Third annual Flagler Film Festival scheduled for this weekend

click to enlarge Third annual Flagler Film Festival scheduled for this weekend
Extra Innings
The third annual Flagler Film Festival will be held January 15-17 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast, Florida.

The festival is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $5 for a single block, to $10 for a day, to $25 for the entire weekend. But because the event showcases many low-budget and no-budget shorts and features from independent filmmakers, in a no-frills setting, it’s viewed primarily as a networking opportunity for local moviemakers. Indeed, participants view it as a chance to not just meet filmmakers from both in and outside Florida but to get some much-appreciated cinematic encouragement.

“As a first-time filmmaker submitting a comedic short about a condom and doomsday preppers, I was ready to face a lot of rejection,” says Denise De La Vega, a Miami filmmaker whose short movie, January’s Waiting, will screen on Friday. “Imagine my surprise that not only was my film accepted, but it was even nominated for a couple of awards. It’s pretty exciting to be part of a festival that takes a chance by screening indie filmmakers.”

The festival received roughly 150 submissions this year, according to Director Kathie Barry, and will screen 49 of them. The program includes 37 short films and 12 features (films of 40 minutes or more), in 15 themed blocks that include comedy, drama, horror/thriller, documentary, anything goes (light) and anything goes (dark). Although about half the films are from Florida, others come from as far away as Spain, Uganda and Australia. Almost every block will be followed by a Q&A session with the attending filmmakers, and the event will end with an awards ceremony on Sunday night at 10 p.m.

Despite the festival’s emphasis on new filmmakers, at least one actress needs no introduction: Gone with the Wind star Olivia de Havilland, who narrates I Remember Better When I Paint. The 2009 documentary about Alzheimer’s plays on Sunday at 1:45 p.m. Also of note are Ride or Die and Carnet de Gaviota, which were accepted into the Cannes Film Festival.

Though the small convention-room setting will remain the same this year, one difference will be the improved quality of the presentation.

“Last year at Flagler, films were screened from DVD, so in standard-definition format or a maximum resolution of 720 x 480 pixels,” says Orlando filmmaker Dale Metz, who is serving as technical adviser. “This year, the festival encouraged filmmakers to submit their entries with online screeners so that the screening committee could view the films, usually in high-definition format (1280 x 720 pixels or 1920 x 1080 pixels) without having to pass around DVD discs. This is a slightly ‘greener’ approach. …

“A festival that values the way the film looks and sounds during the event screening is likely highly regarded by the filmmaker who put considerable effort and consideration into how their film should look to an audience. [This year] the festival will utilize high-definition projection equipment and a professional live-performance sound system to provide the very best viewing experience given the impromptu theater environment.”

For more information, including a schedule of screenings and a list of films, visit

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