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Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival


The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) reels out over 200 films from around the globe. Filmmakers and celebrities attend many of the screenings and events during the festival. Parties and gatherings at area "hot spots", on board yachts, and on the beach will provide audiences an opportunity to hob knob with film talent and other movie buffs.

 

 


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A Busy Weekend Of Films, Parties and Special Events

THE SHAPE OF WATER

Friday, October 27----The excitement is certainly revving up at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) this weekend, with a torrent of challenging new films, well-loved classics and enough social events to fatigue even the most energetic party animal.

The Festival has a reputation on the festival circuit as one that is high on discoveries, offering its sophisticated audiences a chance to discover new talents and ponder film themes and techniques. This weekend, the Festival does just that with a mix of challenging documentaries and American indie titles.

With a narration by Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon, the documentary film THE SHAPE OF WATER is indeed a unique experience. Director Kum-Kum Bhavnani takes viewers to the far reaches of Senegal, Israel, Palestine, Brazil and India to uncover courageous women who are struggling for their own rights, and by extension, for human freedoms of all peoples. In each of their communities, these courageous activists encounter discrimination and fight against traditions that have held them back. Covering a wide range of topics from female genital mutilation to protection of the Amazon rainforest to opposing military occupations, this rare and intimate portrait film inspires as it educates. The film screens on Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm at the Cinema Paradiso.

The American independent film movement remains strong and varied, as it is evidenced by two wonderful examples making their debuts at the Festival this weekend. Director Rick Stevenson brings a sense of comic absurdity to his writing and directing debut film EXPIRATION DATE, a dark comedy of romance and the pull of fate. This is the story of Charlie Silvercloud III (played with depressive charm by Robert Guthrie), a young man of Native American descent now living in Seattle. As seen in flashback, Charlie's father and grandfather before him (both also played by Guthrie) both died after being run over by milk trucks on their 25th birthdays. Charlie is now just eight days from his own quarter-century milestone and more or less resigned to his fate, until he meets a quirky young woman (played by the spunky Sascha Knopf) who won't let him die in peace.

Robert Guthrie and Sascha Knopf in EXPIRATION DATE

With its depressive protagonist, woozy central romance, intimations of mortality and aggressively quirky supporting characters (played by movie veterans Dee Wallace Stone and David Keith), the film has the off-kilter charm of such recent hits as GARDEN STATE and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. The film screens on Saturday at 4:00pm at Cinema Paradiso.

The unknowable twists of fate again rears its head in the indie drama TEN TIL NOON, which recently won Best Film prizes at the ReelHeart and San Fernando Valley film festivals. Directed by Scott Storm and written by Paul Osborne, this true indie zeros in on a scant ten minutes of on-screen action, and uncovers a treasure trove of human behavior. Between 11:50 and 12:00 noon, a crime is commited. In the same ten minute period, we follow the lives of ten people, all connected to this crime. As we see each person's point of view, we are propelled closer and closer to the truth of what exactly happened...and why. The film, which stars Alfonso Freeman, the son of Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, and a superb ensemble cast, will screen on Sunday at 8:00pm, with an "after party" to be held at nightclub Posh in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

One of the most anticipated films in the World Cinema section screens on Saturday evening. KARMMA, a Spanish-language drama from Colombian director Orlando Pardo, focuses on the tangled relationships in a single family that unleashes a torrent of emotions. The family's patriarch, Don Juan Diego Valbuena, is a prosperous farmer and cattle breeder. He has two children....Diana, a lonely young woman and Santiago, his eldest son, an ambitious dreamer who wants to make his own fortune. At a birthday party on the ranch to celebrate Don Juan's birthday, the details of a blackmail involving the son's illegal activities in human trafficking sparks the seeds of tragedy that threaten to engulf the entire family. This emotional and incendiary film screens on Saturday evening at 9:30pm at the Cinema Paradiso.

Lovers of classic cinema have an embarassment of riches to choose from this weekend as the Festival salutes a variety of superb films. Two classics released in 1956, and celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, could not be more different. THE KING AND I is the sumptuous adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein evergreen about the court of the King of Siam. The film won several Oscars, including a Best Actor nod for Yul Brynner, who reprised his signature role on the stage for decades afterwards. The film has a free screening on Saturday at noon at the Cinema Paradiso.

Another classic of equal stature is the existential science fiction film INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. A doctor becomes the lone hold-out as his friends and neighbors in a small California town have their bodies invaded by an alien race. Kevin McCarthy brings just the right touch of hysterical paranoia to a tale that many film historians have observed was a veiled social critique of the anti-communist witch hunt hysteria of the 1950s. The film, one of the great works of the pulp director Don Siegel, has a free outdoor screening on Saturday evening at dusk at Huizenga Square in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Julie Andrews, who originated the role of Eliza Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY on the London and Broadway stage but lost out in the filmed adaptation to Audrey Hepburn, was vindicated with a Best Actress Oscar for her film debut in the Disney musical MARY POPPINS (1964). This certifiable classic screens on Saturday morning at 9:30am as part of the Children's Mini-Fest section of the Festival. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, indeed!

Indies, world cinema, cinema classics.....they are all on the menu this weekend as FLIFF moves towards its half-way mark.


Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor

Comments (1)

Rain forest

Well people should fight and do everything they can to stop the destruction of the rain forest like in brazil off road

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About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)


Online Dailies for the 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival , October 23 - November 11, 2009


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