On March 19, the Fort Myer Film Festival returns for its fourth annual gala and fete. Whether you’re a serious indie cineaste or just mildly curious, this 5-day film frenzy affords a unique opportunity to meet ascendant filmmakers, aspiring actors and actresses and hundreds of passionately engaged film fans in a small town atmosphere that boasts temperate climes, sun-kissed palms and more historic buildings than you’ll find in one place just about anywhere outside of London, New York or, say, Telluride or Park City.
To be sure, the Fort Myers Film Festival is about the films. FMff Director Eric Raddatz, Assistant Director Melissa DeHaven and a procession of celebrity guests and TGIM audiences previewed, critiqued and voted on candidates virtually every Monday night since August, and more than a dozen local filmmakers share the spotlight with finalists from around the globe. Spanning genres that include feature, documentary, shorts, and a number of special categories, this year’s selections celebrate fresh cinematic voices, tell daring and imaginative stories, ruffle some feathers, and are replete with unexpected plot twists and titillating surprise endings that will stick in your mind for weeks after the festival has come to a close. While diversity is the keynote, all of the films juried into the Fort Myers Film Festival advance the notion that cinema is art.
And art has prepared a place for independent films that offer fresh perspective, new voices and groundbreaking new techniques.
As wonderful as this year’s line-up of indies may prove to be, the films are only part of the story. For fans, the festival represents an opportunity to rub shoulders with a coterie of movie makers, directors, actors and scholars itching to discuss, defend and deconstruct the movies that are playing – whether in at the opening night gala at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center, one of the many after-parties that will dot the downtown Fort Myers River District, or outside, on First Street, surrounded by the century-old shops, hotels and bank buildings erected by the likes of founding fathers Wild Bill Towles, Harvie Heitman and second-generation cattleman Walter Langford.
The 4th Annual Fort Myers Film Festival takes place March 19-23, 2014 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Lee County Alliance at the Arts and theBroadway Palm Dinner Theatre, with parties and dinners taking place in such select and magical venues as Twisted Vine Bistro, Ford’s Garage, The Firestone and Bennett’s Fresh Roast.
To view a short video of last year’s event, please visit http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150579767950565. To buy tickets, please visit www.bbmannpah.com/.
Tickets for the gala are just $19, or $99 for the VIP experience, with film sessions costing just $6 throughout the rest of the festival. For more information, please visithttp://www.facebook.com/events/269050286459230.