Filmstock Arizona Hosts
These hosts will be taking you through our Filmstock program, while giving you more local color around the local independent film scene! Read more about each of our distinguished hosts here!
Ryan M Pierson – Founder
Ryan Pierson co-founded the festival along with Jeremy Clayton. With a heart for Arizona film, Ryan has contributed much to the heart and soul of this festival, as well as film in Arizona.
Melissa Farley – Actor’s Liaison
Melissa Farley is a resource and point-of-contact for actors involved in events at and surrounding Filmstock.
Angela Merkin Haines
Angela Merkin Haines got her comedy start in Seattle while she was dating a comedian. She realized "I'm way funnier than this idiot. I should do stand up." She dumped the guy and kept the stand up comedy. After moving to Arizona she quickly became a local favorite with her slutty drunken take on the world. Angela does stand up, hosting and acting along with being a member of the Slamcracked comedy webisode gang.
Windy West is a model, actress, and singer. She has been featured on the covers of numerous magazines and is in the cover of ten romance novels. She started out modeling in 2000 then ventured into acting. She has won awards in Hollywood for her work, and had one of the movies she is in show at the Cannes Film Festival. She is also a radio personality on KWSS 93.9FM, WOW99.1FM, and formerly KQ106.7FM. She is one of the co-founders of First Film Entertainment.
Cisco waited until later in life to begin his acting career at the ripe old age of 10, taking his first steps on the boards as the chubbiest, least scary Big Bad Wolf to ever appear on stage. Since then he's appeared with many local theatres, most recently as the lead in the award winning Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity with Stray Cat Theatre. In 2009 he took his first film role and has been in love with the process ever since.
Dima grew up as a Russian immigrant in New York, enamored with American culture that he gleaned from television and music. His outsider perspective - coupled with a lower-class upbringing - fostered a creative childhood that Dima spent drawing, writing stories, making comic books, writing songs, and doing any kind of world-building he could afford. Today he is an LA-based filmmaker/photographer and the recent graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in film production. Prior to USC, Dima studied filmmaking at Vassar College in his home state of New York. “O-Star” is his master’s thesis project at USC, combining his love for film, music, astronomy, Americana, and the hopeless romanticism of the teenage years.
Alejandro Montoya Marin
Alejandro Montoya Marin - born in Texas raised in Mexico, Alejandro went to school for marketing and later moved to Canada to study what he had always wanted to study Film Production at the Vancouver Film School. He later moved to Albuquerque where he has directed 2 short films numerous music videos (including for bands like Sleigh Bells, and Chikita Violenta). He currently is Production Manager at Telemundo. He is currently working on his first feature film and his next short film " Low/Fi".
Kevin R. Phipps
Mr. Phipps began his professional career in the 1990's as a graphic and digital artist working on publications such as X-Men and GI Joe comics. His passion to grow and create a well rounded foundation for himself led him to another pivotal decision which was to author a children's book titled "Hergbert: The Not So Scary Monster", which received several great reviews as well as an impressive fan following.
Also an accomplished Meisner coach, he continually pushes the envelope at all levels to ensure the artistry in his work creates a world that captivates the audience. "Grief" is his latest feature project, written by him, the story digs deep into the idea of surreal reality, similar to David Cronenberg's work. The story revolves around a woman whose death affects 5 different people in five different ways according to the layers of grief.
Caitlin Herst & Cord Nash
Caitlin Herst and Cord Nash have been actors in the Arizona scene for over eight years, having been seen in award winning films such as Night of the Sea Monkey, and Stolen Afternoon. They work primarily at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre in Scottsdale, bringing to life classic plays such as Barefoot in the Park, Sound of Music, and currently, It's a Wonderful Life.
InTranced Hypnosis is their Vegas-Vaudeville style comedy hypnosis show, where they aim to take the audience back in time to the 1920's!
Caitlin and Cord are also Certified Scientific Hypnotherapists as well as Certified Stage Hypnotists. They are currently using hypnotism to bring a revolutionary new acting and directing technique to the mainstream industry.
Whether hosting a red carpet in Hollywood, a charity auction in Las Vegas, or pulling an all-nighter to sew Swarovski on a pageant gown before a big show, one thing can be for certain, Gianna Nicole operates from a place of integrity, growth, and gratitude with herself, her clients, and all of those around her. She in her down time, when not spent with her two daughters, is a motivational speaker. She is an advocate for teens and youth who come from abused and neglected home lives, and also speaks nationwide about anti-bullying, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
Ruben Angelo is an American actor, singer, writer, producer best known for his work around independent film.
Growing up in a fairly musical family, Angelo began his entertainment career at the age of 5. Throughout his life, the love for music and film has provided him with many opportunities to garner roles that have fostered both personal and professional growth. His determination to better understand all aspects of the industry have led to many projects where he has had a chance to challenge himself and grow, including the recent decision to direct in early 2015. With an undying determination to continually improve his abilities as well as a talent for playing many different characters and take projects from start to finish, Ruben Angelo is actor/filmmaker who you will definitely see more of in the future.