Home | M.I.F.F. | Press | Screenings | Funny Pages | Under The Bridge | The Ride | The Gasman | CrispLinks




Press Links
September 14, 2002

newlogo_3_00.gif (6097 bytes)
This Page is copyright 2000 FLORIDA TODAY.

September 14, 2002

Festival celebrates quirky films

Attendees bored with Hollywood

By Breuse Hickman

MELBOURNE -- In a county perhaps better known for fish camps than art films, it seemed fitting that the Melbourne Independent Film Festival's guest celebrity was Boss Hogg's deputy sheriff.

But veteran actor and Florida resident James Best didn't attend the weekend festival merely to talk about his stint playing Roscoe P. Coltrane on the low-brow '80s television hit "Dukes of Hazzard."

Instead, Best was in Melbourne to promote his new production company at Orlando's Universal Studios and discuss the future of independent film.

"To tell you the truth, I don't care much for Hollywood," Best told a crowd of about 150 people who had gathered at Melbourne's Henegar Center on Saturday to watch short films and discuss filmmaking with visiting filmmakers.

"Hollywood today figures that if you're older than 30, you're irrelevant. And yet everything Hollywood turns out has been done before. It's ridiculous that films cost $300 million to make with stars getting paid $20 million," he said.

Indeed, the shared sentiment among attending filmmakers was that newer forms of technology – namely high definition video -- will make filmmaking more accessible to those far outside the Hollywood mainstream.

In its fourth year, the film festival -- organized by Melbourne dermatologist Terry Cronin Jr. -- expanded from two to three days, including a Thursday night preview party at Da Kine Diego's Insane Burritos in Satellite Beach. About 100 people, including Best, showed up to the outdoor preview party.

Among them was Ray Serwin, 72, of Melbourne Beach. He enjoyed the films "Bored of the Rings" and "Moon Place" so much that he and his wife, Gay, attended Saturday's festivities at the Henegar Center. He did not care as much for the morning's offering, a mix of American and international shorts that ranged from stylish to quirky.

. "But I'll stick around all day," he said. "I'm going to the VIP party later on."

But the more outrageous short films were exactly what drew 17-year-old Nick Martinolich of Merritt Island. He was part of a packed house of movie goers at Friday's night's portion of the event that took place at Melbourne's Metro Cinema Café as well as Saturday's showings at the Henegar.

"I don't like the stuff that Hollywood puts out that much," he said. "I thought this would be a chance to see a wider range of (filmmaking) styles. We don't get that much around here," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Orlando filmmaker Joann Tyson, 43, felt nervous about showing her short film "Meeting Bob."

"But the crowd seemed to like it," she said. "At least, they applauded and didn't throw eggs."

Filmmaker Jose A. Acosta traveled from Atlanta to the festival where his computer animated film "Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery" was a big hit.

"It's really cool," Acosta said of the Melbourne festival. "It's for a benefit -- a good cause. That's very unusual for film festivals."

Since it's inception, the festival has raised money for Unconditional Love, a local charity for HIV and AIDS patients.



Return to floridatoday.com home page.

Home | M.I.F.F. | Press | Screenings | Funny Pages | Under The Bridge | The Ride | The Gasman | CrispLinks