Grizzly Peak Films’ “Catfish Blues” struck gold (or wood) at the 11th Annual Big Island Film Festival in Hawaii. Winning the fest’s Best Family Film, it also managed to scoop up the coveted Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film, which is given an encore screening on the festival’s final night to traditionally its largest crowd.
“Catfish Blues” is the 2nd film from producer and director Michael Worth to win the Audience Choice Award at the festival. In the 2009 Festival, Worth’s critically acclaimed “God’s Ears” also was awarded the Audience Choice Award. “Catfish Blues” is part of Grizzly Peak Films’ “Shoestring Program” that hones actors and filmmakers to rely on their creativity and passion over budgets to achieve greatness in film production. Worth inspired by his own “Super 8mm roots” began seeking and creating smaller story and character focused scripts in an effort to be more prolific in output for all those involved. “How many filmmakers do you know waiting for that ’10 million dollar’ budget to make their ‘epic script’?”, Worth says. “I see it all the time and I’d rather fall on my face in say, two out of eight productions, than just wait around to make that one ‘sure thing’ that usually never comes anyway.”
Several of Grizzly Peak Films’ productions including “Bring Me the Head of Lance Henriksen” and “Seeking Dolly Parton” were produced under this approach. “Catfish Blues” is the most recent to be released featuring mainly a group of unknown actors as well as “under the radar” veterans. This includes Worth’s own grandmother, 94 year old Lois Stewart, in one of the lead roles with up and coming actor, 15 year old Max Tadman.
The Big Island Film Festival is a true filmmaker’s festival operated by Jan and Leo Sears and runs once a year in May on the Kona side of Hawaii.