Florida Film Festival 32!!
Friday, 04.14.2023, 09:53 PM
169 films representing 38 countries. 155 premieres. These are just numbers, statistics to the uninitiated. But to the Filmmakers, Directors, Actors, Producers, Writers, Editors, Lighting Supervisors, Musicians, Animators, etc. etc., the next ten days represent, in many cases, years of work on their hopes, ideas and dreams. All presented to a live audience of complete strangers, some for the very first time.
Some, undoubtedly, will go on to huge success. Some may launch those associated into the stratosphere. Some may inspire others. Some may fall by the wayside. But every one of the people associated with each of these 169 films deserve praise for beating the odds. They rose to the top of a mountain of more than 2800 submissions, and were chosen by Selection Committees to be part of the 32nd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Once again, cinephiles will gather at the Enzian theater in Maitland, Florida from April 14-23, to share delicious food and specialty beverages from Enzian’s Eden Bar, reminisce with friends whom they may have not seen in a year, and, most of all, speak the language of film. The Very Special Guest this year, well, if I say the word “boombox”, you’ve probably already guessed. It’s John Cusack, who will hold a QnA for with his film Say Anything on April 21.
Another confirmed attendee is Brendan Hall, with his beautiful Competition Documentary Feature, Out There: A National Parks Story. You probably don’t know Hall’s name yet, but you soon will hear it all over the news. In addition to being the Director of Out There, he’s been selected to be a Civilian Astronaut on the dearMoon crew, soon to be orbiting the moon on SpaceX’s Starship. On 4/16 and 4/20 you’ll have a chance to mingle with some soon-to-be-out-of-this-world-greatness.
If you purchased any music in the last 40+ years and read the album liner notes, you may also know the names Russ Kunkel and/or Leland Sklar. They are musicians who have performed and recorded with artists like Carole King, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Linda Rondstadt, Don Henley, Keith Richards, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Phil Collins etc. etc. etc. Bassist legend Sklar will be attendance with Immediate Family, a Competition Documentary Feature Directed by Denny Tedesco. Tedesco previously directed the FFF 2009 musical doc feature The Wrecking Crew, which this reviewer adored.
Immediate Family explores a similar vein – musicians who, for most of their lives, have contributed their talents to bring to life the recorded music you’ve Karaoked. Unlike the Wrecking Crew studio musicians, the Immediate Family musicians also take to the road, backing up the aforementioned Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame musical superstars. Tedesco tells this reviewer that Sklar will definitely be in attendance at the Immediate Family screening April 20.
We’re told that the Directors/Producers of many, if not most of the Festival films, will be in attendance at Fest 32. When you peruse the FFF program, you will definitely recognize some of the on-screen talent. Who knows which of them might show up?
As in years past, most of the showings will be split between the Enzian and Regal Winter Park Village theater. WPV is currently undergoing reconstruction, but we’re told that the theater is ready, revamped and open for business.
What’s good, what’s not so great, what can’t be missed …. it’s all opinions. Just like this piece. Reviews are opinions, and you know what they say about opinions. Remember, this is a Festival, which means what you, or even this reviewer, liked, may not be the same as the person sitting right next to you. The FFF is programmed for everyone. Some of these may make it to the Oscars®, since the FFF is an Oscar®-qualifying festival. Whether you buy a pass using these provided links or go single ticket, just GO! And for some of these lucky ones, you can gloat that you saw it first.
Check back here at In Focus Magazine.com for my reviews!
Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor and Movie Reviewer for In Focus Magazine.com. Her background includes 30+ years of digital editing for WESH2 News and WKMG News. She also edits on-air promotional spots for Matter Of Fact, a highly-rated nationally syndicated news and information program. For more than 30 years she has covered the Florida Film Festival and the World Peace Film Festival, with additional experience in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events at MTV Networks. She was previously a columnist for the Focus In Newspaper.
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