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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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Film In Focus: FLANNEL PAJAMAS

Friday, October 20----It is a rather unusual career move for a film distributor to transition from buying and selling films to actually making them, but that is exactly what Jeff Lipsky has done. After co-founding October Films (which was bought out by Universal Pictures and eventually morphed into Focus Features) and Lot 47 Films, releasing indie and international gems such as Lars Von Trier's BREAKING THE WAVES, Mike Leigh's SECRETS AND LIES, David Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY, Michael Cuesta's L.I.E. and Zacharias Kunuk's THE FAST RUNNER, Lipsky took a leave of absence from the hardscrabble world of independent film distribution to realize his dreams of being a writer/director.

His debut film, CHILDHOOD'S END (1996), produced by the Open City Films team of Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, is set in an upscale Minneapolis suburb in l993. The tale revolves around three high school graduates and their families: Greg, a bright, handsome youngster who has just landed his first job, at a glitzy magazine; Rebecca, a painfully shy young woman in a perpetual state of profound discomfort; and Denise, a plain-looking, tough-talking girl who's on the verge of accepting her lesbianism. Critics at the time praised the director's nonjudgmental attitude toward his characters, each in desperate search for a place in the world.

Jeff Lipsky

It took nearly ten years for Lipsky to find the financing and finally shoot his follow-up film. FLANNEL PAJAMAS is a kind of American SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (the ultimate relationship film from the ultimate film master Ingmar Bergman) with a dash of Woody Allen and KRAMER VS. KRAMER thrown in. The film mixes honesty, sexiness, sadness, comedy and tragedy in equal measures, being amazingly true to life. The story chronicles the two-year arc of a couple's relationship, from first infatuation through rocky marriage till the ultimate seperation that leaves both people exhausted and unsure about the future and their ability to love again.

The film stars Justin Kirk, a Broadway stage veteran who made a strong impression in Mike Nichol's television adaptation of Tony Kushner's ANGELS IN AMERICA, and now has a choice starring role in the Showtime hit series WEEDS, and Julianne Nicholson, a former model who has been making a name for herself in several independent films, including PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS, KINSEY and TULLY.

Justin Kirk

The film made its world premiere in the competition section of the Sundance Film Festival, where it was hailed for its astute writing, emotional acting and deft direction. With overly sentimental romantic comedies a Hollywood staple, this unique film deals with the subject of romance gone sour in a much more honest and direct way. There is no reconciliation in the final reel---the couple merely retreat to their individual corners, exhausted, insecure but still hopeful that true love is still a possibility for them.

Julianne Nicholson

Lipsky acknowledges the influences of Eric Rohmer and other European film stylists who were not afraid of long takes, multiple close ups and the fascination of two characters on camera simply talking in a room. True to his independent spirit, Lipsky recently announced that he will be distributing the film through his new distribution arm, to make sure that it is given the full attention needed for this small gem of a film to connect with audiences.

Festival attendees can catch a sneak preview before it hits theaters next year at two screenings. FLANNEL PAJAMAS will screen on Saturday, October 21, 6:50pm and Wednesday, October 25, 5:00pm at the Cinema Paradiso. Director Jeff Lipsky will be present at both screening to answer questions and interact with the audience.


Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor

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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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