Joe Gruberman (submitted photo)

Province resident Joe Gruberman is among a handful of Maricopans whose work will be on the silver screen for the Copa Short Film Festival.

Copa Shorts Film Fest
Feb. 17-19
Friday, VIP Party, 8 p.m.
Saturday, films, noon-10:30 p.m.
Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
UltraStar Multi-tainment Center

Gruberman’s film Tobi & Matt will be among the films screened for the grownups at the 8:30 p.m. block on Feb. 18 at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center. He was also a technical advisor and script supervisor for Flight Fright, which screens that afternoon.

Tobi & Matt came about in a sideways manner.

“I had some friends who wanted to make a movie,” Gruberman said. “The partnership dissolved for whatever reason, but in the interim I wrote the script – in an hour or so.”

He decided to make the film himself through his own Bronck’s Park Productions.

In the 10-minute film, an older woman, played by Judith Eisenberg, is grieving the loss of her husband on the one-year anniversary of his death.

“Her friend, seeing she’s very, very sad after a year, takes her out to a bar,” Gruberman said. “She ends up taking a guy home. The movie begins with her waking up with this strange guy.”

Gruberman said he was inspired to write the script so quickly by a couple of ideas – how seniors cope with things and “older people have sexual lives, too.”

Gruberman retired at the age of 48 and has lived in Province for 11 years.

“I wanted to write something for older people about how we older people relate to the world,” he said.

Fright Flight is completely different, sending up a famed “The Twilight Zone” episode starring William Shatner, “Nightmare at 20,000 feet.”

Gruberman helped his friend Jim Politano with the upfront technicals of getting the film together and then tightened the script and made sure everything was filmed.

“We threw in some twists people might not be expecting,” he said.

Gruberman said he wanted to participate in the Copa Shorts Film Fest to show support for a local event.


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

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