Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Olive Garden Italian Cinema Night

This Florida Film Festival staple tasting night has become a beloved ritual for Festival attendees. The tasting reception was preceded by "Marriage Italian Style", with Sophia Loren, inside the theater. People arrived at Eden Bar for a tasting of Italian treats and delights courtesy of festival supporter Olive Garden Italian Restaurant. Film tickets were $10 each. The tasting reception was complimentary.

I arrived an hour early to block in the sketch composition before the crowd got too thick. I ordered a Orange Blossom Pilsner and sat at a metal table on the sidelines. Volunteers at the Festival this year are wearing bright red shirts that say "Scan me", with a giant QR code on the back. One volunteer weaved through the crowd with a questionnaire to find out where Festival attendees came from and how much they planned to spend. Another woman approached me and asked if I had a program yet. I didn't, and I assumed she was going to give me the one she was holding. She had a program and was given a second one. She wanted to sell me her second program, I declined.

Mary Ann De Stefano arrived and she was kind enough to get me several tiny sampler plates. There was a crispy toast with crushed tomatoes on top, a sharp white cheese and some olives. As people arrived there were hugs and compliments. After the tasting there was going to be a screening of "Dead Dad" which is the premiere feature film of FSU student, Ken Adachi. Ken developed an urge to complete a feature length film while working primarily in short formats. New to Los Angeles with limited funds, he and his collaborators embraced a grassroots approach and worked tirelessly to make it happen. The result is "Dead Dad", Adachi’s feature film debut. I believe that Ken, his family and friends were at the table next to mine judging from the hearty congratulations.

All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

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