S. Dana Skvarek, Director of Crusaders was in the audience with the lovely Sarah Lovell. The theatre had a plush feel to it as the venue has been changed to THE PICTURE SHOW, in Paradise Valley Mall, inside, by the food court.

The acting twins, Dakota and Layla Raffaele - Photo by Bobby Shook

From the moment you take your seats, your experience has already been one of complete magic as you anticipate what is about to play before you on the silver screen.

There were 9 films that showed. I had a few favorites.. first was the short, but very touching story of, Holding Lost, Written and Directed by Rory Pierce, Produced by, Robin Cote and Dp was Richard Foredyce. My all time favorite film as well as everyone else’s in the audience was a film called, “The Broken Heart of Gnocci Bolognese” – Katherine Vondy was the director, and Johanna Parker was the star. This film swept the awards. It was a film out of California and was entirely entertaining, starting off with the title. After the title screened and the audience chuckled a bit, it turned out to be a feel good film containing a very unique message. This film went on to win, BEST OF FEST, BEST ACTOR, and AN AUDIENCE CHOICE.

As the evening ended with the awards ceremony, the night came to a close. As you exited the theatre there many new faces in the crowd. I get the feel that alot more of the audience were not so much the people connected to the films that were made as it were people who enjoy Independent film. Word is getting out there, that this is a viable community of talented and ever growing filmmakers who love what they do.

The next Filmstock will be held In July for their summer venue. I do encourage everyone to come out and see just how hot this venue really is, because once inside, they will turn up the heat once more to entertain like no other!

The festival is not only a great venue to enjoy indie cinema, but an incredible opportunity to meet and socialize with people in our community that write films, direct films, act in films, or just have a passion for the art and science of general filmmaking. – FILMSTOCK

Kimber Leigh