FFF 2012 Florida Film Festival Official Sneak Preview


Join the Conversation with LanceAround at the 2012 FFF Apr 13-22

For the third year in a row from April 13 -22, 2012 the LanceAroundOrlando blog team is proud to be an official blogger for the annual Florida Film Festival. I go with SunnyStefani and Number One Daughter to the Official Sneak Preview for the FFF, which is held at the Enzian Theatre in Maitland, just north of Orlando.

 The theatre is packed with various journalists, sponsors, volunteers and FFF staffers. Every year the festival grows larger and larger. There’s a palatable buzz in the air that only occurs in an event like this where film lovers of all types get together to share their joy for this remarkable industry.

Just Three More Weeks Before the FFF!

During the Sneak Preview, Henry Maldonado, the President of the FFF, stops by our table to chat with us. I ask him what he wants me to say to our readers. He’s quick to speak about the differences between the FFF and other film festivals. “Sometimes those other festivals are loaded with ******** who are arrogant and stuffy and only interested in sealing their next deal,” he says. “Tell your readers how friendly we are.”  I ask him if I can quote him on that. He gives his trademark impish smile and says, “Maybe you should just say I called them ‘idiots’!”

But his message is clear–this festival is one designed for people who truly love movies and who simply enjoy a great night at the theatre. Tickets to each individual movie or selection of short films are cheap and the films are usually independent movies that can’t be seen at your local multiplex theatre. Henry says that many people who live in the area still don’t know how easy it is to come and see a wonderful film that seldom makes it into wide release.

Henry pauses to get a photo with SunnyStefani and Number One Daughter then moves on to the next table. SunnyStefani will put that photo into her next post.

I manage to get the attention of Matthew Curtis, the Programming Director for both the FFF and the Enzian Theatre. Matthew has seen pretty much every movie that goes through the festival and the Enzian as well as hundreds of others that don’t make it onto the screen. He’s a classic film aficionado who has a remarkable memory for all the movies he’s seen.

This time, I’m going to pin him down. “Give me the straight scoop,” I ask him. “Which is the MUST SEE movie for this year’s festival?”

“Depends on your taste,” comes the almost predictable reply.

Not satisfied, I attempt to nail him down. “Okay, don’t pick one, just give me several that are on the top of your list.”

“Well,” he begins…

Mamitas is a narrative feature. There’s also An Ordinary Family and The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best.” He continues, “Give Up Tomorrow, Salaam Dunk, oh, and Kumare is hilarious.” I nod, I’m finally getting the best of the best–a list of “must see” movies.

But Matthew is only taking a breath. He continues, “The Shorts this year are amazing. Animated Shorts are hilarious. The International Animation are incredible.” I scribble a few notes. Matthew is still talking. “Under African Skies is one you can’t miss. Paul Williams Still Alive is a great documentary.” He’s speaking faster than I can write.

“First Position is a wonderful family film. It’s like Spellbound only with ballet,” he says. “Monsieur Lazhar. Headhunters. These are fun thrillers that keep you guessing…” he continues. I can no longer keep up with all the movies he is recommending. Like most Enzian aficionados, there’s no end to Matthew’s ability to talk about movies.

I suddenly realize he’s not going to stop. It’s pointless anyway. I asked Matthew to give me a list of films not to be missed–but that was unfair! I now understand that, for Matthew, there is no such thing as a film in this festival that isn’t good. He wants everyone to see them all! It makes sense, if you think about it. A submitted film has less than a one in ten chance of making it onto the festival schedule. All the movies in the FFF are worth seeing.

With odds like that, you can’t go wrong. And when you do see a movie at the FFF, be sure to find a member of the LanceAroundOrlando Team and let them know your thoughts about this year’s festival.

Oh, and if you run into Matthew–let him know which film YOU liked the best!

3 Responses to “FFF 2012 Florida Film Festival Official Sneak Preview”

  1. belairjeffircink Says:


    PASS THE SALT, PLEASE starring Fionnula Flanagan & Seymour Cassel. 4 wins in 21 festivals. it’s funny. i wrote it. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: