FFF 2015 Day 10 Florida Shorts: Best of Brouhaha

Our Friend, Lee Karlinsky, Stars in Down the Road

Our Friend, Lee Karlinsky, Stars in Down the Road

Dictionary.com translates brouhaha as, “A noisy and overexcited reaction to something.”

Judging from the crowd that was entering the auditorium on this last day of the FFF, there was a lot of noisy and excited reactions. Unlike most festival audiences, there was an energy in this room that felt different. People were boisterously greeting one another from across the room. There was an air of camaraderie. It felt like the TV show Cheers where everyone shouts, “Norm” when the character of Norm enters the bar. This crowd was slightly younger than at most FFF films. This made me a little concerned because, sometimes, the films can be intense. Turns out, several of these youngsters were the stars in these films; including Lee Karlinsky who had a role that was peppered with colorful language; totally inappropriate for a lad of his years. (No worries, I spoke to both his parents, aunt and grandparent after the movie and they all assured me that he was only saying what was in the script; at home he never uses such language!)

The Enzian Theatre sponsors more festivals than just the FFF. One of those is the Brouhaha which features movies made in the state of Flordia. From these, the selection committee picked 13 short films for this program. At first, I was concerned that these films would not be as good as other films that came from a wider network and had not planned to see this program. But after meeting Lee and his mother Erica at two previous programs, there was no way I could skip his movie. Turns out, this was a great shorts program!

Down the Road
This is the film that stars our young friend Lee Karlinsky. Although the production values on this movie are not of the same quality as most of the others, the script featured an amusing plot device (very reminiscent of Back to the Future which the film references.) Young Lee handles a challenging role admirably. Part of the difficulty with the script is that the author had difficulty distinguishing between the older and younger self. Often, the younger self was given a line way too mature for his age. The premise of the film helped the audience past these bumps, however, creating an amusing and likeable short.

Beer Battle
An antiquated law in Florida makes it illegal to sell beer in a quart bottle. Ironically, you can sell it in smaller bottles and larger bottles. This creates an issue for local breweries who normally dispense their wares for the customer into a reusable bottle that is traditionally in a size which is illegal. The documentary accuses the established beverage industry of using political power to keep the law on the books.

My Verse
Full Sail University professor Wilson Santos has created a beautifully moving film where he reads a poem he’s written while showing film clips of disadvantaged people around the world. The poem encourages the listener to get involved. Wilson does not tout any one specific charity. Rather, he encourages viewers to research and select a reputable one.

Broken: Rock, Paper, Scissors
This is one of those films where it is essential that you know the title before you watch it. Since I missed the title, I assumed one of the characters was simply a knock off of Edward Scissorhands. I also had no idea why one of the other characters was injured every  time he tried to help. Of course, he was “Rock” and she was “Paper.” In the end…well, this one is poignant enough that I encourage you to see it for yourself. Created at Ringling College of Art and Design, the alma mater of our NumberTwoSon.

Kung Fu Crab
Also from Ringling, this cute short features a Kung Fu Crab, a pet hermit, who is quite capable of inflicting damage on his owner who decided to make a crab cake!

Life in Darkness
Excellent acting and production values in this short overcome a weak script. Two brothers are forced to deal with a difficult past and a very uncertain present.

Death Has a Son
Would the Angel of Death trade sexual favors to spare the life of a woman? Could he conceive a son? Just, exactly, how would that relationship go? The amusing film was only hampered by the reality that Death kills everyone he touches…so he can’t touch his son. But, then again, it never shows how the son was conceived???


There’s Lots More Where These Came From

Abandoned Love
Over 100 abandoned cats are lucky enough to find sanctuary at Cat Tail Corner in DeLeon Springs, FL. However, un-neighborly neighbors contact the authorities with complaints. How will the good hearted Kristy deal with the $80,000 in fines she is assessed? Does she have to close? If you can’t see this movie, I’ve given you enough information to at least Google her. Great documentary.

In our opinion, this was the best film of this program. A tight, well plotted script combined with exceptional acting and great production values made this tense thriller captivating all the way up to its surprise ending.

Billy the Fetus
Although the production values were not as great in this film, the acting and humorous script were enough to make this one of the more memorable of today’s shorts. You may never look at abortion the same way after seeing this film. Then again, based on the Q & A with the director, that might have been the intention…

Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou
Another CGI short from Ringling, this one is the amusing story of a luckless young man and how his interactions with a charmed young lady create the perfect pairing.

Of Mice and Moon
The final Ringling CGI short is a very brief and cute ditty about a father mouse who helps his young son discover whether or not the moon has cheese.

Dan Behind His Eyes

Loving Father, Doting Daughter

Loving Father, Doting Daughter

The most emotional of today’s shorts, this documentary tells the story of Dan Ellis, a successful businessman who contracted ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease.) A total quadriplegic, he learns to paint by using a computer assistant device and telling his 13 year old daughter which colors to mix and how to create the paintings. Samples of his artwork were on display outside the theatre. Very moving and well done doc.

Filmmaker Q & A
Since these were all Florida films, there was a disproportionately larger number of filmmakers in attendance. And that does not include all the actors, technicians and other support staff present.

I asked Ariel Zengotita if he intended his film, Billy the Fetus, to be an anti-abortion film and if he would be okay should the Catholic League want to promote his movie.

He said that the project began as just a humorous exploration, but the more and more he thought about it, the more he became passionate about the subject matter. Later, at the concession stand, we ran into Ariel and he shared with us his parents had actually considered aborting him. Mrs. LanceAround shared that the woman sitting beside her at the theatre sobbed during the entire film.

Both David DeRienzo and Ariel Zengotita gave a shout out to the young actors in their movie, both of whom were present. One of them is our friend Lee Karlinsky who David said got the role when the original person he cast had to attend a bar mitzvah.

Wilson Santos refused my request to quote something from his latest poem, but he did let the audience know he was doing a reading and another screening of his film at a local venue. Unfortunately, I did not get the time or place.

Sarah Allsup told us that the woman in her film who saves cats continues this service. She provided contact information if anyone wanted to help her cover the $50/day cost for cat food.

Sheri Kebbel had the most emotional film. I asked her if her subject saw the movie before passing. She replied that they put together a lot of the movie clips and shared them with him. She also handed out greeting cards that featured artwork done by the subjects in her film. This was clearly an emotional moment for her and her film was deservedly well received.



2 Responses to “FFF 2015 Day 10 Florida Shorts: Best of Brouhaha”

  1. Erica Karlinsky Says:

    It was so nice of you to attend. We had a great time talking to you , and Mrs. Lance Around. Thank you for featuring Lee, and Down the Road. We are so glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to see ing you again soon!

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