Congratulations to former Florida Film Festival juror and Enzian veteran Raymond De Felitta on winning the Audience Award this past weekend at the just concluded Tribeca Film Festival. Raymond won for his CITY ISLAND, described as a smart family comedy set on a little known island in The Bronx, that stars Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, and Alan Arkin. Apparently it was the first narrative film to win the award (audiences do love their docs!) since TOGETHER in 2003–I’m guessing it was the Chen Kaige TOGETHER that also won the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the Florida Film Festival the same year, not the Lukas Moodysson gem from a couple of years prior.
Some of you may remember Raymond’s hilarious and heartbreaking TWO FAMILY HOUSE (2000), a minor hit at Enzian at the beginning of the decade that featured two wonderful performances by Michael Rispoli and Kelly Macdonald. That one has been on my most underrated list for quite some time and is well worth seeking out. Since that film’s release, there was the Paul Reiser scripted THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS (FFF 2005) with he and Peter Falk, and a terrific jazz documentary called TIS’ AUTUMN: THE SEARCH FOR JACKIE PARIS (2006). But CITY ISLAND is the first narrative feature that De Felitta both wrote and directed in nearly a decade, and I’m confident it was worth the wait. Here’s hoping it gets picked up by a distributor (the award should help) and we all get a chance to see it soon.