Sunday, June 22, 2014
On April 12th, The Florida Film Festival held its awards ceremony at Rick’s Speakeasy (1114 Solana Avenue, Winter Park FL). Starting at 8:30 there was a complimentary buffet dinner and cash bar. This place was hidden away on an isolated back road full of warehouses. This was an unexpected new discovery. This place smelled of gas and vintage cars were hoisted up for display. The bar and lounge area seemed pretty permanent but this "Speakeasy" must also function as a working garage.
The place was packed full of producers, directors and revelers. Carl Knickerbocker had one of his stop motion, puppetry animated films in the festival. The film is called "The Last Orange Grove in Middle Florida." I kind of like the Tolkenesque title and from now on I will tell people that I sketch Middle Florida.
And the winners were...
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Storytelling was presented to THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST directed by Moon Molson
Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short was presented to AFTERMATH directed by Jeremy Robbins
Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Short was presented to YEARBOOK directed by Bernardo Britto
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short was presented to NOT ANYMORE: A STORY OF REVOLUTION directed by Matthew Vandyke
Audience Award for Best Short Film was presented to FOOL’S DAY directed by Cody Blue Snider
Special Jury Award for Demonstrating the Connection Between Art, Humanity, and Cinema was presented to LEVITATED MASS directed by Doug Pray
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to SLINGSHOT directed by Paul Lazarus
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to SLINGSHOT directed by Paul Lazarus
Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast was presented to CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY directed by Jerzy Rose
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to DRUID PEAK directed by Marni Zelnick
Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to COPENHAGEN directed by Mark Raso
Audience Award for Best International Feature was presented to LE CHEF (France/Spain), directed by Daniel Cohen
Audience Award for Best International Short was presented to B-CLASS CULTURAL HERITAGE (Japan), directed by Yuji Hariu
After the sketch was done, Terry and I went to the neighboring Celluloid Circus. This is his private animatronic amusement park and club which was set up as a haunted house. Terry clutched my hand till it hurt. I was unfazed by most of the animatronic horrors, but one room cause me to completely short circuit. A narrow gang plank extended out inside a spinning tube. The spiraling motion made me think I was going to fall. I leaned hard to my left, let go of Terry's hand and grabbed the handrail. Terry screamed when I let go. This must be what it would feel like to ride inside a spinning dryer. Somehow, we made it across the void. Later, one of the cast members told me I should have closed my eyes to stop the vertigo.
On the whole drive home on I4, the road seamed to be banking hard left and right. The spinning roadway kept swinging like a rickety rope bridge. I dug my fingers into the steering wheel leather and tried to stay in control. When we got home, I couldn't find my car keys. The valet might not have handed them to me. My car is one of those push button starters so the keys don't need to be in the ignition. In a panic I emptied every item out of my art bag. Terry remained calm and she found the keys in the cup holder in my center console.