Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Program Announcement Party

The 28th annual Florida Film Festival pass and package holders as well as other festival supporters gathered for this kickoff event featuring the announcement of all films, events, and special guests selected for the 2019 Florida Film Festival. The big announcement was that actress Nichelle Nichols best known for her role as Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek series would be featured in the opening night's film titled Women in Motion. Back in the 60s when Star Trek aired it was unheard of for a black woman to featured as a senior member of a crew. After leaving the bridge, she saw a film about the space program that featured all white men. She wondered why there were no women of color in the space program. She spoke to people in charge and ended up becoming the single most influential figure in the recruitment of women and minorities in the filed of space exploration.

The Blair Witch Project was made in 1999 with a budget of $25,000. The premise of the film was that the film makers hiked in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappeared, but their equipment and footage was discovered a year later. The purportedly "recovered footage" was the film the viewer saw. I first saw the Blair Witch Project at the Enzian. The Blair Witch Project grossed nearly $250 million worldwide on a modest budget of $60,000, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time. The Cast and Crew will be returning to the Enzian for an evening to see and discuss the making of the film.

This year the Oscar for the best film went to a film made for Netflix. This might be an indication that audiences have a growing taste for independent films. The Florida Film Festival is an Oscar qualifying film festival. So for the independent film creators, this is an important step in their film's journey.

Following the announcement, trailers were screened. This year there are more films by women filmmakers than ever before. Pam Schwartz wrote comments for each film so we knew what the best films to see might be. Her choices included,  
Chef's Diaries: Scotland, food travel.
Dachra, Investigative reporting about witchcraft.
Dog in the Woods, a magic universe dog.
All is True, Shakespeare's biography and finding his voice after retirement.
The Biggest Little Farm, a couple on a farm faced the hardships of nature.
General Magic, an early computer company dreamed of the pocket cell phone and was ripped off by Apple.
Tungrus, was a hilarious short about a rooster terrorizing a family home in Mumbai.

Of the animated shorts, I liked,
Sister, about memories of an annoying sister. I incorporated this film into my sketch.
Hybrids, looked like  gorgeous epic about life in the ocean with crabs wearing bottle top helmets.
Cerulia, a creepy Burtonesque film.

Beginning April 13, 2019 the Festival will screen 180 films over 10 days. Festival passes and individual tickets for the film Festival are on sale now. It will be 10 days of Film, Food and Friends.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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