FLICKS: Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival

Posted on 09 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With genuine emotion, Florida history and the traditional glamour that goes along with it, this edition of Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF2017) is shaping up to be one of the best ever. The regular venues, Savor Cinema & Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, are hosting unique themed parties that are supporting the international flavor of the film being screened. Yet, it will be the opening night gala at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel that will be talked about for many years to come.

Executive Producer Stevie Salas’ Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World delivered. This intriguing documentary provided an entertaining history about the roots of the Blues and the birth of rock ‘n roll overturning much mainstream education taught in public schools and academic institutions.

Salas had played guitar for the Rod Stewart Tour, which became the first concert at Joe Robbie Stadium on July 3, 1988.

While posing on the red carpet with actor Graham Greene [who showed off his Lifetime Achievement Award], Burt Reynolds and Chris Osceola, Salas acknowledged the moment, saying, “I performed with Rod Stewart in the first concert in the stadium. Now, the Hard Rock owns the stadium!”

With a chorus of reporters humming “Hail to the Chief,” Burt Reynolds arrived on the Red Carpet in an oversized golf cart, referred to as a “mini TransAm.” It was a fun and light moment as the gregarious Reynolds posed with the “Rumble” crew, students from his acting school in Jupiter, and cast & crew from Dog Years, the opening night film, including Nikki Blonsky (known best from Hairspray) and local actors Todd Vittum and Amy Hoerler.

It was after the screening of his film Dog Years, when a weepy Burt Reynolds took center stage to accept his second Lifetime Achievement Award. The silence was deafening as Mr. Reynolds apologized for mistakes in his life. He talked about working with great people through the years and how many of them are no longer around. He talked about Heaven and Hell, Florida State University and his childhood friend who ended up dying in Vietnam. You can find Burt’s speech on the Cinema Dave YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/cinemadave. For all the facets of fame and fortune, Burt stressed the importance of family, friends and coming home to Florida.

Burt’s message that had an impact on Blanche Baker, whose mom, Carroll, was the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Blanche was in town to support a short film she directed, STREETWRITE, a 24-minute musical about free speech that encompasses all forms of Broadway musicals, operetta, rock, contemporary and hip-hop.

Baker utilized the students at New York Film Academy, where she teaches.

There will be more fun this Veterans Day weekend when writer/director Ken Webb’s comedy, Serious Laundry, screens at the Sunrise Civic Center as the featured centerpiece film. ArtServe President & CEO Jaye Abbate and I will introduce the documentary, Cries From Syria this Friday, Nov. 10 at 6:15 p.m. (location TBA), which may be one of the most important films released in 2017. For schedule and showtimes for all FLIFF films, visit www.fliff.com.

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