The 2011 DIY Film Fest Banquet

Cody Blue Snider and Jesse Griffith
(photos courtesy John Chapman)
"It was an absolute blast..." had by all.

Sponsored by, the 2011 DIY Film fest was held in the historic Academy room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Friday night.  About half of the winning filmmakers were on hand, some flying in from the East Coast and others coming down from Portland, Oregon.

Jointly hosting the awards for the Los Angeles Book Festival and the DIY Book Festival, JM Northern Media held its annual banquet honoring the best in DIY books and film.  About an hour's worth of films and trailers were shown during the gala, which featured such DIY supporters as Carl Weathers, Maria Conchita Alonso, Christine Elise and Dee Snider. Snider was on hand to see his 21 year old son Cody Blue receive the Best Film and Best Director award for his haunting "All That Remains."  In his acceptance speech, Cody revealed that his mother did all the makeup and hair for his under $15K super 16mm film, which featured his father playing the role of "Death."

Though one would never recognize the former Rock n Roll and current reality star layered under yards of cloth; the film is about an elderly man's relationship with the Grim Reaper, and how in his current state of dementia, Death has become an all too frequent visitor.  For those who ever wondered what might be going on in the mind of an Alzheimer's patient, this 18 minute breathtaking story filled with memories of a GI who fought valiantly in WWII will give solace to anyone who's ever had a relative suffering from the condition.  Writing, directing and editing this moving piece which was shown at the banquet, the award winning young prodigy Cody Blue Snider shows an immense amount of untapped talent.
Cody giving DIY advice to
a young filmmaker

Wade Wofford was on hand to accept Best Feature award for his film "Perception" which delves into a Roshomon like journey in NYC, and Honorable Mention director Matt McLaughlin brought his DP from his film "Gone" which details a clever twisted journey into a former junkie's world. Director Storme Wood was on hand to accept an award for his film "Paradise Recovered" which explores religious cultism. Best Student director Kaileigh Brielle Martin was on hand for "Be Good To Eddie Lee," and brought her parents to see the CSUN student accept the award. John Tupper showed his hilarious Animated short winner "On The Rise" about a farmer with a unique solution to the methane gas problem, and Jesse Griffith showed a clip from his sci-fi thriller "Cockpit; the Rule of Engagement" which stars veteran actor Ronny Cox.

Christine Elise received the award for Best Debut film, and gave a hilarious Charlie Sheen infused speech, which showed why her film, which features her one woman show "Bathing and the Single Girl," was so well received. Chris Wilson was on hand to accept the Best Comedy Short film for his "James Vs Reality," and the clip he showed from the film brought gasps from the crowd with its amazing special effects.  Chris said in part:

"Thank you for inclusion in the festival and such a wonderful night out. We weren't sure what to expect; it was an absolute blast in a really amazing location, I'm so glad we came down (from Portland) for it. The recognition from the festival was very nice to get... I spent two and a half years working on the film (the effects were very labor intensive), so it's great after all of that work to be included in something like this! 

Jennifer Cron accepted the award for "Mental," a beautifully shot Dramatic short about psychotherapy directed by Joy Gohring.  She spoke of the passion that needs to be involved with making DIY films, and was thrilled with the reception the audience gave the film after watching it.  Alex Bernstein's "The Goat" was also an honorable mention for Best Comic short film, and thanked the DIY Fest for featuring his efforts.

Mikayla and Shayna with
Karean's award
The book winners are listed in at the DIY Convention site, but special thanks to philanthropist and author Daphna Ziman, an award winner for her book "The Gray Zone," who brought a large contingent with her to celebrate the evening. And kudos to the LA Book festival author Karean Chapman, whose award for her book "Who Me? What Should I be?" was accepted in rhyme and song by their daughters Mikayla (12) and Shayna (10).  We hope to see more of them in the book and film world!