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Local filmmaker featured at Alamo

James Laster, left, and Nick Nerangis are shown in a screen grab from the short film "A Little Off the Top," which will premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Wednesday night. Courtesy photo

A movie poster for Joseph Durbin's short film, "Your Last Six Inches, is shown. — Courtesy photo

Joseph Durbin

Two movies filmed in area also star actors who performed at WLT

By Josette Keelor

On Wednesday night, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kernstown will make history when it presents two locally produced short films by Winchester filmmaker Joseph Durbin. The movies that were filmed in the Winchester area also star actors who have performed at Winchester Little Theatre.

"It was really special to me to work with people I worked with on the stage," said Durbin, who also has performed at WLT. "I think the last play I was in over there was I believe in '07." Since then, the 2001 James Wood High School graduate has focused his interests on his production company, Vintage Film Productions LLC.

Now on his fifth film as director and his eighth as producer, Durbin has begun winning awards for his work.

His film "Your Last Six Inches" won five awards at The World Music & Independent Film Festival in August, Durbin said.

In the short film category, the film earned Sally Anderson a win for best supporting actress, writer Wade Byard best screenplay, Nick Matheson best cinematographer and Connie Lamothe best actress.

"I even won best actor," Durbin said.

The film tells the story of a woman who shows up at the home of her half family after reading her father's obituary (his last six inches) in the newspaper.

"This leads to a huge battle between me and my sons," said Anderson.

"It's funny, it's clever," she said. "It goes all over the place."

Wednesday night's event also will premiere a second of Durbin's films, "A Little Off the Top," about an elderly barber on a slippery slope to becoming a serial killer following a seemingly small moral indiscretion.

Durbin said he sent the film to the Sundance Film Festival, but still is waiting to hear the selection results.

"They're both excellent films," said Anderson, who plays the barber's wife in "A Little Off the Top."

"As a theater actress, I'm really rather enjoying the new experience," she said.

"It's fun that films are being made in the area, and it's fun that they're using the people here. ... I think it takes a lot of the nervousness off when you're working with friends you're used to."

The premiere, which will support both theaters, will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and a meet and greet with cast members from both movies.

The films will begin at 7 p.m., each running about 35 minutes with a short intermission, during which time the silent auction will continue. After the films will be a question and answer session followed by the prizes from the auction. Prizes will include a Christmas ice bucket with holiday items, a pen and ink numbered print from WLT, a hand-knitted blanket, a "Collection of Jullian Glass Jr." coffee table book and gift certificates to local businesses.

WLT will receive half of the ticket sales and all of the silent auction proceeds, Durbin said, adding his appreciation to the Alamo for its role in the premiere.

It will be the first time WLT has teamed with the Alamo, said Dolly Vachon, development chair for the board of directors at WLT.

"We're thrilled to be doing it, we're delighted to be doing it," she said.

"It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to come to the premiere of a locally filmed and produced film."

"WLT Caught on Film" will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kernstown at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets will be $10 at the door or online at www.drafthouse.com/winchester. VIP tickets will be $40, with reserved seats, an appetizer and a beverage, through the Winchester Little Theatre box office, at 662-3331.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or


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