"Off The Map" Set to Open Florida Film Fest
by Eugene Hernandez
The Florida Film Festival will kick off its 2004 event tomorrow night in Orlando with a screening of Campbell Scott's "Off The Map." The event will open at the popular Enzian Theater, the only full-time, nonprofit alternative cinema in Central Florida.
A highlight of the successful regional fest is its solid annual American Independent Competition that includes narrative and documentary features, as well as dramatic, doc, and animated short films. This year's competition will present 14 world premieres, three North American premieres and 26 East Coast premieres.
Set for the narrative compeition are Adam Bhala Lough's "Bomb The System," Bryan Poyser's "Dear Pillow," Debra Granik's "Down to the Bone," Jane Weinstock's "Easy," Mike Bencivenga's "Happy Hour," Ryan Eslinger's "Madness and Genius," Joe Maggio's "Milk & Honey," Allan Mindel's "Milwaukee, Minnesota," Tony Spiridakis' "Noise," and John O'Brien's "Nosey Parker." Featured in the doc competition are Celesta Davis' "Awful Normal," Grover Babcock & Blue Hadeagh's "A Certain Kind of Death," Catherine Tambini & Carlos Sandoval's "Farmingville," Barak Goodman's "The Fight," Kate Davis' "Jockey," Robert Stone's "Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army," Murray Nossel's "Paternal Instinct," Melody Gilbert's "Whole," Eric Chaikin & Julian Petrillo's "Word Wars," and Gregg Brown & Jason Holzman's "Words."
A number of spotlight films are also on tap for this year's event, including Stephen Fry's "Bright Young Things," Michael Winterbottom's "Code 46," Lars von Trier's "Dogville," Wolfgang Becker's "Good Bye, Lenin!," John Crowley's "Intermission," Dagur Kari's "Noi," Gabriele Muccino's "Remember Me," Ambasuren Dava & Luigi Falorni's "The Story of the Weeping Camel," David Mackenzie's "Young Adam," and Nick Willing's "Close Your Eyes."
On March 11, the festival will host a special film distribution forum led by Dick Morris, called by organizers the "Dean of Arthouse booking in the Southeastern United States for over two decades." Morris, from the Sarasota Film Society and Morris Projects, will moderate a chat with Tom Prassis from Sony Pictures Classics, Richard Shamban from Fox Searchlight, Bob Berney from Newmarket, and others. The festival will close with a screening of Fred Zinnemann's "From Here To Eternity."