FFF Sneak Preview “Don’t Let Me Drown”

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"Don't Let Me Drown" is one of 10 Films in the Narrative Competition

Members of the press were given a sneak preview of Don’t Let Me Drown, one of the narrative films that will be shown at this year’s Florida Film Festival.

Ever wonder what it would be like…

…To live in one of the low income neighborhoods in New York City?

…To be an illegal immigrant, constantly worried that you’ll be caught and deported?

…To have someone close to you who died in the attack on the World Trade Center?

Don’t Let Me Drown paints a realistic portrait of these issues and the impact they have on a group of teenagers and their families.  It’s not preachy, there are no “messages,” and “happily ever after” does not exist.  There is love, anger, tenderness, concern and perhaps redemption.  The movie is filled with poignant humor and nail biting tension.

It’s gritty, raw, real and definitely not escapist.

The direction is excellent.  Director and co-writer Cruz Angeles uses just the right amount of hand-held shots to suggest realism without making the movie appear amateurish.  The film does not have any huge, bankable stars and introduces two new actors.  The acting is good enough to convey the experiences of the characters.  It drags a little as the characters are established during the first forty-five minutes.  After that, the tempo picks up and the story becomes more engrossing.

In one particular scene in the middle of the movie you watch a family hold each other tight as they watch an earlier home video of their daughter; made before she was killed in the September 11 attack.  It will bring tears to your eyes.

This is the kind of movie that will never find wide release at your local Cineplex.  For those of us who appreciate film as an art form and who love to watch movies not just for entertainment but also for what they can teach us about real life, this movie foots the bill.  It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated and won a couple of other honors at various smaller festivals.

It’s just one of many such movies you can enjoy for only $10 a pop at the Florida Film Festival from April 9 to 18, 2010.  Sometimes the filmmaker will watch a movie with you and be available afterwards to discuss their work.

It’s just one of the many things that make the Florida Film Festival so special.

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