Documentary based on a New Times cover story premieres this weekend

By Benjamin Leatherman

The star of a New Times cover story is about to become a star of the silver screen.

Back in 2006, I profiled madcap local performance artist and musician Ryan Avery, a cherubic and ultra-gleeful teenage oddity who was a mainstay at downtown Phoenix art galleries like Trunk Space. Avery, who suffered from a glandular deficiency that stunted his growth and gave him the look and voice of a pre-pubescent teen, fronted numerous local punk and experimental bands, as well as an improv comedy troupe and his own talk show.

He's also a lifelong Mormon, and gave up his gonzo antics to go on a two-year mission in Portland, Oregon, where he's been preaching the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since August 2006.

Besides increasing Avery's infamy, the cover story was read by Salt Lake City-based filmmakers Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose, who immediately hopped a plane to Phoenix to grab footage of Avery before he left town, as well as to interview friends and family for the documentary Hi, My Name is Ryan. (Full disclosure: I was also interviewed and appear in the film.)

Since then, the project expanded from a 20-minute short film into an 87-minute feature (that's been described as "Juno-esque") and is scheduled to premiere at the CineVegas Film Festival in Sin City this Saturday and Sunday. The film will also screen on June 19 and June 22 at SILVERDOCS, a documentary festival in Silver Springs, Maryland, run by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel.

Here's the trailer for the flick:

Avery is set to return to the Valley from his mission later this summer, and is planning on picking up where left off. According to Stephanie Carrico, co-owner of Trunk Space, he's scheduled a performance for Labor Day weekend.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >