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By Patty Fantasia
Photos by Patty Fantasia

“Catching On” Caught On at the Nevada Film Festival

The Nevada Film Festival, which was held on November 20th and 21st at the Rampart Hotel in Las Vegas, proved to be a wonderful networking event for many filmmakers, but was particularly special for Gregory Walsh. The Associate Producer attended to see his movie project “Catching On: The Day the World Turned Gay” screened and to accept the Festival’s award for “Best Short”. Although he felt it was “very surreal for us to be there”, Gregory was nonetheless thrilled to travel to Las Vegas from his Boston area home and claim the prize and to witness the positive response the short has been generating.
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Gregory Walsh (on right) with filmmaking team

The film follows young Brian McCabe as he wakes up to a day when the nation is divided by fear that homosexuality will begin spreading across the world…and it does. He tries to protect himself and his loved ones and sort out the situation, while zombie-like lesbians and gays pass along their proclivities through ass grabbing. Gregory describes the movie as a “horror, comedy satire about gays and lesbians taking over in a zombie manner.”

Filmed on a shoestring budget in multiple New England locations, including Fitchburg and Cambridge, MA and parts of Rhode Island, all of the 50 or so actors participating were volunteers and the movie was made during an 11 month period with shooting being spread out over weeks. It was the first official project made by the four novice filmmakers involved including Gregory, who in addition to being Associate Producer also handles all public relations and communications duties. The other three key people on the production team are friends he’s known since attending Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree. Screenwriter Mike Lake, a 2009 Emerson College graduate, originally developed the idea as a short story for a creative writing project. It was turned into a script with assistance from co-screenplay writer and director Nick Pistorino, a recent Fitchburg State College graduate previously known for his You Tube videos, who loved the idea of attempting to expose the stereotypes surrounding gay marriage and the negative connotations being placed on it by society. Nick’s brother Chuck took on the role of producer for the 18 minute short, which was one of 21 films screened at the Nevada Film Festival’s inaugural annual event. For Chuck, since this was his first filmmaking experience, the production turned out to be a true trial by fire.

In addition to its outing in Nevada, the short had its premiere screening earlier this year at the New Hampshire Film Festival, where to Gregory’s delight, it also received a warm reception. The emerging filmmakers are planning to enter “Catching On” at more festivals with the end goal of using it as a calling card in their aspiration of one day being able to produce feature films. They are well aware that this is not going to be easy and will require much perseverance, but they feel they are up to the task. While attending an earlier festival in Boston, a speaker stressed the importance of filmmakers believing in themselves and in their projects and this group of talented young men felt that advice was aimed directly at them, so they’re determined to make this trip to Las Vegas the first of many and not the end of the journey.
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