I'm never quite sure why it takes so long to get my three Florida Film Festival juries locked down and confirmed. After all, we fly people down to Central Florida during the most gorgeous time of the year (late March) to spend 4 - 5 days relaxing (with a little work mixed in), watch a reasonable amount of great films, eat wonderful food (during the movies themselves if the screening's at Enzian), party, and engage in conversation with others as passionate as themselves about cinema. Or perhaps it's the balance I always strive for in each jury, with a combination of both men and women, a filmmaker in that particular genre, a distributor, and a third person from another part of the industry such as producer, actor, critic, journalist, publicist, etc. For whatever reason, it's a surprisingly difficult and stressful process and I'm thankful when we're able to finally put together such a distinguished set of juries as we have this year:
Narrative Features: James Shapiro - Director of Rental Sales, Planning, & Acquisitions, Starz Entertainment/Anchor Bay Entertainment; Gene Seymour - Film Critic, Newsday;and Guinevere Turner - Actress/Director/Screenwriter (GO FISH, AMERICAN PSYCHO, THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE)
Documentaries: Charles Coleman - Film Program Director of the Facets Cinematheque; Daniel Anker - Filmmaker (SCOTTSBORO: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST); and Michael Schmidt - Director of Theatrical Marketing, Kino International
Live Action & Animated Shorts: Thelma Adams - Film Critic, Us Weekly; Mark Bell - Editor-in-Chief, Film Threat; and Scott Calonico - Filmmaker (THE KING AND DICK, FULL METAL SLACKS, SAFETY FIRST)
We look forward to having them down as our special guests and demonstrating some Southern hospitality.