News Column

'Skook' film gets Best Narrative Feature at New Orleans festival

October 16, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 16--"Skook," the independent film set in Schuylkill County and New York City, won the Best Narrative Feature award at the New Orleans Film Festival on Sunday.

"Many, many thanks to everyone who contributed to the film," the team that made the film said Sunday via its Facebook page. "We couldn't have done it without ya's!"

The film premiered at 6 p.m. Saturday at the 24th annual film festival, which goes until Thursday, and the winners were announced Sunday during the festival's annual filmmaker luncheon.

The results were also announced via the New Orleans Film Society's Twitter feed.

"Skook" is the tale of Amy, a 20-year-old student of fashion, played by Ashley S. Pishock, the script writer and star of the picture, formerly of Schuylkill Haven, who returns home from school in New York for the holidays and discovers a new perspective on her hometown, herself and even the boy who tormented her in high school. Her schoolmates and family are played by many locals.

The 90-minute film takes place almost entirely in Schuylkill County. Many of the scenes were shot in and around the home of Pishock's mother, Mary, who had to spent the last grueling week of filming on vacation so the movie could take over her house.

The idea for the film came partly from Pischock's experiences, but also from the experiences of others, and it shows the commonalities in a uniquely "Skook" way.

"Skook" is how many younger Schuylkill Countians refer to themselves.

On Tuesday, Pishock said the film team is "very, very happy about it" and that the Saturday showing sold out.

"We also won a $10,000 demo package from Panavision that we can put toward our next film," Pishock said.

Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses.

There will be another showing in New Orleans at 9:45 p.m. today.

"I want to thank my family and everyone local who contributed to the film, the locations that we shot at and all the people that came to be extras," Pishock said. "My family was there, which was great. They helped so much with the film and were so supportive all the way through."

"Skook" was in competition for Best Narrative Feature along with six other films.

Pishock previously said there were more than 200 films at the festival, a mix of feature and short films.

"It (the festival) was a great experience and it was great for the film," Pishock said.

The team is currently applying to other film festivals and wants to have a screening in Pennsylvania, but no details are yet available.

They also shot another film in the area this year called "The Living" that is now being edited.

For more information about "Skook," visit the film's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/skookfilm and for more information about the New Orleans Film Festival, visit www.neworleansfilmsociety.org.

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(c)2013 the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.)

Visit the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.) at republicanherald.com

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