I always forget how overloaded this week is when it comes to the film festival circuit in America (Full Frame, Ashland, Florida Film Festival, the brand new Actionfest, etc). My allegiances lie with the Sarasota Film Festival for reasons both big and small (I am an alumni, I am in love with Tom Ha---I mean, the other programmer), and I wouldn't have it any other way. I only wish I had some clones with which to experience all the other fun fest action.
So far, things have been going very well. The Extra Man was a very appropriate opening night choice and Kevin Kline charmed everyone in the room. While I didn't attend Mr. Hall's conversation with Kline the next day, word on the street was that it went swimmingly well.
I'll be doing a wrap-up of the movies I saw over at Hammer to Nail once the fest wraps up, but I've already seen a wide range of solid work that has entertained and educated me. Today, I'm opting for the tried and true, with second viewings of Everyone Else and Dogtooth (I'm hoping the subtitles aren't as impossible to read as they were on the screener I watched last year).
Once again this year, I was a juror for the YouthFest shorts program, which was overseen by Allison Koehler and George Denison. Some damn impressive work from middle and high schoolers who are new to the filmmaking game. As one of my fellow jurors said, many of these films were better than official fest submissions.
Last night, I missed something unexpectedly special, as Sarasota resident Dickie V. (that's Dick Vitale to you non-college bball nerds) attended the screening of a local film and proceeded to sob in the Q&A and deliver an impassioned sermon about his determination to fight cancer until his dying day. I know that he's always going off about this subject, but Holly said she's never experienced anything like what happened last night in all her years of doing Q&A's. Come to think of it, had I been there I might have begun to sympathize with Dickie V. and that might turn me into a Duke fan so perhaps it's good that I missed it.
I'll be posting a review of Steve James's No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson on Hammer to Nail tomorrow, but suffice to say, this is what I signed up for when it comes to ESPN's 30 For 30 project. It rocks.
More to come, hopefully sooner than later...