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Naples Film Festival has it all

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The Naples Film Festival offers a bit of everything

One year ago, the pandemic was over, and Executive Director Shannon Franklin, along with her Artis–Naples liaison David Filner, viewed the films in anticipation for an international film festival.

These were the results:

  • You can find more. More than 900 films were received at the festival, which is around 13% more than 2020. This was a record.
  • Mixture of pandemic and pre-pandemic films.
  • This is a new interest in short films.

A short film is made to show how the pandemic made it into this festival, which will take place from October 21-24. “How to Fall in Love with a Pandemic”And more subtle.

Franklin stated, “We did observe, in my view, that films had the chance to do anything prior the pandemic,” These films are produced in the pre-pandemic era, which gives them an edge. However, we continue to see stories that have not been influenced creatively and practically as much as possible.

Then came COVID-19.

“In terms of storytelling, there were many scenes of connection, coming together, thoughtful views on the meaning of community and the challenges – and the ways to overcome those challenges,” she observed of the works produced in 2020.

“From a purely technical point of view, a lot of the films made during the pandemic are very thoughtful in their creativity, not just in storytelling but also in a practical way to get things going from difficult one-shots around individuals to things that on zoom, on the computer, on telephones, likely to have an impact on how many people in the room are telling the story. “

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That wasn’t as much of a challenge as people think, she added.

“Independent film is pretty thoughtful anyway, keeping the budget low and doing a lot with few people anyway. So I think independent filmmakers already had this ability to think outside the box. ”

“One of the things we found out when we saw all this amazing work was that there were a lot of people who put a lot of effort and passion into short films,” recalls Filner, executive vice president, artistic operations at Artis — Naples. “There are always great short films, but when we got into the pandemic there were really a lot of people who embraced this medium.

“That’s one of the reasons we were so excited instead of having a big opening film as before that celebrates the art of short film.”

Shorts dominate the opening night

Directors of three of the five short films are planned for the premiere evening (their films are marked with an asterisk):

“Roy”: This poignant turn of a story describes an aging man whose lonely life has been reduced to calling strangers in hopes of conversation. He finds a friend, but in the most unlikely places.

The central character of

“Boxbalet (boxing ballet)”: An animated Russian story, without dialogue, but with sound effects and a high-contrast visual message, about the relationship between a ballerina and a boxer. Ballerina Olya and boxer Evgeny both fight personal fights and each understands each other’s pain.

“Le Grandes Clacques (like the ones I used to know) *”:This French film, the English title of which is borrowed from the Bing Crosby standard “White Christmas”, depicts the ordeal of a man who has to pick up his children from the house of his ex-in-laws. Everyone celebrates – including his ex-wife and new husband – and Santa Claus, not his father, is on the minds of children. French, with English subtitles.

“Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color” *: A documentary film about the life of the artist Alma Thomas. Alfre Woodard is the voice of Thomas and the film was released in conjunction with a museum retrospective in four cities.

“Photo op” *: Directed by Dava Whisenant (“Bathtubs Over Broadway”) and shot on an iPhone, it’s the funny but disturbing story of what you hand in to a stranger when you give them your phone to snap a picture.

Seven other packs of short films on topics such as Growing Pains, Family Affairs, True Stories, Discoveries – including a pirate comedy – and Around the World will be available during the festival. This category also includes the Florida Films Showcase and the Student Filmmakers Showcase.

There is a solid helping of art films

Since Artis – Naples is hosting the festival, there is an affinity with art films. In addition to the inaugural artist documentary for “Miss Alma Thomas”, there are a number of art-oriented films that have won a place:

“Amber Wall”, a documentary about one of the country’s most charismatic and sometimes frustrating composers, Leonard Bernstein. It uses its own words mixed with films and photos to recreate a legendary life.

“Blues on Beale” takes viewers to the famous Memphis Blues competition, a six-day marathon of incredible talent.

“Holy frit”, with a title inspired by the mixture of silica and flux fused into glass. It may also be inspired by Los Angeles artist Tim Carey’s reaction to the project of creating the largest stained glass window of its kind – with no experience. He needs a savior. This film is one of two that viewers can enjoy outdoors over the weekend at the Artis – Naples Norris Garden and at the Silverspot in the Mercato in the north of Naples.

“In Balanchine’s classroom” opens the doors of the world-famous choreographer’s studio. It contains never-before-seen archival footage of George Balanchine at work and interviews with the dancers who carried on his legacy, including former Artistic Director of the Miami City Ballet, Edward Villella.

“The conductor” follows Marin Alsop, one of the rare conductors who has become a star in the world of classical music. It hops around the world with her, observing the technique and know-how that inspires the musicians with her.

“Me to play” describes a production of Samuel Beckett’s best-known work “Endgame” by two men with Parkinson’s who are confronted with their own endgame. There is a dramatic connection in Beckett’s writing of the play after his own mother died of the disease.

Dramatic films kept coming back

There is also no shortage of dramatic narratives. Women play a role as heroes in some of them:

“Catch the beautiful one”, about a Native American boxer determined to find the people who trafficked her sister.

“A fire inside”, After the deeds of three Ethiopian immigrants, who learn that the man who tortured them works in a hotel, one of them cleanses.

“Beehive,” based on a true story about Kosovar war widows whose determination to lead an independent life with home-grown canned pepper and honey is met with hostility.

“Waikiki”, the story of a tortured life behind the glamor of the hula dance professional and how she deals with it.

“Women are losers” It shows the restrictive early 60s for a young Catholic school girl trying to rise above a bad family life and the only mistake that threatens her future.

There are thrillers like “The beta test “, where a careless Hollywood agent is trapped after an anonymous one-stand; and “The human,” a pre-Thanksgiving gathering that went terribly bad.

Eye-opening, noisy funny movies too

Just for fun there “Sentence!” It’s a frantic look at the exaggerated world of competitive table setting.

And for an insightful look at how to save your future, “$ eager” Details on the financial mistakes women make and why they make them.

To clarify the film, there will be two panel discussions on Friday and Saturday mornings (October 22 and 23) in the Silverspot with Elaine Newton, the long-time film analyst from Artis – Naples (see schedule for both).

Also among the films is a special one outside of the competition: “Life lessons learned in the military” Avow Hospice interviews collecting the wisdom of 17 veterans from Southwest Florida. This screening will take place on Saturday, October 23rd at 3 p.m. in the Daniels Pavilion.

After the award ceremony on Sunday, October 24th, the hit from 1985 “Back to the Future” closes the festival on Sunday evening with the Naples Philharmonics in the background and creates the soundtrack live for an experience that will not be a theater soundtrack.

Harriet Howard Heithaus reports on arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News / naplesnews.com. You can reach them at 239-213-6091.

International Film Festival Naples

When: Opening evening on the red carpet October 21, 7 pm; Films in the Silverspot Cinema at different times; Panel discussions on October 22nd and 23rd at 10 am in the Silverspot; Norris Garden Films at 7.30 p.m. (doors open October 7, 22-23); Closing Ceremony and Closing Party October 24th at 5:30 pm, “Back to the Future” with a live soundtrack from the Naples Philharmonic at 7:30 pm

Where: Opening and closing evenings and Norris Garden films at Artis — Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Further films and panel discussions at Silverspot Cinema, 9118 Strada Place, No. 8205, Naples

Entrance to events: Opening film $ 39, films and party $ 99, film and VIP party $ 200; Final award ceremony and film “Back to the Future” with a live soundtrack from the Naples Philharmonic, from 79 US dollars

Entry for films: Films at Silverspot, $ 15 at silverspot.com, discounted packages for four films, $ 55 at the Silverspot box office only; On Friday and Saturday nights, Norris Garden films $ 60 for a table for four

Approval panel discussion: Free, but reservations are required at artisnaples.org

Buy: For Artis Naples events only, artisnaples.org or 239-597-1900; for Silverspot films, silverspot.com or at the box office

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