FFF 2010 Retrospective

by

Seymour Cassel Reviews the Photo of Him and # 1 Daughter on His Camera

We have just seen our last movie from this year’s FFF.  Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Daughter and I are sitting outdoors at the Eden Bar enjoying dinner and watching movie lovers and filmmakers file in and out of the theatre.  The patter of a gentle rain and a cool breeze bringing the wholesome scent of Florida-in-the-spring create the perfect atmosphere for some final thoughts on this year’s festival.  

Peter Meech, filmmaker of one of our favorite shorts, “Winner: Best Short Film,” stops by our table.  He graciously compliments the blog saying, “you’re a brave, unflinching reviewer. You’re not afraid to run into filmmakers and take the heat or the praise. That’s the way a reviewer has to be. That’s the difference between a film reviewer and a PR flack.” I ask if that is spelled F-L-A-X and he pulls out his handy iphone to confirm that it is F-L-A-C-K. “You’re not going to mention that I had to look this up, are you?” I don’t respond.  This is the second time I’ve run into Peter.  He’s obviously a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor.  He promises he’ll leave a comment on this blog–no doubt after he discovers that I mentioned he had to look up how to spell flack on his iphone!  No worries, Peter, just remember that I revealed I was so stupid I didn’t even recognize the word!  

“I’m very happy, life is good, best weather ever, fabulous films, great performances, wonderful people,” remarks Sigrid Tiedtke, as she walks past our table.  For those who don’t know, Sid’s sister-in-law, Tina Tiedtke, imagined and built the Enzian exactly the way she wanted a theatre to be. Sid continues, “She built this place. We’ve got great attendance and great enthusiasm. I think God loves us.” Sid also points out the fountain and proudly proclaims, she built it–according to Tina’s specifications.  

“Once again, it was a total success,” says Chris Ramsey, who was on the docs selection committee. “The docs were as strong as they’ve ever been. Audience turnout has been [Chris then uses a word that sounded like ‘fabulous’ but was something other than that but means the same thing–see comment below].” One filmmaker, who has been to 30 festivals this year, told Chris this festival was the best.  He’s understandably and justifiably very proud of the work that was done on this year’s festival.  

I ask the woman with Chris about her thoughts on this year’s festival.  “I have nothing to say. I was with Chris and he is just boring. What do you expect from a documentary freak?”, responds Kate Webb. Well, not really. I just made most of that up because she said she had nothing to say.  But as I read it to her, she was quick to agree with it.  She and Chris have a good laugh at my silly antics.  

Henry Maldonado, president of the FFF, is back from the Regal. I ask him if he has any last words on this year’s FFF. “Let’s do it again, real soon,” he says. “How about next year?,” I ask, “well, in between, every single day, the Enzian is open for business. And how appropriate that we end with ‘Psycho'” he says with a twinkle in his eye. I never met a man who loves film more than Henry.  And he has been so helpful to me on this, my first major press assignment.  

Sigrid brings over 74 year old Seymour Cassel, veteran actor of movies and television.  In 1969 Seymour was nominated for an Oscar for his work in “Faces.”  

I ask Seymour his impression of the FFF.  “They have a good selection of film and passionate people who work on the staff. They love watching movies. You don’t get to see those films everywhere. This festival brings you new films and old films.  And many times the old films have more to say then the new ones.” What’s your favorite movie of all time? “I don’t have just one.”  “How about telling me several of them?”  He mentions “Never on Sunday,” “Shane”(“The kid was great!”) and several others that I can’t hear because of all the noise from nearby patrons. 

He speaks with us about Hollywood now and the Hollywood of old. His SAG number is 9336–he’s a member of the old guard.  He talks about being nominated for an Academy Award. (The guy who won was not in a supporting role, he laments.) He speaks of Charlton Heston and John Cassavetes. He claims to have broken in a lot of young Hollywood newcomers in his day.  

I realize I’m speaking with a Hollywood legend. This is what the FFF is all about. Where else can you relax under a beautiful oak tree while having a leisurely chat with someone who has done it all in Hollywood.  

Seymour takes a few photos with Number One Daughter.  I hand him the LanceAroundOrlando business card and he promises to read the blog.  We shake hands and Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Daughter and I get in the car for the quiet ride home.  The festival is over and we are sad. 

It was a great festival this year. 

Tomorrow there will be two final posts on this year’s FFF.  The first will be an interview with Chris Billing of “Lost Sparrow.”  The second will be the announcement of my award for the best movie of this year’s FFF along with the criteria I use when evaluating movies.  You won’t want to miss these posts.

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2 Responses to “FFF 2010 Retrospective”

  1. Chris Ramsey Says:

    LanceAround,

    Just a few things:

    Peter Meech’s short was called “Winner: Best Short Film” and not BEST WORST MOVIE (which was the feature doc that won the Special Jury Award for Documentary Filmmaking).

    And I’m not sure who “Sid” is, but Sigrid Tiedtke is the Enzian’s Chairman of the Board. All of us who love the Enzian and the FFF are big fans of Tiedtke family.

    Lastly, I’m not sure I have ever used the word “fabulous,” but whatever word I did use I’m sure the sentiment was the same.

    Thanks for being at the fest this year, and don’t forget us next year.

    Chris Ramsey

    Keep doing your thing LanceAround!

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Chris: Thank you for helping to set the record straight. I have made the corrections you suggested. I really pride myself on being accurate, so I was disappointed with the many errors I made. And, as you’ll recall, it was awfully loud at the Eden Bar when I was gathering those quotes, so I’m not surprised I missed a few words. Still, I can’t believe I messed up Peter’s movie and Sigrid’s name. Duh! It was a real joy to be a part of the festival this year. I enjoyed getting to spend some time with you and look forward to doing it again next year. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates from LanceAround so you can continue to be part of the conversation all year long!

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