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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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The Festival That Never Quite Closes

AND THE SEA TOOK US

Sunday, November 11-----Following a triumphant Gala Awards Ceremony held last night at the swanky Westin Diplomat Hotel on Hollywood Beach, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival enters its final day with an exciting mix of film highlights.

Included in the final day's schedule are the premieres of two highly anticipated dramatic films. The Florida-shot CANVAS is a tender drama on mental illness, starring indie favorite Joe Pantoliano and Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden. LOCAL COLOR, the auto-biographical memory film by director George Gallo, features standout performances by Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ray Liotta and Rising Star tributee Trevor Morgan.

Two of the strongest documentaries on the Festival schedule will premiere today. The inspiring documentary AND THE SEA TOOK US, about relief efforts following the Christmas 2004 tsunami, is a powerful film about the power of individuals to contribute, with a moving narration by singer/actress Michelle Phillips. The eco-documentary SHARKWATER, a tale that mixes the underwater beauty of the oceans with the greed of shark poachers, is a visually stunning debut effort by master diver and undersea photographer Rob Stewart. At the Festival's fabled Wrap Party, this year to be held at La Playa, award winners from the Festival's competition sections will be announced.

But even when it's over....it's not over. The Festival, which basks in its standing as the world's longest film event, just keeps on going, like the Energizer Bunny, with film premieres on Monday and Tuesday, before taking a rich sampling of Festival highlights to the resort town of Key West later this week.

On Monday, November 12, the Festival presents two screenings of the engrossing documentary TELL ME CUBA. The film, by activist director Megan Williams, puts a microscope to the issue of the 45-year trade and travel embargo that is still in place that prevents the free flow of goods and people between the United States and Cuba. What are the political forces that keep Cuba off-limits to American citizens?

This richly textured investigative documentary explores how political strong-arming by Cuban ex-patriates (particularly here in South Florida) have successfully convinced both Democratic and Republican administrations to extend the ban until at least Cuban strongman Fidel Castro bites the dust. How this policy is undergoing a change with Castro's diminishing health and the passing of generations in the Cuban-American community is one of the fascinating topics explored in this explosive new film. TELL ME CUBA screens on Monday at 6:00pm and again at 8:00pm at the Cinema Paradiso.

On Tuesday, November 13, the Festival presents the Florida premiere of another thought-provoking documentary film. JEWS IN GERMANY, co-directed by local filmmakers Martin Rosenthal and Judith Guskin, takes viewers on an exploratory trip to Germany, as made by members of a local Florida synagogue....the first congregation to organize such a journey. Touring through Munich, Leipzig, Berlin and small rural towns, the film documents the economic and cultural contributions that Jews made to those areas, before the Holocaust wiped out nearly all of their numbers. The film looks beyond the pain of that period to the re-emergence of Jewish life in Germany and the ways that young Germans now regard the scourges of the past. JEWS IN GERMANY screens on Tuesday, November 14 at 5:45pm at the Cinema Paradiso.

Staring on Thursday of this coming week, twenty film highlights from the Festival, with their directors in tow, will move 150 miles south to the island resort of Key West for a 4-day celebration at the Tropic Cinema. This brings the excitement of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival to other parts of the state, and gives filmmakers an opportunity to interact with the artistic Key West audience.


For information on tickets, log on to the Festival website www.fliff.com, call the Festival Hotline (954) 525 3456 or go to the theater box office.

Sandy Mandelberger
Online Festival Dailies 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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