Tag Archives: cinema

Moviegoers Embark on a Story-Gazing Journey during the Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

Films tell tales about personal triumph, deception, challenges, heroes and hilarity. This year’s Florida Film Festival, now in its 27th year, doesn’t disappoint and invites moviegoers to go story gazing while watching 183 films representing 38 countries.

The juried flick fete also features 152 films with premiere status, including 23 world premieres along with celebrity guest appearances, forums and parties at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla. and Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater in Winter Park, Fla. from April 6-15, 2018.

FFF Story Gazing

The 27th Annual Florida Film Festival is April 6-15, 2018.

The Florida Film Festival is accredited as a qualifying festival for the Oscars in the live action short, documentary short and animated short film categories. The winner of the grand jury award in each of these categories will automatically qualify to enter during next year’s Academy Awards.

Oscars

The opening-night film and party is happening on Friday, April 6 at the Enzian Theater and features American Animals, a true story and dramedy about four young men who attempt to steal priceless Audubon publications and rare books from the Transylvania University’s special collections library. The movie stars Blake Jenner who portrays Chas Allen. He also portrayed Ryder Lynn in Glee and Jake in Everybody Wants Some!! Jenner will be making an appearance and discussing American Animals following the screening.

American Animals

Blake Jenner

Actor Blake Jenner will be making an appearance during the Florida Film Festival’s opening-night party.

Clink glasses and say cheers during a champagne reception at 6 p.m. American Animals begins at 7 p.m. and the party follows at 8:30 p.m. The cinematic celebration will include cuisine, cake and craft cocktail and brew samples provided by Eden BarFirefly Kitchen and Bar, Hourglass BrewingNothing Bundt Cakes, Roque PubTen10 Brewing Company and other local bars and restaurants. The film and party admission is $140 and the party only ticket cost $125.

Opening Night Party

Hang out with moviegoers during the Festival Block Party on Saturday, April 7 from 3-5 p.m. at the Winter Park Village’s fountain across from the Regal Cinema. The festivities include free drinks and appetizers from select Winter Park Village restaurants and live entertainment. The free event is for Florida Film Festival ticket and pass holders only. Space is limited.

Florida Film Festival Block Party

Festival Block Party

Indulge yourself in a film and farm-to-table feast during Locally Fresh! on Sunday, April 8 from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The foodie function will include cooking demonstrations and scrumptious samples. Admission is $12. Afterwards, shop for fresh-from-the-field produce and products during a free Farmer’s Market from noon-2:30 p.m. on the lawn next to Eden Bar.

Locally Fresh

If you can’t wait to eat during Locally Fresh!, then enjoy a brunch buffet beforehand from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Eden Bar for $13.99 per person. The brunch will also occur during the last day of the film festival on Sunday, April 15.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

Soar into the sky and find out how a flight attendant orchestrated a scheme to keep smuggled cash from an arms dealer during the film screening of  Jackie Brown, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Pam Grier, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster and Bridget Fonda, on Sunday, April 8 from 7-11 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The movie is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. The event includes a question-and-answer session with Grier following the film screening. General admission is $50 and $125 for a backstage pass, which includes the film screening and meet and greet and photo opportunity afterwards. Please provide your own camera for the photo opportunity.

Jackie Brown Movie Poster

Take a drug-filled ride during the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans, on Friday, April 13 from 7:30-11 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The film is based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr. with whom director Darren Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. The event includes a question-and-answer session with Burstyn after the screening. General admission is $50. Producer-pass holders will have an opportunity to meet the actress following the event.

Requiem for a Dream

Quench your thirst during the free Sip and Savor: Cocktail Tasting on Wednesday, April 11 from 6-8 p.m. at Eden Bar. Sample flavorful concoctions provided by Diageo.

Cocktail Tasting

Tennis, anyone? Watch Björn Borg versus John McEnroe at Wimbledon during the summer of 1980 in the sports drama Borg McEnroe, starring Shia LaBeouf.

Borg McEnroe Photo

Actress Charlize Theron portrays Marlo, a stay-at-home mom who is overwhelmed with taking care of her three children in Tully. Her wealthy brother gifts Marlo with a nanny who she forms a unique bond with that will change both of their lives forever. The screenplay was written by Diablo Cody who also wrote Juno and Young Adult.

Tully

A teenage boy becomes attached to a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete. He steals the horse before the owner disposes it and ends up on an unexpected adventure. The film Lean on Pete also touches on poverty and homelessness in the U.S. Actors Steve Buscemi and Charlie Plummer star in the film.

Lean on Pete

In the mystery thriller Tatterdemalion, Army veteran Fern, who is portrayed by actress Leven Rambin, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and returns home to the Ozarks where she finds an abandoned boy named Cecil in the woods. She searches for clues about the boy’s identity while discovering local folklore of a spirit who appears as a child.

Tatterdemalion

Actor and director Romany Malco (The 40 Year Old VirginWeeds) stars in Prison Logic. He portrays Tijuana Jackson, an aspiring world-renowned motivational speaker who is being followed by a documentary film crew before he’s released from prison. The movie has Florida flavor since it was filmed in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando and features Central Florida local Alkoya Brunson (AtlantaHidden Figures) who portrays Jackson’s sidekick Lil’ Eric. The ex-con’s reality-show dream has to overcome obstacles because of his court-mandated probation in the movie. Actress Regina Hall (Girls Trip, the Scary Movie franchise) portrays Jackson’s parole officer and prospective love interest and Tami Roman (Basketball Wives) rounds out the cast as Jackson’s sister Sharea.

Prison Logic

King Cohen is a documentary about legendary B-movie film producer, director and screenwriter Larry Cohen.

King Cohen3

Watch the RBG documentary about 84-year-old Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, gender equality warrior and pop-culture icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a.k.a. Notorious RBG).

RBG

Music makes its mark during the Florida Film Festival with documentaries about new wave musician, model and actress Grace Jones (Grace Jones: Blindlight and Bami), jam band Magic Music (40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie) and the hardcore group Agnostic Front (The Godfathers of Hardcore).

Agnostic Front’s lead vocalist Roger Miret and director Ian McFarland will be making an appearance and participating in a question-and-answer session following the The Godfathers of Hardcore screening on Saturday, April 7 at 9 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater.

Grace Jones Bloodlight and Bami

The Godfathers of Hardcore Movie Poster

Magic Music

Magic Music

Rollins College alumnus Fred Rogers was the host and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and worked tirelessly for more than three decades to help children understand difficult and complex situations and learn how to deal with their feelings through the use of puppetry. Rogers believed that we were all part of a global neighborhood in which everyone should be valued for being “just the way you are.” The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? pays homage to Rogers who was an advocate for children’s TV programming during most of his life.

Mister Rogers

Local radio personalities and powerhouse podcasters Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis of A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan, are featured in the Mediocre Documentary with Tom and Dan. The film takes the audience behind the scenes of the duo’s live podcast at the Hard Rock Live Orlando. Vann and Dennis will be making an appearance and participating in a question-and-answer session following the screening on Sunday, April 15 at 4:45 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater. The film is on standby.

Tom and Dan

A Mediocre Documentary with Tom and Dan

Eighteen films during this year’s fest feature LBGTQ themes, including The Feels, an amusing romp about a bachelorette party for a lesbian couple.

The Feels

Another movie, The Cakemaker, features a gay baker who is involved in an unusual love triangle with his deceased lover and his widow.

The Cakemaker

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is a documentary about former pimp to the stars Scotty Bowers, 94, who organized clandestine encounters with young men for actors Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cole Porter and Rock Hudson and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

Do I Have Boobs Now? is a documentary short about trans woman and activist Courtney Demone sharing photos of her breast development after undergoing hormone replacement therapy on social media.

Do I Have Boobs Now

TransMilitary features four U.S. transgender military members whom are married to each other and served our country. The documentary showcases their journey since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2011 and during the current political climate since the 2016 presidential election.

TransMilitary

Americana artist Robert Townsend is fascinated with a lady wearing cat-eye glasses in vacation photograph slides and is on a quest to learn more about this happy, mystery woman in the film My Indiana Muse.

My Indiana Muse

Bodacious New York City burlesque dancers strut their stuff in Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story.

Getting Naked A Burlesque Story

Ask the Sexpert is a documentary about 93-year-old Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a sex columnist for the Mumbai Mirror, who responds to readers sexual questions.

Ask the Sexpert

Long Time Coming hits a home run during the Florida Film Festival. The film discusses the monumental victory of the State of Florida’s 1955 Little League Championship, featuring the all-black Pensacola Jaycees versus the Orlando Kiwanis, which was one of the first racially-integrated Little League baseball games in the South. The two team captains reunite to discuss for the first time how that historic night felt for both of them more than six decades ago.

City of Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer will be joining city commissioners and the Edward E. Haddock Jr. Family Foundation to celebrate and honor the baseball teams during A Baseball & Civil Rights Reunion on Tuesday, April 10 from 10-11 a.m. at Lake Lorna Doone Park, located at 1519 W. Church St. in Orlando near the Camping World Stadium.

The documentary is directed by Jon Strong and produced by Common Pictures. The film includes Major League Baseball and civil rights icons Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Andrew Young. The Florida Film Festival will host the film’s world premiere on Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. with an encore screening on Tuesday, April 10 at 3:30 p.m.

Long Time Coming

Former felon turned law school grad Desmond Meade is on a mission to restore voting rights for Florida’s convicted felons who have served their time in the documentary Let My People Vote.

Let My People Vote

Soufra chronicles the culinary journey of Mariam Shaar, a Palestinian born and raised in the Burj El Barajnak refugee camp outside of Beirut, who starts her own catering and food truck business with other Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese women refugees.

Soufra

Feline films include Samantha’s Amazing Acro Cats, a documentary that follows a traveling cat circus and the animated short Catherine about a girl and her cat named Kitty.

Samantha's Amazing Acro Cats

Catherine

The Florida Film Festival closes by celebrating the 75-year anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, a film about an uncle who travels from New York to California to visit his family and is wanted for murder. The psychological thriller was Hitchcock’s favorite film, and is considered one of the King of Suspense’s most chilling movies during his career.

Shadow of a Doubt

Individual film tickets are $11, packages are $50-$180 and passes are $99-$1,500 per person.

Browse the film schedule by downloading the free Florida Film Festival app for iPhones and Android mobile devices. For more information, including the Florida Film Festival schedule, visit floridafilmfestival.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Film Festival, Uncategorized

Giancarlo Esposito Discusses Notorious TV Villain Character and Career at Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

From a man behind the badge to bad guys, actor and director Giancarlo Esposito has played them all for more than 45 years. His acting career began on Broadway when he was 8 years old and he hasn’t looked back.

Esposito’s first film was Taps but his breakout role was his portrayal of Buggin’ Out in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. The movie brought racial barriers in Brooklyn, N.Y. to the forefront on the big screen. His Buggin’ Out character is all about the black man and doesn’t understand why Sal’s Famous Pizzeria doesn’t have African-American pictures hanging next to famous Italian celebs on the restaurant’s walls. He decides to boycott the restaurant with two of his friends and causes chaotic upheaval.

Do the Right Thing Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Do the Right Thing
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

 

This prolific movie is celebrating its 25-year anniversary and was watched by a sold-out crowd during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival, followed by a question-and-answer session with Esposito.

An evening with Giancarlo Esposito. Photo by: Sandra Carr

An evening with Giancarlo Esposito during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

Esposito said, “it has been 25 years since Do the Right Thing was made and I feel so honored to be talking about it. I learned a lot from Spike Lee. He really opened a lot of doors for so many black, white and Asian artists and showed us self expression.”

Do the Right Thing is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.

Do the Right Thing is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.

He shared that Do the Right Thing was filmed on a block in Brooklyn that was completely a mess and burned out with crack houses. The block was transformed into a Hollywood set and the cast were really into it but knew that the area was very violent and recalled hearing gun fire when they filmed at night.

Esposito provided the audience with his insights about film and acting. “There was magic happening and a number of us moved to Brooklyn because we were committed. If you’re in it, then you can’t really judge because you’re serving up and honoring the word and other actors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flop. You have done your best to make it a great experience for all involved and yourself.”

Giancarlo participates in a question-and-answer session during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival. Photo by: Sandra Carr

Giancarlo Esposito participates in a question-and-answer session during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

He shared some humorous moments with Lee, including how he caught the diehard New York Mets fan wearing New York Yankees gear at a Yankee game. He said Lee got tired of the Mets losing and switched to the Yankees because they’re winners.

Spike Lee wearing New York Yankees gear.

Spike Lee wearing New York Yankees gear.

Esposito’s iconic role was portraying evil meth lord Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad. He said the meth lab was real and cost a half-million dollars. He revealed that “Gus was a very complicated guy that cultivated and cared about people. He had the laundry, chicken places and the meth stuff going on and was outstanding and respected and supported humanity.”

Giancarlo Esposito portrayed Gus Fring on AMC's Breaking Bad. Photo credit: Photo by Ursula Coyote/AMC

Giancarlo Esposito portrayed Gus Fring on AMC’s Breaking Bad.
Photo by: Ursula Coyote/AMC

Esposito’s acting career is being recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 29, 2014. His longtime friend Timothy Hutton will be speaking at the ceremony. For more information, visit walkoffame.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Movies Make their Mark on the Big Screen at Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

Cinema takes center stage April 4-13, 2014 during the 23rd annual Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla. and the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater in Winter Park, Fla. The film fete features 170 movies, including animated shorts, documentaries, spotlights, narrative features and shorts and special screenings.

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

This year’s opening-night film was The Trip to Italy, a movie featuring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon portraying hilarious variations of themselves during a Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy.

The Trip to Italy  Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Trip to Italy
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The party continued after the movie with savory flavors by Cask & Larder, Coppola Fine Wines, The Courtesy, Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Enzian & Eden Bar, Hyatt Grand Regency, K Restaurant, The Matador, Olea Grill, Sushi Pop, The Smiling Bison, Tito’s Vodka, Troy & Sons and Whole Foods.

Photo by Michael Liesch

Photo by Michael Liesch

This year the FFF had the Locally Fresh! Farmers Market on Eden Bar’s lawn on Saturday, April 5. Folks had an opportunity to purchase produce from area farmers and vendors.

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Celebrity appearances include actor Giancarlo Esposito during the 25-year anniversary showing of Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing on Sunday, April 6. The actor has also played the notorious meth-lab operator Gustavo “Gus” Fring in Breaking Bad and FBI agent Jack Baer in the Usual Suspects.

Do the Right Thing Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Do the Right Thing
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon will be attending the FFF  at the Enzian Theater on Friday, April 11. Watch her Oscar-winning performance in Dead Man Walking followed by a Q&A with the legendary actress herself. This event is currently on standby. Arrive one hour before the movie for a possible chance of attending this event.

Dead Man Walking  Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Dead Man Walking
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Actor Paul Sorvino portrays a gangster that served time in prison and returns home in the Last I Heard. He will be discussing his career following the screening of Goodfellas on Saturday, April 12.

Last I Heard Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Last I Heard
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Other films include Jude Law’s gritty, cocky and spectacular performance in Dom Hemingway, a film about a thief and safe cracker that serves 12 years in prison and tries to have a new life and re-establish his relationship with his daughter Evelyn.

Dom Hemingway Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Dom Hemingway
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The documentary For No Good Reason looks at cartoonist and illustrator Ralph Steadman’s career and work with GONZO writer Hunter S. Thompson. Actor Johnny Depp interviews Steadman throughout the documentary at his home and studio in England.

For No Good Reason Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

For No Good Reason
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Double , based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novella, starring Jesse Eisenberg as the shy Simon James and his doppelgänger, the reckless and assertive James Simon.

The Double Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Double
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage plays the lead role in Joe, a story based on author Larry Brown’s novel about a hard-living and angry ex-con who is trying to lead a life under the radar until he meets a boy that needs a father figure in his life.

Joe Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Joe
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Animator Bill Plympton returns to the festival with Cheatin’,  a story about a guy and gal  in love that are torn apart by jealousy and lies.

Cheatin' Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Cheatin’
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

A couple goes on a car-ride journey to get married in Forev.

Forev Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Forev
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

People are searching for God and the right religion in American Jesus. From snake handlers to mega-church preachers, there’s a religion type for everyone.

American Jesus Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

American Jesus
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Rock stars dream about making it in the music business but what if it never happens? The Front Man documents New Jersey band the Loaded Poets’ lead vocalist Jim Wood still wanting a record deal after more than 25 years of being a local rock ‘n’ roll star and trying to have a normal life with his wife.

The Front Man Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Front Man
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Experience comedies, dramas, panel discussions, parties and more during this year’s Florida Film Festival. The more you watch, the more you see! Individual film tickets are $9 and $11 and passes and packages are $99-$800 per person. For more information, including the Florida Film Festival schedule and purchasing tickets, visit http://www.floridafilmfestival.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized