2014 Florida Film Festival: Saturday, April 5

FFF2014LogoMy first hurdle this morning was packing my bag. I planned to bring my one purse that is big enough to fit my iPad. But I also wanted to bring a shawl (mostly to save my spot if I need to go to the concession stand or the bathroom), my current knitting project and book to entertain myself between sessions, a notepad in case I want to take any notes in the dark while watching a film, my glasses in case my contacts are irritating my eyes and I want to take them out, and of course all of the standard purse items like keys and phone and wallet. Once I accumulated everything, the purse wasn’t big enough. I brought my messenger bag instead, and since I was bringing it anyway, I tossed in a couple bottles of water. One hint I got from the Passholder sitting next to me last night is that a lot of people pack food, everything from snacks to a full picnic, and that this is an okay thing to do. I wasn’t prepared to do that today, but I might going forward, and if I do the messenger bag is definitely required!

I again arrived far earlier than necessary. I like being early, especially since this is my first year and I don’t know how everything works yet. I chatted with a very nice 80-something volunteer for a while. She’s been volunteering for 18 years! I asked her for hints, and she said that I should not miss “the film about the museum.” She looked furtively around and whispered, “Penis museum.” During orientation, volunteers were shown part of the film, and she thought it was hilarious. I assured her that I was planning to see it.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: Opening Night, Friday, April 4

FFF2014LogoYou might say I was a little excited to attend the opening night of the Florida Film Festival. As a Cinephile passholder, I was guaranteed admission into the sold out program. Nevertheless, I arrived at the theater an hour before the film was scheduled to start. I was the first person in line. I brought a book for the wait, but didn’t read much as I was chatting with volunteers and fellow attendees and generally rubbernecking at the usual mild chaos that accompanies the start of any large event.

Half an hour before show time, the doors opened, and I was the first person to walk into the theater and choose a seat. Another passholder sat next to me and we chatted until the program started. Preliminaries included short welcome speeches by Enzian Theater and Florida Film Festival President Henry Maldonado, Orange County (Florida) Mayor Teresa Jacobs (the County is the primary public sponsor of FFF), and Maylen Dominguez, the Program Manager of the Film Production MFA at Full Sail University (the primary sponsor of FFF).

After the formalities, the lights went down, and the screen lit up.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: The Good News: My Viewing Schedule

FFF2014LogoUsually, if you ask me whether I want the good news or the bad news first, I’ll tell you I want the bad news. Bad news first means I get the opportunity to troubleshoot, and then have some of the sting taken away by the good news. Hearing the good news first means that the good news is not as sweet as it could be. In the back of my mind, I’m always wondering what the bad news is, so the good news loses its luster. And then tarnishes quickly, as I turn my attention to the bad news.

Since I’m a bad news first kind of person, I intended to post my list of films I will not be seeing before I post the list of films I will be seeing. But I needed to work out what I will be seeing first! Since I will be posting details of films I see after the fact, this good news post is mostly a list. You’ll get trailers and details after I see the films. But since I’m not going to see the films on the bad news list, I want that post to be more detailed, along the lines of what I wrote for the Shorts #1. That will take some time. So good news first, for a change.

It took me quite a long time to come up with this schedule. But this is final. I think.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: An Evening with Susan Sarandon

FFF2014LogoI had not checked on the Special Guests section of the Florida Film Festival for over a week. I was on the Festival site to check the details on ticket packages and prices for the post on the Passholders Dinner, and thought I’d check to see if any Special Guests had been added to the line up. SUSAN SARANDON IS GOING TO BE THERE!!!!!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Okay, just give me a minute to calm down.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: Pre-Festival Passholders Dinner

FFF2014LogoLast night, I went the the Pre-Festival Passholders Dinner. This is an unofficial Film Festival event. After I went on about how I’m not a party kind of person, you might be surprised that I would go to an event where I knew no one. But this particular event is my personal best case scenario for meeting people. It was a sit down dinner in a restaurant. Everyone has a known common interest that it it easy to talk about. I did not know until I got there that I would be the only one in attendance who (1) was attending the Film Festival for the first time and (2) did not know anyone else there. If I had known, I might have been more nervous. The group turned out to be friendly, and I am so glad I went.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: Shorts Program 1: Perfect Day

FFF2014LogoAs I was trying to get a handle on which films I would attend, I didn’t know what to do about the shorts. Two-thirds of the films are shorts. I never watch shorts since I do not usually have an opportunity to watch them, and so I do not care about them much. I am a bit torn between seeing shorts because I won’t otherwise have the opportunity to do so and seeing the feature-length films because that’s what I’m more interested in watching.

I knew I was going to do some research on the shorts to decide which I would see. After all, I found that one short from the Preview Party on YouTube. What if I can find all / most of the shorts on YouTube or elsewhere on the web? Then I can see the shorts on my own and see the features during the Festival. Have cake, will eat! If I am going to this degree of research, of course I’m going to share it with you.

 

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2014 Florida Film Festival: Discussions and Parties and Guests, Oh My!

FFF2014LogoI warned you that I would write a couple of angst-filled posts as I contemplated my schedule during the Florida Film Festival. I really like organizing and planning. I’m not always as good at executing those plans, but it doesn’t stop me from making them!  The process of reviewing the options and putting together what I want to do is a sporting event in and of itself, and part of the fun for me.

I’ve always been like this. My family could tell you about our first trip to Walt Disney World, when I was 19 years old. I had the family running back and forth across the parks, based on guidance from The Unofficial Guide to Disney.  I had a written plan in my pocket and as soon as we got off one ride, I would whip it out and declare where we were headed next.  In that case, the plan definitely worked in our favor.  We came during the busiest week of year — between Christmas and New Year’s — and, thanks to my advanced planning, never stood in line longer than about 20 minutes.  Angsting over planning is how I roll.

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