FILM CORNER - Laslo Films: The Award-Winning Independent Film Team of America's Pacific Northwest
As a filmmaker, I enjoy a good amount of cinema either it be newly-produced films, classic films that have made an impression upon the different generations, or even the films that attract a certain audience (whether it be art films, cult classics, or the so bad it's good category). As an independent filmmaker, I tend to enjoy films that may not be mainstream films like the ones you see at the cinema (or in the recent times, streaming on subscription platforms), but are seen at film festivals and eventually seen online on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
In the Pacific Northwest part of the United States, within the State of Washington, there is one film team that I am a big fan of since I saw one of their feature films at the 2018 Austin Indie Fest. This film team is known as Laslo Films.
In the past couple of years, Laslo Films has produced over 70 film projects, and over 40 of their films have been selected at numerous film festivals across the globe (with over 20 winning awards in different categories). The team is lead by William Stancik, who writes, directs, and sometimes acts in each of the projects, and J. Gabriel Wagner serves as both the assistant director and actor. Several of the main players (who act in many of the projects along with Wagner) includes Alex Wood, Joe Zumba, and Bennie Rockum.
What makes the films of Laslo Films really interesting is that the style of each film follows a mixture of different genres (either it be horror, comedy, drama, action, historical fiction, science fiction, etc.). Stancik tends to give the films both a very classic and artistic cinema style when it comes to the editing, and the actors put a lot within their characters to make them enjoyable to watch (either they are playing as protagonists or antagonists). Each film tells a unique story that is perfectly fitting for the style and vision that make it feel like either a classic grind-house film to an artistic, philosophical masterpiece.
As mentioned before, I met the Laslo Films team (or the Laslo Boys for short) in 2018 at the 2nd annual Austin Indie Fest where my film, Reaper Island: Redux, was screened with one of their features, Jeremiah's Woods (which has been a personal favorite film of mine among their projects). The screening block itself was enjoyable due to them enjoying my film, and vice versa. When it came to the awards, the Laslo Boys congratulated me when Reaper Island: Redux won the So Bad It's Good award, and I did the same for them when Jeremiah's Woods won the Cult Classic award.
The following year, their 2019 feature, Blank Frank, and an old college film of mine, The Deadly Gala, competed in the Cult Classic category at the 3rd annual Austin Indie Fest. Though neither of them won the category, Blank Frank ended up winning Best Film Noir (which was presented to Joe Zumba), and The Deadly Gala won Best Self Taught.
This year, I (along with another friend of mine, Zachary Hudson) had the honor to collaborate with the Laslo Boys on their short film, Booth, where both Zachary and I shot some outdoor footage here in Texas for the short near New Berlin, Sutherland Springs, and my hometown of Seguin.
When I think of independent cinema, the first thing that always comes to mind is Laslo Films. To this day, they still create amazing films (both shorts and features) that are both creative and entertaining.