The latest e-mail blast with the current schedule for DMAC, Orlando's Downtown Media Arts Center, brought some unfortunate news with it. Apparently in a cost-cutting move, Director of Programming Darren McDaniel has been let go after a year and a half at the helm. It's never good when the local independent cinema community loses one of its own, but this was clearly a matter of not enough bodies in the seats on a consistent basis, and not a reflection on the quality of the programming. Darren, a filmmaker himself with the often humorous mockumentary THE ESSENCE OF IRWIN to his credit, did a terrific job bringing in more narrative and foreign titles to balance the multitude of docs available given the theater's video-only limitations. There are many films that just can't fit into the Enzian single screen schedule and that Regal chooses to ignore, and this is the area that DMAC fills such an important role for Central Florida filmgoers. Here's hoping the community realizes it before it's too late.
Meanwhile, we wish the best of luck with everything to a former colleague and Sundance roommate. Take care, Darren--hope to see you around Enzian and the upcoming Florida Film Festival.