Gangrene sets in at Kenley Amphitheater

Wednesday , August 27, 2014 - 4:18 PM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

The late, great rocker Robert Palmer liked to say and sing that “Some people do what they like.” The local Nybo boys and their childhood buddies are among the even rarer: some people who do what they love.

Each year they put it all together as the Gangrene Film Festival, and showcase it in the dog days of summer, putting together a program of short, funny films, performing arts and whatever else would be fun to do outdoors, on the Ed Kenley Amphitheater stage.

This year’s bouillabaisse of writing, film/video, visual arts, multimedia business projects, and, of course, music, is scheduled the evening of Aug. 29 at Kenley, with a general session at 7 p.m. and a late session at 10.

For the first time, the festival is spilling over into a second day with a creative symposium that will pool the collected knowledge of short film hipsters, authors, directors and a variety of select members of the craft at its avant garde coolest, featuring filmmakers and old school musicians and authors from around the world.

This year will also feature a resurrection of music master Esquivel, the ’50s era big band groover whose music might best be described nowadays as spacey bachelor pad music.

“Imagine Ricky Ricardo of ‘I Love Lucy’ wearing an alien costume,” co-organizer Craig Nybo said last week while giving a guided tour of the mediaRif production company’s Kaysville digs, complete with digital gear, flocks of drums, guitars and assorted clutter necessary to doing media these days.

“If we don’t have it, we’ll make it,” Nybo said, when told that the company’s photo cove is probably the only one in the country that has a drill press in the corner.

Nybo and crew have assembled a 26-member orchestra of local musicians, practicing since November, which will open the Gangrene Film Festival with a 45-minute tribute to band leader/pianist/composer Juan García Esquivel. His unique blend of music — the perfect soundtrack to the era of women’s fluorocarbon-crusted, ratted-high hairdos, and peg-panted men’s suits — will embody this year’s festival theme: “Esquivel.”

Nybo discovered the musician years ago while working his way through the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl records collection his mother rescued from the trash heap.

“We think playing the music that nobody knows but everybody’s heard of will get things off on the right foot,” Nybo said.

The show has grown from a backyard party of about 20 kids, in the age of Super-8 movie cameras and films projected on bed sheets, to digital sound and high-definition images to be presented at Kenley Amphitheater.

“All we’ve done is kept doing what we did as kids,” Nybo said. “It’s still a party and it’s family friendly,” he said, noting that if the films entered in the festival were to be given an MCAA rating, “a few would be PG-13, but most would be G-rated.”

The Saturday symposium is the magic in the mix for 2014, Nybo said, adding that the comment is fact, not brag.

“Anyone interested in filmmaking or music or screenplay writing or book publishing will learn something and at the least make some connections,” he said. “This won’t be one of those stuffy panel discussions like a lot of gatherings like this offer. This will be an intimate, low-key exchange of ideas, and real-world helps from some of the best in the world.”

People involved in the festival are all folks who somehow managed to keep doing what they loved to do as kids, Nybo said. The playtime that is the festival is underwritten by the work of mediaRif. It pays the bills by providing media awareness and company branding or whatever a client wants. The company’s most recent work will soon be seen in upcoming television promotions for the this year’s Utah State Fair.

When asked for the genesis of the film festival’s rather unattractive title, Nybo said it to originated when they were kids doing one of their first films.

“It has nothing to do with gore or horror,” he said. “It’s the name we picked when we were shooting a film years ago in this kind of ghost town. There were all these rusty nails lying around, so we started joking about stepping on one and getting tetanus. So, we naturally thought the perfect name would be the ‘Gangrene and Lockjaw’ production company.”

Nobody stepped on a nail, but the name stuck.

“Lockjaw was dropped because it just made the name too long,” Nybo said. The festival’s website is

To see Gangrene Film Festival shorts from previous years, search YouTube. Here’s your preview of the 2014 program, to play in Layton Aug. 29, with screening order to be determined.

General audience session, 7 p.m.

“Tales that Should Not Be: Paradise Lost,” by Patrick Murphy. Just when you might think we are alone, an occurrence proves that life sparkles beyond the rim of our exploration of space and time.

“Put It In My Soup,” by Delayna Myers. An absurd comedy about a lunch interview gone crazy. Two execs are on the hunt for a new hotshot to add to their growing team. What they find instead is not your typical applicant, a simple man with a knack for bringing out unbridled eccentricity in everyone... through soup.

“The Vaudeville Inn,” by Spencer Frankeberger. Emma, a businesswoman, is stuck at Vaudeville Inn bed and breakfast after her flight was canceled. The manager, Oscar, has some tricks up his sleeve.

• “The Lavatory,” by Micheal Helbert. Tom innocently uses the handicapped stall in the Men’s room and is seized by Agent Callahan and The Lavatory Patrol.

“Skeletiger,” by Craig Nybo. In a world ratcheted up to 11 with the noise of audio/video stimulation, it’s time to consider something new to engage your children. Gloopy presents: Skeletiger.

Late session, 10 p.m.

“Where Are They Now,” by Zack Evans and Kaleb Tuttle. When former child stars Jonathan Jacob Morris, Donnie Diamond, and Corey Campbell are kidnapped and sent back to 1997 by a psychotic ultra-fan, they must solve the mystery of what happened to their famous co-star, Kristy Clarke, before time runs out.

“A Friend in Need,” by Peter Van Oosting. Friendship is tested as the final minutes of Halloween tick away.

“Cop-Doc,” by Victor Verhaeghe. “COP-DOC” is a high concept parody of every cop show and medical drama you’ve ever seen all rolled into one absurd joyride.

“Seed,” by Matt Myler. Mom told you not to swallow the watermelon seeds. One man finds out why.

“Our Urban Wilderness,” by Johnny Winningham. It’s a rewriting of American history, a film that tells the story of a true national icon, the North American shopping cart. From prehistory to present modern day, “Our Urban Wilderness” is a comedic look at American consumerism, as well as a spoof of old 1980s nature documentaries.


  • WHAT: Gangrene Film Festival
  • WHEN: Screening sessions at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Aug. 29
  • WHERE: Ed Kenley Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Drive, Layton
  • TICKETS: $10/session or $15/both; family packages and packages including symposium available;
  • SYMPOSIUM: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 30, meet and greets before and after, Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 West, Layton; $25 if not part of package

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