Florida 2006.1: Happy and Bashful

Florida 2006.1: Happy and Bashful

In my first 24 hours of the 2006 Florida Film Festival… learning a lot about Orlando. I’ve been to Miami before, but this is my first time in O-Town. It’s a cool town, and the weather is just like Texas, so while some of the out-of-towners are enjoying the “novelty” of the warm… this is normal life for me. Just got back from a lunch with the Juries, and ran into Austin-based filmmaker Nathan Zellner who is here with his short (made with brother David), Redemptitude. Nathan is flying solo this year, but he was sharing stories of last year’s Florida Film Festival, when he and David ventured off to amusement parks like Gator Land… Here’s some mPOP so far:

(The “FIlmmaker Welcome Party” was held on Wednesday night at local club, Rhythm & Flow. Outside the entrance, here is Florida Film Festival Director of Marketing & Development, Shannon Lacek, flanked by her two assistants: Lucas and Betsy. Lucas took good care of me Wednesday.)

(While at the “Filmmaker Welcome Party,” I ran into Jigar Mehta who co-directed the fantastic documentary short, Playing the News. The short, about video game adaptations of the war in Iraq, premiered at SXSW and screened before award-winning doc feature High Score. He’s in Florida with the short, before he heads to Tribeca next.)

(Outside the famous Enzian Theater, the festival’s primary venue, shortly before the panel I was on, “Austin Comes to Orlando.”)

(The panelists of the “Austin Comes to Orlando” session, shortly after our panel. It’s – left to right – Tim League from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mike Akel who directed the great Austin feature Chalk, and myself. We’re holding up wrong name cards, of course. Photo by our great moderator, Brian Clark of indieWIRE.)

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I was just about to blog when I saw yours on the main page. The “Austin Comes to Orlando” forum this morning was great! Man, maybe next year we can hold a party at GatorLand. . .

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