Stray Fest Will Highlight Local Filmmakers

Kicking off August 25th at Denton`s Alamo Draft House is Stray Fest, a day long festival where filmmakers are showcasing their work alongside creative bands and artists of Denton. For instance, the event will feature bands like Doma Kid, Lizzy Trumbore, and Luna Sol. Admission is free, and if you go to the "Stray Fest 2018" Facebook page you can register in advance for the event through Eventbrite.

Stray Fest, an event created by Jonathan Pinto and Vanessa Cortes, will start at 5 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. with a band playing every hour on the hour. Films will be screened starting at 6 p.m., playing sequentially until 9 p.m., and local artists will be set up in the lobby area with tables, selling prints and showcasing their fine pieces on the Alamo walls.   

“We’re just trying to embolden the extremely vibrant creative community in Denton by giving these young people the audience they deserve,” Pinto said, describing the purpose of the event. “The idea is to bring the community closer to the creatives within it.” Pinto said that creating this event all began when one of his groups of friends worked on a film piece called, “Don`t Touch My Booshimi,” which premiered in a living room. Then, aiming to seek a new venue that was a little larger, they actually landed much larger: Alamo Drafthouse. Realizing how big the space was, Pinto aimed to up this event's game by making it large enough to make it worth the venue. 

“We’ve been grinding all summer talking to sponsors, planning, and promoting the event, and we’re proud to say that we think it’s really going to be a special experience for everyone involved,” Pinto said. “This was originally conceived to showcase our own work, but it’s grown to be an exciting opportunity to showcase the extremely talented young up-and-coming creatives coming out of the area.” 

Starting on paper from lists, outlines, and ideas, this event became tangible as graphics to advertise the event were developed and interest picked up. Once enough people knew what was taking place, Pinto opened up the gate for submissions which led to the hunt for sponsorship, eventually leading to where the event is now: ready to wow film lovers, artists, and musicians alike.   

Artists participating in the event include names like Micayla Garza, Ashley Moudy, Sarah Barnett and Wiley Reid, among others. And as one can expect at any good film festival, Stray Fest will feature some fantastic films. Works such as The Fourth Wall, Sankofa, Junction, Who Killed Frank, Pageant Perfect, Lioness, and more will be included. 

Cortes said that collaborating with Pinto has made her more aware of what it’s like to do business with friends as they work together and encourage one another in order for their creative ideas to flow. Since they know each other so well, Cortes mentioned that it’s been easier to communicate and rely on each other while working on this event. 

“Vanessa is so integral, she’s very business- and project-minded and has really set up so much of the groundwork necessary to get the show together,” Pinto observed. “We really couldn’t have done it without her.”  Pinto also praised Vanessa as she has done an incredible job of organizing, budgeting, and reaching out to people during their partnership in preparing for this event. “I’d like to shout out Elise Garcia, she’s our lead graphic designer, and she’s put in hours of work herself designing the look and feel of Stray Fest,” Pinto said. “We always get compliments on our graphics, and we can’t thank her enough for that.” 

Dentonites can find out more about Stray Fest and purchase tickets by going to their Facebook event page.

Header image photographed by Jakob Owens courtesy of Unsplash
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados