Sailor Twift Studios’ First Film Auto Shop Premiering at FLY Film Festival

Philadelphia-Based Production Studio’s Dark Comedy Named “Official Selection” to Top 100 Film Festival

PHILADELPHIAJune 12, 2017PRLogAUTO SHOP, the highly-anticipated dark comedy from Sailor Twift Studios, has been named an “official selection” to the fourth annual FLY Film Festival in Enid, Oklahoma; a Film Freeway Top 100 reviewed festival.

AUTOSHOPAUTO SHOP is an unrated dark comedy following two polar characters through an increasingly contentious day at an auto repair shop.  It is based in and around the blue-collar Roxborough and Manayunk neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia, where it was partially filmed.

“I am ecstatic to see our (Sailor Twift Studios) first film selected to a top 100 fest,” exclaims AUTO SHOP co-writer/director/producer Alex Gross.  “I can’t wait for this specific audience’s reaction to some of the events that unfold within the film.  Enid, OK’s arts community continues to grow, with an energized audience that I think will be very receptive to the irreverent comedy.”

Joe Zakrzewski and Chris Brooke lead a high-profile cast of Philadelphia-based comedians in their introductory roles on-screen as the two protagonists.  Chris Cotton (The Artie Lange Show), Ryan Shaner and Sonia Zambrana bring their unique comedic style to their characters; all three are full-time comedians in Philadelphia and New York City, with frequent stints at Philly’s famous Helium Comedy Club.  David Grow, Elizabeth Majewski and Mike Paquin complete the cast, and reside in the Roxborough and Manayunk sections of Philadelphia.

“It was important that we were getting supporting actors from Roxborough and Manayunk because the film needed to retain its authenticity with our local audience,” continues Gross.  “I couldn’t be prouder of the work put in by the entire team.  The local community has been overwhelmingly supportive of our projects thus far, and we’re very excited to bring AUTO SHOP to the festival circuit, with plans for a big hometown screening in early 2018.”

The FLY Film Festival is screening AUTO SHOP as part of its programming on Friday, August 4, 2017, and again on Saturday, August 5, 2017.  Showtimes will be announced in the near future.  All showings will be open to the public, and passes can be purchased at

With AUTO SHOP being selected to its first film festival, Sailor Twift Studios will release a scene from the film to their large audience on Twitter on Friday, June 16, 2017.  It will coincide with their popular #XanderBerkeleyFriday promotion that generates more than 30,000 impressions and engagements each week.  The scene will be released from the @SailorTwift13 account.


Sailor Twift Studios is a content production company specializing in entertainment reviews, film and video production, live events, online articles and podcasts.  Founded in 2009 by Alex Gross in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, Sailor Twift Studios is known for an unfiltered local approach to entertainment generation and coverage.

Sailor Twift Studios hosts various multimedia projects, a podcast and street apparel. The podcast, Roxborough Trash Radio – now featuring more than 250 archived episodes – regularly engages with offbeat YouTube personalities and actors from hit television series’ like The Walking Dead.  Their popular social media campaigns engage with people from all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Central Europe and the United Kingdom.  More than one-million unique impressions have been generated by Sailor Twift Studios.

For more information, visit

To interview the cast and crew of the film AUTO SHOP, or for photos, contact Edward Caiazzo at (215) 380-2324, or email


‘Auto Shop’ Director’s Statement

AUTOWARS_smallThroughout my career as an independent filmmaker, I’ve maintained two philosophies: write and produce what you know, and only what you feel you can manage completely autonomously. I’ve seen many filmmakers–to varying success–bite off far more than they can chew; producing high concept action/horror films for relatively no budget, relying on the “Robert Rodriguez” method of budget film-making, never realizing that you don’t need a huge budget when you’ve got Antonio Banderas & Salma Hayek on your side. Always work small-to-large, plan for the worst and expect the best. No film shoot goes without unexpected setbacks, so why give yourself more of a headache by setting unrealistic goals? You’re never going to make Gandhi for a budget of $100…but you can definitely make Kids for zero dollars.

Auto Shop was born out of a brainstorm. We had characters in mind but where should we drop them? The characters were simple archetypes: Abbott and Costello…Laurel and Hardy…a schlubby, but confident dimwit and a lean, clean cut, but not-at-all-confident straight man. At the heart of the story, we wanted to show a role reversal, of sorts, and turn the unlikable jerk into a sympathetic jerk, while turning the quiet fish-out-of-water into the bully. As the characters began to take shape, and the actors (Joe Zakrzewski & Chris Brooke) began to bring their own personalities in, we knew things were going well.

We decided on the setting of a full service auto repair shop because we’ve all had experiences and memories of the filthy and rustic aesthetic of the environment. We all have relatives who own auto shops; which would also make for a convenient array of options when scouting locations.

The story of Auto Shop is really just a series of crises of varying degrees, all culminating in acceptance of fate; an amoral tale of shirking responsibility until it becomes undeniable and unavoidable.

The film’s look and score was meant to give off a melancholy and bleak impression, sort of like the beginning of The Wizard of Oz if Dorothy never left the farm (wait…did she ever leave the farm? Nevermind. You get it). This was the purpose of the black and white. The environment of the auto shop also lends itself surprisingly well to that look, due to the fact that nearly everything in a garage is in grey-scale.

Growing up in Roxborough, PA (Northwest Philly) opened my eyes to an almost infinite array of film location possibilities. The original intent was to shoot at Nick’s Auto Service on Umbria Street, but timing didn’t work out in our favor. Ultimately, we went with Scally’s Auto Repair in Primos, PA who helped us out tremendously. Regardless, I have made it a personal mission of mine to shoot wherever and whenever possible within the Roxborough/Manayunk area in the future.

As a film-maker, I definitely enjoy shooting and editing things that I would like to see. And since I’m not directly the next Star Wars, my indie-movie sensibilities take me down roads like Auto Shop, where my favorite scene is a pivotal moment where one of the key female characters finally gets to speak–striking a down-the-line emotional blow to our main character.

Auto Shop was an undertaking that we all over-prepared for in every way but the ways that wound up setting us back. But the ordeal was a fun challenge, a great experience, and ultimately–a proud accomplishment. And we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Alex Gross (Director/Writer)

Rox Trash Radio, Ep. 27


Dan runs afoul of a Love Nest / Cheesesteak Madness Bracket Announcements / Racist Friends / Wrestlemania 2017 talk / Liverpool’s Closed.



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–Follow today’s crew: @SailorTwift13JoeyHAHAs, @CVLwolf, @Dan_SuperDPS, & @RoxTrashRadio