Social notes & news from your friends in The 570
We began this week’s flight with a trip to the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre. Talk about brimming with star power – Lisa Lampanelli, fondly known as “The Queen of Mean,” took to the stage on Saturday night, and John Pinette brought his “Still Hungry” tour to the Diamond City on Sunday night. If you weren’t there, you most likely know someone who was. Check out these numbers: 1,803 laughed it up with Lisa Lampanelli and 1,786 people roared with John Pinette. It’s a very powerful sight to see all those red velvet seats filled with people excited to watch a big show. Perhaps it’s even greater to see them crowding the lobby an hour before show time. The only thing better was hearing their collective laughter.
Things were hopping in Lackawanna County this weekend, too. With the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice in full swing, it was the perfect time for the Zumafilmz team to start taping a documentary on small towns. Zumafilmz is a national, independent film company based in Abilene, Texas. Producers chose Clarks Summit as one of six towns in the United States to be featured in the piece tentatively titled My Place on the Planet.
We caught up with Carol Windham, owner/producer of Zumafilmz, and her team at Everything Natural to learn more about the project. As filmmaker Johnny Braz (who lives in Clarks Green) and producer Ricky Long set up for another shoot in the far corner of the store, Windham explained they were interested in talking to longtime residents of the borough as well as newcomers, local officials, business owners, artists, authors, historians — people with various backgrounds and insights.
They had no trouble finding people to share their experiences of life in this small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. More than 20 local people volunteered to be interviewed, including: Jack Hiddlestone, Francis “Frank” Santoriello, Leah Rudolph, Kristen Neuhausel, Barry Kaplan, Ellen Beechko, Diane Paparo, Karl Neuroth, Mayor Harry Kelly, council member Gerry Carey, Beth Perry, Abigail Peck, Ellen McGlynn, Charles Kampus, Warren Watkins, Oscar Kovaleski, John Marra, Nikki Marra, Dennis Martin, Sharleen Martin, Rosalba Frietas and Charles Charlesworth.
After getting to know the town and its people for a few days, Windham said Clarks Summit far exceeded her expectations. “It’s really an amazing place and I can’t believe all the fascinating people we’ve met here.” While everyone who shared their sentiments about Clarks Summit on camera had a different story to tell, there were common threads in their messages. “Everyone values living in a small town and being able to get to a large town, and everyone really reinforced the ideas I had in the first place about the intelligent, energetic life that goes on in a small town. The Ice Festival is a great backdrop for that,” she said.
In addition to Clarks Summit, the film will feature Social Circle, Ga., Anthony, New Mexico, Clyde, Texas, Port Townsend, Wash., and Greensburg, Kansas.
Zumafilmz will return for another shoot in Clarks Summit in October. The 40-minute film is scheduled for a 2013 release.
In other film news, The Trouble With Cali, directed by actor Paul Sorvino, debuted at the Sedona Film Festival on Tuesday night. (You may recall the film created a great deal of buzz in Lackawanna County long before its completion as the county funded $500,000 for its production). Times-Tribune columnist Chris Kelly was in Sedona this week for the premiere, and he interviewed Mr. Sorvino and his son, Michael Sorvino, who produced and acted in the film. In case you missed it, check it out here.
Electric City and Diamond City’s Reel Reporter Jeff Boam also weighed in on the completion of the film. Check out his interview with WNEP Reporter Dave Bohman here.
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