CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

The 20th Anniversary of the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival has begun !

In terms of Film Festivals, 20 constitutes not only
survival, but conquest. Gregory Von Hausch has
managed to keep this cultural event alive since
mainstream America purchased their first VHS player in
1985 to copy the latest episode of "Miami Vice." As
movie stars, trends and tastes change, the Fort
Lauderdale International Film Festival has managed to
consistently present the South Florida Film community
celebrities, galas and independent films, both foreign
and documentaries.

The most significant documentary of FLIFF is "Children
of the Open City." In post World War II Europe,
Roberto Rosselini created a breakthrough motion
picture, "Open City." This film opened the Neo
Realist movement for international cinema. "Open
City" was shot in documentary style with paid actors
improvising dialog about their city in ruins.
"Children of the Open City" " is both a documentary
and a sequel to Rosselini's original work. The film
presents the poverty inflicted upon Rome after World
War II, with eerie reflection of recent headlines of
the Gulf Coast. "Children of the Open City" is an
inspiring motion picture featuring many of the same
actors 60 years later. This documentary celebrates the
human condition and will be an inspiration to people
in distress, proving that tough times do not last, but
tough people do.

Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar for portraying
Karen Blixen in "Out of Africa.." Streep is
interviewed in "Karen Blixen: Out of this World," a
documentary that presents the life of this adventurer
and author. Through this documentary, we realize that
"Out of Africa" only told one third of Blixen's
extraordinary life. From her return to Africa, Blixen
undertook the pen name Isak Dinesin and wrote best
sellers until the end of her life in the early 1960s.

"At Last" is a drama about a high school romance that
blossoms in middle age. Mark (Martin Donovan) and
Sara (Kelly Lynch) were childhood sweethearts who
never connected. 25 years later, Mark learns some
information about his past, he contacts his old flame.
While the film suffers from cardboard
characterizations and clunky dialog, "At Last"
features some picture postcard scenery of New Orleans"
before Hurricane Katrina.

"Barry Dingle" is an offbeat comedy produced, written,
directed and starring Barry Shurchin. It is too bad
that somebody did not warn Mr. Shurchin that sudden
death by rectal cancer is not funny, but tasteless.
Shurchin allows himself to portray a schmuck son of
Veronica Cartwright, who gives a funny and shrewish
performance as the social climbing mother from Hell.
"Barry Dingle" features some funny conflicts between
the refined and the crude people of politics.

At a fund raiser for his failed presidential campaign,
Senator John Kerry referred to Whoopi Goldberg as one
of the voices of the American Heartland. Whether you
agree with the Senator's assessment or not, the Fort
Lauderdale International Film Festival will honor
Whoopi Goldberg with the career achievement award for
winning awards in "The Color Purple" and "Ghost." At
$15.00 a ticket, Goldberg will hold a special question
and answer session about herself on November 5 at the
Araturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Arts.

Additional celebrities scheduled to attend, November 7
through November 12, include: Joshua Jackson and
Juliette Lewis, for their film "Aurora Borealis,"
which also stars Donald Sutherland and Louise
Fletcher. The film made its world premiere at the 2005
Tribeca Film Festival and makes it Florida Premiere at
FLIFF. Irene Cara will also attend the FLIFF for the
25th Anniversary of the film "Fame;" Kellie Martin
("Life Goes On," "ER") attends as a filmmaker for her
short "Frenching;" For information about date and
times, contact the FLIFF at (954) 525 FILM or visit
the website

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