What happens at the Ford Lauderdale Film Festival?

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Answered by: Greyson, An Expert in the Film Fests Category
From young to old and casual moviegoer to know-it-all film buff, the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (FLIFF) sheds light on cinema not typically showcased at the Regal Cypress or AMC theaters.

Diversity is the name of its game and is a must see event for anyone curious to what creative content is available outside the showbiz Mecca known as Hollywood.

If new to the film festival scene, you may be struck by the originality of many selections. You aren’t going to find sequels in the mix, and remakes are few and far between. In fact, many of the FLIFF selections tackle taboo subjects most Tinseltown executives shy away from. Its cinema in its most truthful and raw form. It strips away the haze created by heavy financial backing, producers watering down scripts in order to reach a wider audience, and A list celebrities performing simply to afford that new Italian villa. The independent films showcased are simply made because everyone from the director to the second assistant camera man believes in the story and the message it’s attempting to showcase.

Sure, you’re going to see your share of lame ducks and films that just don’t agree with you. But, if you’re lucky, you just might find that one rare gem that speaks to you, changes the way you think, and stays with you for the rest of you life.

26th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Since its inception as The Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Festival in 1986, the FLIFF has grown each and every year, with more films showcased over longer periods of time. The upcoming festival is to take place form October 21st, 2011, and come to conclusion November 11th, making it the longest, continually running film festival in existence. This leaves you with plenty of opportunities to take in movies originating all over the world. Many of these films also garner multiple screenings, so don’t worry if you miss out on the initial release.

The exact screening schedule is not set yet, as the FLIFF is still accepting submissions. Once the FLIFF committee has decided on what films to present to the public (not all submissions are accepted), the exact schedule is presented. Typically this comes out sometime during the month of September. Check back for updates on the festival, a full schedule and showcase locations as it is made available.

Submit Your Own Work

If you are an aspiring director, the FLIFF might be your big break as the festival accepts a variety of films not only to be showcased, but judged for possible awards. The current competition categories are full-length feature, documentary, short subject, animation and an international competition for high school students. For a complete listing of requirements for submissions visit “Withoutabox.com” and enter in “Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival” as the desired entry.

Mingle with the Stars

Every year, the FLIFF honors special guests for their contributions to the world of film. These awards go out to not only actors and directors, but writers, producers and technical workers. Recent special gests include Matthews Broderick, Gary Sinise, Stephen Baldwin, Christopher McDonald and Ben Kingsley. Many of the guests perform Q and A sessions after one of the shows during the festival. These Q and A’s aren’t always made public until the day it occurs, in which time the tickets are already sold out. However, here is a hint for knowing what film screenings are going to have the film makers talk afterwards: The list of honored guests is released the same time the screening list is. Look for a film the actor, director or whomever participated in. There is an overwhelmingly good chance the individual is going to not only introduce the feature, but talk afterwards about it.

If you’re hoping to possibly rub shoulders with your Hollywood idle, you can purchase passes to the after parties. After the final screening of each night, there is a special event held at a local hotel or restaurant (the location changes nightly) where individuals honored during the evening and other film makers can relax, dine on hors d’oeuvres and sip cocktails. The atmosphere is relaxed, but it also makes an exceptional method of networking, if you are, or are attempting to make it into the word of film.

Film Withdrawal

So, after November 11th, you’re left to sit around and wait for next years festival, right? Not exactly. Due to the FLIFF’s popularity, it showcases movies from around the world all year long. The FLIFF committee may even break out a few classics, including its most recent week long extravaganza of Audrey Hepburn flicks, with each day coming to a conclusion at a local restaurant for cocktails to celebrate the actresses’ career. For highlighted upcoming screenings visit the official FLIFF website at FLIFF.com.

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