Dallas Sonnier Receives Stodghill Award at Dallas Film Event

Dallas Sonnier Receives Stodghill Award at Dallas Film Event

Dallas Sonnier receives the Stodghill Award at Dallas Film’s 2020 Spotlight Luncheon Jan. 22. The luncheon program will be at Four Corners Brewing Company, 1311 S. Ervay Street in Dallas.

Dr. Carr Vineyard and Mrs. Meghan Vineyard are chairing the luncheon. The Stodghill Award recognizes individuals who have contributed long-term philanthropic efforts for the art of film. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit Dallas Film’s Mercury One High School Film Labs. Six informative and engaging film workshops hope to interest DFW area high school student filmmakers and teachers.

The High School Film Labs are led by filmmakers and film industry professionals. The programs cover different aspects of the entertainment and production industry. Mercury One sponsors the film labs. They are presented at Capital One corporate campus in Plano. Students have the opportunity to present their films at the 2020 Dallas International Film Festival April 16–23.

Stodghill Award Benefits Film Students

“We are thrilled the proceeds from this year’s Spotlight Luncheon will be used to enhance the education of Texas high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in film,” said Johnathan Brownlee, president and CEO of Dallas Film. “Sonnier actually helped establish and became the first student to graduate from a joint venture between film industry and business schools that allowed students to major in the Business of Cinema. Film education is a very relevant issue, and we too recognize the need to create more opportunities for learning if we want to position DFW as an economic hub for film. We need to develop filmmakers at a young age and support them during this critical time in their lives.”

The Stodghill Award was created in honor of Steve and Anne Stodghill. The award is a signature sculpture with design by Brad Oldham Sculpture. A Thespis-like character sits in a movie theater chair, with his comedy and tragedy masks in one hand and a bucket of popcorn in the other.

“Sonnier is a veteran of the entertainment industry. His independent approach to financing and production model have generated some of the most unique independent movies in recent memory,” said Steve Stodghill. “He is a committed architect of change in the Dallas movie scene with the paramount goal of fiercely protecting the singular visionary work of filmmakers.”


Sonnier developed CINESTATE and acquired FANGORIA in 2016, positioning the company into a full-fledged entertainment studio. It features a podcast network, a half dozen published novels, a print-only collectible magazine with a robust circulation, and more than half a dozen features under its belt. In 2019, CINESTATE under FANGORIA filmed “Satanic Panic” and “VFW” in Dallas. In 2020, CINESTATE starts production of two projects. They are Till Death” starring Jason Sudeikis and Evangiline Lilly, and “The Seventh Day” starring Guy Pearce.

Dallas Film

Established as Dallas Film Society in 2006, Dallas Film is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to celebrate the past, present and future of film in our community. The organization provides leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television, and digital media. Through a variety of screenings, educational programs, and festivals, Dallas Film raises awareness of the world’s most approachable and inclusive art form.