The Florida Film Festival is here and this year's theme is Original Cinema (think Sin-ema). The official poster holds to the theme with a bitten apple and snake... as do many of the forbidden films.
They have maintained the food and wine portions from last year and actually infused film themes. The dishes at a few of the feasts will be based on the particular chef's favorite films: The Godfather, A River Runs Through It, and King Corn.
This year's special guests include Cat Cora, Ken Russell, and Glenn Close. Cat Cora is known for being the first and only female Iron Chef. She will be the special guest on Friday, March 27th for the Original Cinema & Forbidden Fruit Opening Night Party. The Opening Night film is Management starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, and Woody Harrelson.
An Evening with Ken Russell is Saturday, March 28th featuring his controversial film Crimes of Passion starring Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins. He will be joined by screenwriter and producer Barry Sandler, currently a professor in UCF's film program. The festival will be showing the original uncut version of Crimes of Passion on one of only two known 35mm prints.
Glenn Close will be featured in An Evening With event along with a screening of Fatal Attraction on the closing weekend on Friday, April 3rd.
Another name on the bill is Jon Voight who will be in town for a screening of Midnight Cowboy on Sunday, April 5th. He is doing a quick tour of Florida as he will also be at the Sarasota Film Festival the same weekend.
For information on business and production, you will want to check out some of the forums. All of the forums are free and open to the public, so there is no reason not to participate in the festival.
This year, there are 4 forums as well as the Stop By. Shoot Film. workshops sponsored by Kodak. On either April 1st or 2nd, you can attend a 90 minute class and have the opportunity to shoot on Super 16 with pro instructors. New this year is a third day where you get to tour a local lab/post facility and camera rental house. When you're finished with the program, Kodak provides a DVD of your work. It is free, but you must sign up in advance.
On Wednesday, April 1st, Full Sail is holding an Animation Forum from 1:30-3:00pm at the Enzian. The animators at the forum are Aaron Augenblick (TV's Superjail!, Golden Age), Signe Baumane (Birth, Teat Beat of Sex), and Bill Plympton (Guard Dog, Idiots and Angels).
Thursday, April 2nd brings The Business of Making Movies presented by Karen Marshall of Orlando's own Marshall Entertainment Insurance. The forum will be moderated by director, writer, producer, and former ICM agent Jim Jermanok. They will be joined by local entertainment attorney Larry Haber and Robin Cowie of Blair Witch fame.
There are 2 forums on Friday, April 3rd. The first is the New Frontiers in Distribution Forum presented by the our local and state film commissions. The panel consists of industry experts, including Dan Goldberg, Head of Marketing & Publicity, IFC Festival Direct; Chris Horton, Head of Acquisitions, Cinetic Rights Management; Liz Ogilvie, Head of Marketing & Distribution, IndiePix; and Orly Ravid, VP of Acquisitions & Distribution, Senator Entertainment. They will discuss new ways of getting your film out there. This is 11AM-12:30PM at the Enzian Theater.
The second forum on Friday is the Filmmaker Forum which will be held at the Regal Cinemas starting at 1PM. The panel will be moderated by Chris Gore of Film Threat and comprised of some of the indie filmmakers at this year's festival.
Florida Films in the Festival
The Florida Shorts program, which is a selection of the best films from the Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase in December, is on Saturday, April 4th at 1:30PM. This showcase will screen at the Regal Cinemas in the Winter Park Village. Two of the shorts were originally screened in 2008 at Film Slams. These are Oviedo Chickens and The Adventures of Larry & Tina.
Not that they're the only UCF students with a film at this year's festival, but Erica Harrell and Danny Daneau are presenting a feature The Attic Door (fka A Monster in the Attic). Daneau won a grant from Kane County, Utah and the Utah Film Commission and the student filmmakers were actually able to shoot their Western movie out west. Danny and Erica were invited back out to speak at a panel at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Other Florida based films include The Rock-afire Explosion (Orlando) and Electric Revolution (Miami). Not listed as a Florida film, but directed by Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch), Seventh Moon is the midnight feature on Friday, April 3rd. Also producing on the film were other Blair Witchers Robin Cowie, Gregg Hale, Matt Compton, and Bob Eick.
To see the full lineup of films and events at this year's Florida Film Festival, go to http://www.floridafilmfestival.com.