The Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles was completely packed Wednesday night, October 16th and we were all there for this thing called Estrofest – a screening of two short films geared towards the female sensibility. Being informed of this ahead of time, I did my best to stoke my feminine side to the surface, so I would be more receptive to the evening’s presentation. But as I sat there amongst the jibber jabbering crowd, sucking on a beer and waiting for the show to get on the road, my thoughts turned to all of the nudie bars just down the street. I wondered how many singles I had in my wallet and my feminine side just packed up its shit and left.
But then the show was underway, but not before producer/actress Fiona Kennedy took front and center, introducing herself and the various cast and crew-members peppered amongst the audience. But most importantly, she introduced her partner Shauna Stoddart, who co-starred and co-produced the evening’s featured attraction, Runaway Gossip, with Kennedy, as well as wrote it. The two theatre graduates recently started up their own production company, Princess Productions, in order to produce films with a fresh, feminine voice that breaks the female stereotype in movies. Okay, that’s all cool and everything, but are the films good?
Yes, sir! I’m lucky if I see two good films in a week, but two in one night? I felt like Christmas had come early and I was getting my fanny tickled with a feather by old Santa Clause himself. Kicking off the evening was a film directed by Louis Tocchet called Finding Mr. Right. The short stars Shauna Stoddart and Kaarina Aufranc as lesbian lovers who spend a long, exhausting day interviewing possible sperm donors, looking for that perfect someone, so their kid turns out to be a super citizen with a big dick…or something. Of course, all of the applicants are total meatheads, which provides consistent laughs throughout.
The second short, Runaway Gossip Princess Productions’ first finished project, followed. Directed by Christine Crokos and starring Shauna Stoddart and Fiona Kennedy, this film finds a bride-to-be fleeing her wedding scene when she hears that her fiancé is gay. She splits with her bridesmaids and the group goes out for a night of debauchery.
Both films kept not only myself, but the entire audience highly amused. I don’t know if any stereotypes were broken that evening, but I certainly saw a couple of well made films by a group of people that no doubt belong behind and in front of the camera. I spoke briefly with Fiona Kennedy and she informed me that a feature length version of Runaway Gossip is in the works, so keep your eyes and ears open for this crew.