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You Shoulda Been There

You Shoulda Been There

Finally coming up for air after being submerged in Florida Film Festival mania and wrap-up for the last three weeks, certain highlights and special moments keep popping into my head. The hordes of educators in the audience for the Special Jury Award-winning faux documentary about high school teachers by Mike Akel, CHALK, cracking up from the very first scene. A local priest in attendance at the screening of Joe Cultrera’s HAND OF GOD, a scathing indictment of the Catholic church in Salem, Massachusetts, where the filmmaker’s brother was sexually abused decades ago. While he could not stay for the Q & A, the priest did send Joe an incredibly thoughful letter via e-mail, and Joe in turn agreed to go to Sunday mass before heading back home. In its first screening since Sundance, the wonderfully entertaining crossword puzzle doc, WORDPLAY, had a glorious East Coast Premiere at Enzian, complete with Director Patrick Creadon, Producer Christine O’Malley, and two of its subjects, puzzle constructor Merl Reagle and tournamant finalist Trip Payne (Floridians both), all participating in a spirited and amusing post-film Q & A. And you know how some filmmakers will take a snapshot of the audience during their intro remarks for posterity? Well Steven Kaplan, producer of the Midnight Movie and recent THINKFilm acquisition, FUCK, added a little twist to his request, which the late night audience was more than happy to comply with–a packed house sent their best wishes to director Steve Anderson (who was unable to attend) by shooting him the bird! A Kodak moment if there ever was one.

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