Friday, 19 July 2013

Family Programming at the Florida Film Festival 2013

By Leslie C. Halpern

The Florida Film Festival, produced by Enzian Theater and held throughout Central Florida each April, offers a record-breaking 170 films this year from more than 1,500 entries from 23 countries. Films include 22 world premieres, four North American premieres, and four United States premieres.

Programming includes competing and non-competing independent films, special screenings, midnight movies, and sidebars. Although most of the films are created for adult audiences and run into the late hours, each year Florida Film Festival also includes matinees with family programming to expose young audiences to the voices of independent filmmakers.

Family Films at Florida Film Festival 2013

Once in a Lullaby

It all started when a public school music teacher posted online videos of his amazing students. This documentary explores how YouTube sensation PS22 Chorus, a group of fifth graders from Staten Island, came to perform at the Academy Awards. Through their individual stories we learn about their miraculous journey from the classroom to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Jonathan Kalafer directed this 85-minute documentary in its Southeast Premiere.

The Painting

Why did the painter leave a chateau, gardens, and forest unfinished in his work of art? That's the question the characters within the painting want answered. Three kinds of characters in various stages of completion inhabit the world inside this painting. The entirely painted Toupins, nearly finished Pafinis, and roughly sketched Reufs live within a caste system established after the abandonment by the painter. Only his return can restore harmony to their world. Starring the voices of Jean Barney, Chloe Berthier, Julien Bouanich, Serge Faliu, Thierry Jahn, and Jean-Francois Laguionie, The Painting was directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie. The animated film, a French Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, runs 78 minutes in its Southeast Premiere.

Fame High

High school students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts (also known as Fame High) struggle to find their voices and survive against the competition in this musical documentary. Individual stories include an actor, a singer, a ballet dancer, and a pianist as they live through the heartbreaks and triumphs of attending one of the most prestigious public arts high schools in the country. Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy, this documentary runs 97 minutes in its Southeast Premiere, and includes English and Korean, with English subtitles.

Special Screening: Brunch with Cary Elwes, Featuring The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

Told as a story within a story, this charming fantasy romance follows the adventures of Buttercup, a beautiful young woman engaged to a repulsive prince. Westley, who previously worked as Buttercup's poor farm boy, returns to her as a dashing pirate and finds his true love (who thought he was dead) has accepted a marriage proposal from someone else. Thus begins a series of painful tests that Westley must endure to reunite with Buttercup. Actor Cary Elwes will be in attendance at this screening. Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, The Princess Bride was directed by Rob Reiner. This romantic comedy from 1987 runs 98 minutes and is rated PG.

For more information about Florida Film Festival, visit the official website.

Leslie C. Halpern wrote the book "Rub, Scrub, Clean the Tub: Funny Children's Poems About Self-Image" (Cricket Cottage Publishing, 2012). Learn more about the book on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RubScrubCleanTheTub. Leslie's poetry also has been published in magazines and anthologies, in addition to being performed during her appearances with the Poetry Ensemble of Orlando. Leslie also authored three nonfiction books about the entertainment industry: "Passionate About Their Work" (BearManor Media, 2010), "Reel Romance" (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2004), and "Dreams on Film" (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003).

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