The Warrior Queen of Jhansi opens as FLIFF closes this weekend

Posted on 14 November 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Based on a true story, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi opens this weekend and deals with the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British Empire.  If you remember the historical epics that starred Errol Flynn, Charlton Heston and David Niven, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi presents an alternative perspective from the losing side of history.  Like the Alamo, the seeds of victory were planted in this rebellion that was led by a warrior woman, Rhani of Jhansi (Devika Bhise).

Clocking in under two hours, this film is an entertaining piece of history. The film provides costume drama with conflict between the Rhani and Queen Victoria (Jodhi May), but also presents the outdoor beauty of India. The battle scenes are epic, but lack the bloody intensity of current events provided on the big screen and the small screen these days.

It is with a sense of melancholia that The 34th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival closes this Sunday evening with From the Vine starring Joe Pantoliano.  Pantoliano stars as a damaged individual who returns to rural Italy in an attempt to resurrect a wine vineyard. 

Written and directed by Daniel Cohen, A Stone in the Water will play this weekend. Bonnie Bedelia portrays a grief-stricken mother who projects her worst fears upon a pregnant survivor of a car crash. Sunday evening will wrap up the festival with Working Man, which features Talia Shire’s return to the festival.

Prolific actress, Diane Baker has graced the festival with her warmth and humanity. A voting member of the Academy Awards who serves with the Actor’s Branch, Baker  credits acting to opening her world to adventures in Greece and Israel.  She has witnessed firsthand a government dictatorship, while acknowledging the common wishes and desires of worldwide humanity.  She credits much of her education to her mentor, Melvyn Douglas, a MGM contract player who won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor in Hud and Being There, respectively.     

Douglas helped Baker deal with Joan Crawford, an actress who could be very demanding. Baker and Crawford made three films together: The Best of Everything, Della and Strait-Jacket. Perhaps because Crawford portrayed Baker’s mother in two of the three films, the fine line between fantasy and reality seemed to be crossed. This weekend, I will be presenting the videos of Diane Baker’s interview with Professor Foster Hirsch on my blog —, which will detail how Baker dealt with her conflict with Joan Crawford.

As much as I love partying and reconnecting with friends and colleagues, it is these special moments with people like Diane Baker that elevates a film festival like FLIFF.  As much as the industry has changed, it is great to listen to a professional of her caliber who believes in good stories, human values and the importance of laughter.

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Remembering the first Thanksgiving

Posted on 14 November 2019 by LeslieM

In this day, in which efforts are being made to rewrite history, the real meaning of Thanksgiving is fading quickly. For many, Thanksgiving correlates with nothing more than a day off work, downing a turkey and watching football. For that reason, I want to start with a brief history of Thanksgiving.

In September 1620, the Mayflower left England, carrying 102 passengers seeking a new home where the Pilgrims could freely practice their faith and find opportunities for prosperity. The difficult journey eventually took them to Plymouth, where winter and disease were so brutal that only half of the original passengers and crew survived.

The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, to extract sap, and to fish. In November 1621, the Pilgrims organized a feast to celebrate their successful harvest and invited their Indian friends to enjoy a meal of celebration with them. This feast is remembered as the “First Thanksgiving.” On Oct. 3, 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated each November.

Too many want to act like this event never happened, but a little known national monument, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, pays a great tribute to our Forefathers, those first English settlers who landed at Plymouth. The 81 ft. tall solid-granite monument is located in state park at 72 Allerton St. in Plymouth, MA. The cornerstone was laid in 1859 and the monument was completed in 1889. The monument was originally planned to be approx. 150 ft. tall, but was reduced during the Civil War due to lack of funding.

The placard on the northeast side of the monument reads, “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.

The sculptures on the monument represent the virtues that the Pilgrims brought with them when they arrived in 1620. The largest and tallest sculpture is Faith. Other figures include Morality represented by a woman holding a tablet symbolic of the Ten Commandments which reads, “I am the Lord thy God…” Seen in Morality’s throne are references to Prophecy and Evangelism.

On the west side are figures representing Law, Justice and Mercy. On the south side is Education flanked by Wisdom and Youth. On the east side is Liberty flanked by Peace. Along with these figures, the monument also includes smaller sculptures telling the story of the Pilgrims’ leaving England, landing at Plymouth and interacting with Native Americans. The Pilgrims are also honored with a monument in Provincetown, MA that was completed in 1910.

There is no question regarding the Christian faith that the Pilgrims brought with them. Their quest was to find a place where they could worship God freely. In a day when people are rewriting history, let us pause to remember the Pilgrims who risked their lives to pursue religious freedom. Let’s pause to remember their sacrifices, which laid the groundwork for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Sure, eat the turkey, enjoy the family and watch some football this Thanksgiving; but also take time to count your blessings and to thank God for faith, family, friends and freedom!

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Senior Pastor at Grace Church located at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-421-0190 or

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Ranse Classic draws hundreds of players

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The 10th Annual Ranse Classic Beach Volleyball tournament was more about the camaraderie and the community rather than the competition.

An estimated 300 players took part in the beach volleyball tournament north of the Deerfield Beach pier that celebrated the life of Ranseford “Ranse” Jones. From junior players to top open competitors, there was a sense of pride among all at the 30 sand volleyball courts.

Tournament Director Diogo Sousa said the event holds a special place in his heart. He met Jones when he was younger at Deerfield Beach.

“I was 16 and he was one of the first people to stand up for me at Deerfield Beach when nobody would let me on the volleyball courts,” said Sousa, now 31, who lives nearby. “He was the first person I played with and, after we played for one day together, he went around to everybody and told them I was allowed to play anytime I wanted in Deerfield.”

“Since then,” he added, “this has been my home beach to play on. It is truly amazing to see someone’s life celebrated, year in and year out.

There are so many people that support the charity and the type of person that Ranse was. Everybody loved him and they continue to show love, not only to Ranse who passed away, but his family. His mother and father come down for this event every year.”

“This is way above cool,” said Jones’ mother, Sherry Marthinuss. “It is going to take me the whole weekend to come down from this. Ranse connected with people, obviously, and that is what he left us with. It is his legacy. That’s why we get together every year and celebrate that and keep building on it.

“We call it the biggest reunion on the east coast,” she continued. “A lot of the volleyball players he played with and knew still compete and want to win. It is great vibes and lots of love.”

In April 2010, Jones, a former Deerfield Beach firefighter, suffered a brain aneurysm while playing in the semifinals of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament. He died Nov. 8 that year at the young age of 34. Jones had played in 21 AVP tournaments since 2000. He also spent time on the Extreme Volleyball Professionals tour and competed in the Men’s Open Division of the 2009 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball.

The Ranse Volleyball Classic has evolved into a nationally-recognized event to benefit Stroke Awareness, through the hard work of the local volleyball community.

The tournament generally raises between $20-$30,000 on an annual basis for the Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at the Broward Health North Stroke Center. To date, the event just exceeded $300,000.

Nikki Esposito, 22, has been coming to the tournament for years. Her father, John, is one of the organizers. She starred at Pompano Beach High School before playing with the FSU Seminoles.

“I have been playing in this tournament since I was 12,” she said. “Because I have been playing at Florida State, I haven’t been able to play in the tournament for the last four years, so I made the drive down this year.

“It has grown a lot and almost doubled in players this year,” she said. “It is so much fun getting everyone together from all over the state and the country. I made new friends. We just had a lot of fun.”

Flavia Fernandes, 36, also of Deerfield Beach, said the tournament is definitely for fun. She has also played in the tournament for about five years. She coached Esposito when she was younger.

“This tournament is not so much about winning, or the competition,” Fernandes said. “You still have the competitive drive and at the end of the day, you know it is for a good cause.

“For me, this is the most fun tournament of the year,” Fernandes said. “This is special for me because everyone comes from so far and I see the hard work that the organizers put in. We all look forward to it.”

Jonathan Rogers, 28, of Deerfield Beach, said they had nice weather on the first day and a little rain on the second.

“Usually, it is pretty windy this time of year,” Rogers said. “It was really sunny and really a nice day for volleyball. Considering the format and that you don’t know the partner you are playing with, I was pretty happy that we made it to the semifinals of the open division.

“I ended up being paired up with a guy from Brazil,” Rogers added. “He was a really cool dude. We couldn’t communicate because he didn’t speak English, but it was fun.”

3rd Annual Ryan Owens Memorial Run set for Saturday

The 3rd Annual Ryan Owens Memorial Run is set for Nov. 9 on Deerfield Beach. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Organized by the Naked Warrior Project, the run pays tribute to Fallen Navy SEAL, Ryan Owens, who grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and was killed in action on Jan. 29, 2017. 

The four-mile beach run on Deerfield Beach is fashioned after the weekly timed beach runs in Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training that candidates must pass. Runners of all levels are welcome. Limited to 500 runners, the race will be timed and medals awarded. The entry fee is $40. 

“I began The Naked Warrior Project in 2017 to ensure that the memory of these brave warriors and their sacrifices are never forgotten,” said South Florida resident John Owens, a retired Navy SEAL and brother of Ryan Owens. The mission of the non-profit organization is to memorialize fallen Navy SEALs, help injured Navy SEALs in their recovery and provide support to their families through education, connecting families and building memorials.

“This run is our largest event of the year,” said Owens. “We run this race to honor Ryan’s life and the money raised this year will go toward building a memorial to Ryan here in South Florida.”

Following the run, the organization’s annual dinner and silent auction will be held at the Royal Palm Yacht Club in Boca Raton. Dinner tickets are $150 per person. Dinner sponsorship opportunities are available at different levels. The evening also includes a silent auction. The organization holds several other annual fundraising events including a fishing tournament and golf outings.

To register for the run, learn more about sponsorships and donations and for more information, visit

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Freedom & fun are the focus of FLIFF

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Behemoth ! Colossal !! Gigantic ! ! ! These are just some of the adjectives describing the opening night of The 34th International Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF34) at the Museum of Discovery and Science.

Cuba, the 45 minute documentary on the six story IMAX theater, created ambiance to set up a unique party. How unique? The magnitude of party goers danced to Tito Puente Jr.’s Mambo tunes on a dance floor situated between a Megalodon Shark and Terry the Otter’s water pool.

Besides rocking it out on the dance floor, Karen Allen and Peter Reigert proved to be generous celebrities. Karen Allen’s drama Colewell and Peter Reigert’s short subject, Extra Innings, are reminders about the importance of storytelling in the movies. For this film columnist, it is such a welcome relief to see professionals like Allen and Reigert express such genuine love for cinema and storytelling.

With echoes of Frank Capra’s Oscar winning classic, It Happened One Night, the French film, Our Happy Holiday, screened with director Patrick Cassir and actress Camille Chamoux too. A romantic comedy with modern charm, this film had people laughing all the way up to the end credits.

This international party continues this Friday, Nov. 8 with Duck Pond from Sweden. Director Robert Andersson will present his film and host the Merry Meatballs party after the 6 p.m. screening. Even Executive Director Michelle Filipi’s success with organizing parties this season, expect this Duck Pond/Merry Meatballs party to be a unique and fun event. 

On Veteran’s Day — Monday, Nov. 11, actress Diane Baker will attend the screening of her cult classic, Strait-Jacket, costarring Lee Majors and Joan Crawford. Professor Foster Hirsch will conduct an onstage interview with this prolific actress with a long resume. Besides appearing in Oscar winning films like The Diary of Anne Frank and The Silence of the Lambs, Diane Baker has starred in many cult classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Cable Guy and A Mighty Wind.

Baker will attend a special evening screening of Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie at the Savor on Tuesday evening, Nov. 12.

Earlier in the day, Florida Film Legend William Grefe will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award before the screening of the 1985 film Cease Fire. This moviewas one of the first movies to tackle the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the big screen. Starring Don Johnson,this filmfeatures an appearance from Vietnam Veteran’s advocate Chris Noel.

With Justin Long and Radha Mitchell arriving in town to screen their movies and party with our neighbors, it is silly not to join the fun. For ticket prices and updates, visit the website — Also — don’t forget to thank a Veteran this special weekend!

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The most successful fundraiser

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

Do you know what was the most successful fundraising event in the history of the American Jewish community, and arguably the greatest fundraising campaign ever in Jewish History? I discovered the answer recently when I saw a strange picture taken in Chicago, in 1921. What’s going on in this photo? A bunch of Jews sitting around candlelit tables, doing what?

Well, Gil Weissblei, a Jewish archivist, came across this photo in the collections of the U.S. National Library, but could not figure out what it was. The only information was the name of the photographer and the city, “Kaufman & Fabry Co., Chicago,” visible in the photograph’s lower right corner and, underneath it, a six digit number separated by a hyphen: 21-6591, which means 1921 (the other four digits are the running number of the negatives for that year).

The puzzle was solved after Gil came across a book The Jews of Chicago: From Shtetl to Suburb. He read a story there and immediately knew this was the picture of that story. Jacob Loeb, one of the Chicago community’s Jewish leaders, was perturbed by the horrific state of Jews in Eastern Europe following World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Persecution, pogroms and wars were the fate of our brothers and sisters there. Jacob dreamt of holding an extraordinary fundraiser that would collect millions of dollars, in 1921, for the Jews in Eastern Europe.

How do you do it? How do you inspire the crowd to give?

He understood what was needed were not words or slogans, but a physical experience.

So Loeb organized a gala dinner to which the crème de la crème of Illinois Jewish society, including Chicago’s greatest industrialists and businessmen, were invited. On the evening of Dec. 7, 1921, 800 men dressed in their Sunday best gathered at the luxurious Drake Hotel in Chicago for what they were certain would be an exclusive event at the center of which would be a lavish banquet.

The guests were in for a surprise.

As the last of them entered the hotel ballroom, the doors were locked. Loeb stepped up to the podium and began speaking: “For so many to dine in this place would mean an expenditure of $3500 (Today, it would be $50,000), which would be unwarrantable extravagance and, in the face of starving Europe, a wasteful crime. Thirty-five hundred dollars will help to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and heal the sick. What right have we to spend on ourselves funds which we want to collect for them? So that this money might be saved for them, you are brought here to this foodless banquet.”

The astonished guests suddenly noticed that the tables, with the exception of the long slender candles, were indeed bare. Not a single fruit, vegetable, dip or piece of bread was available. The poor Jews were left starving at a dinner without even a glass of water.

Their bewilderment was captured by the flash of Kaufman and Fabry’s camera, and recorded in the photograph commemorating this unique event, which you see here.

The result? Checkbooks were opened for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers Fund like never before. The money was flowing. That night, the wealthy businessman Julius Rosenwald exceeded all others with a donation of $1 million (Today, it would be probably $15 million).

This was an unprecedented sum, even for a philanthropist like Rosenwald, who later went on to establish the renowned Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. (Word of the huge donation reached President Woodrow Wilson, who sent a telegram to Rosenwald thanking him.)

The fact remains: The success of the fundraiser was never duplicated. Why? Because the dinner was not about words, slogans, speeches and videos. It was about experience. They all came in hungry, and they remained hungry for the night! Their stomachs spoke more than mouths can. It allowed them to experience, if only a sliver, of the suffering of their brethren who were starving back in Europe. It made the experience real, tangible, concrete. They did not speak of starvation; they experienced it with their body.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit

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Obits! Be grateful your name is not listed

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

Despite my advanced age, I am not an obsessive reader of the obituary pages. Alas, the people I have mostly cared about have already been there. However, I recently checked the Sunday New York Times obits out of curiosity. Actually, if you really want some good stories, this is a place to start. The biggest challenge to one’s imagination is to read between the lines. Could this person really have been God’s gift to humanity?

Some of you may remember the late comedian Alan King, who would read obituaries aloud as part of his act in an attempt to prove that women lived longer than men (statistically true), always followed by a laugh line that today would have been politically inappropriate professional suicide. He referenced in the obits, an overabundance of deceased men in their 90s, all of whom were survived by wives. The general subject, death, of course, is grim, but my mantra is that you can find humor in anything, and for a good laugh, check out, Alan King on Obituaries.

Ah, but I digress. I will quote the one that caught my attention last week. I have changed her name and place of residence in the event that her fame slogged its way south to Florida. It was a very simple and inexpensive obit. (They charge by the word.)

It read: “Doe, Jane — Jane Doe of Mainville, Long Island is gone. She lived her life with intention.”

Well, you’ll pardon me, but think of how many ways that could be interpreted. First of all, no one claimed to have been the originator of that sentiment, but someone was nonetheless intent (pardon the pun) upon distributing the news. And the word “intention” is appealingly ambiguous. Somehow, the picture of Nurse Ratched [from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest] popped into my head, a woman of distinct intention. And then, fleetingly, Eva Braun, creator of questionable lampshades, (who was Hitler’s wife for those of you born after the evil embers of World War II flickered out of consciousness). Of course, there was Madame Curie and Mother Teresa — both women of intention, and Lady Gaga and Marianne Williamson, and a zillion others, known and unknown whose “intentions” have been of all qualities. So much for Jane Doe, whose mysterious life ended in “gone.”

All of which gives me the most awkward segue into gratitude and — would you believe? — Thanksgiving! I am talking about gratitude that my name has not yet reached those pages, or to be more practical, is not yet eligible to appear there.  

And, so, I leave you with the November assignment of listing all the things in your life that are positive — and for which you remain grateful. The sorrows may well be there … Nobody escapes them … but, for now, we would be wise and good to ourselves by concentrating on our sunshine (when it’s not raining) and the birds, and flowers, and trees and mountains, (despite having to leave the state to find them), and oceans and whatever good personal stuff you can add to that. And may you have a really good Thanksgiving.

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Deerfield routs Monarch for 5th straight title

Posted on 31 October 2019 by LeslieM

Bucks running back Jaylan Knighton No. 4 accounted for 182 yd. and three touchdowns in Deerfield Beach’s 41-0 win over Monarch. File photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Senior running back Jaylan Knighton ran for 113 yd. and two touchdowns as Deerfield Beach won its fifth straight district championship and 23rd overall with a 41-0 District 12-8A victory over host Monarch at Coconut Creek High School last Friday night.

Senior quarterback Michael Pratt also found the end zone twice for the Bucks who scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead and were never headed as they rolled to their 23rd consecutive district win.

Deerfield Beach (6-3) took a 7-0 lead with 7:24 remaining in the first quarter on a 1-yd. quarterback sneak by Pratt. The Bucks made it 14-0 on a 14-yd. run by Knighton as the score capped a 5-play, 38-yd. drive. Knighton scored again with 4:58 remaining in the first half to push the lead to 21-0. The drive was set up by a 33-yd. punt return by Bryce Gowdy. Knighton finished the first half with 14 carries for 111 yd.

“Today, I could have done better,” said Knighton, an FSU commit, who accounted for 182 total yards with 69 yd. receiving and another score in the game. “Today was a great day. We got the victory. Since I have been here, we won the district championship every year. It is a great experience to bring it home.”

Deerfield added one more score at the end of the first half as Pratt capped a 7-play, 77-yd. drive with an 8-yd. scoring run. Knighton hauled in a 57-yd. pass from Xavier Restrepo on a fake punt to extend the lead to 34-0 with 10:04 left in the third quarter. The final score of the night came on a 1-yd. plunge by backup quarterback Derohn King for a 41-0 lead.

“Right now, we are above average,” Knighton added. “We are working every single day and trying to get better, not taking no days off.”

Deerfield Beach is 8-1 in the series between the two schools. In the last five meetings, Deerfield is 5-0 and has outscored the Knights, 206-7 during that span. Deerfield outscored the opposition, 340-110 and was coming off a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, which snapped a five-game winning streak.

Last season, Deerfield Beach fell in the state semifinals of the Class 8A tournament as they lost 49-21 to Miami Columbus and finished 12-2. Deerfield lost in the regional quarterfinal the season before and lost in the state semifinals in 2016 to the eventual state champion, Southridge, 26-7, in 2016.

Ely falls to Atlantic

Atlantic clinched their third consecutive district championship with a 34-16 win over visiting Blanche Ely in the District 13-7A clash last Friday.

Blanche Ely (7-2) took an early lead on a field goal, before the host Eagles built up an 18-point lead. The Tigers clawed back as senior Darnell Deas punched in an 11-yd. touchdown run to cut the Eagles’ lead to 12 with 1:26 left in the first half. Blanche Ely then closed to within 21-16 quarterback Jevon Williams found junior Dewante Deas on the near sideline for a 40-yd. scoring toss.

The Eagles tacked on two fourth quarter scores to pull away and punch their ticket to the postseason for the sixth straight year. Blanche Ely will tackle Dillard at home on Saturday in the annual Soul Bowl at 5 p.m.

Ranse Volleyball tourney this weekend

The 10th Annual Ranse Classic will be held this weekend, Nov. 2-3 on Deerfield Beach near the pier.

The Ranse Classic is a beach volleyball Pro-Am tournament in memory of Ranse Jones, an avid beach volleyball player, whose life was cut short when he suffered a stroke while playing an AVP Young Guns Tournament in 2010. Registration for the event closes today (Oct. 31) at 4 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a Blind Draw Party at Burger Craze 7:30 p.m. followed by the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

The men’s and women’s Pro AM Blind Draw Doubles will be held on Saturday. There will also be raffles and a silent auction from 4-9 p.m. at Bru’s Room and drawings will take place at 9:30 p.m. There will be a player party with live band Uproot Hootenanny at Bru’s Room 7:30 p.m. until closing.

The men’s and women’s Open Doubles Tournaments is on Sunday. There will also be a juniors Blind Draw Doubles Tournament with divisions for 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U and a Coed Doubles Tournament with AAA and AA divisions.

Money raised will be donated to Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at Broward Health North.

For more information, visit the Facebook page at

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Keep the Halloween Party alive with FLIFF

Posted on 31 October 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Even though Halloween winds down this evening, this weekend will keep the party going with Day of the Dead festivities, especially in Ft. Lauderdale. The 10thannual tons of fun Florida Day of the Dead Skeleton Processional in downtown Ft. Lauderdale begins at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 2.This rowdy processional will snake through downtown Ft. Lauderdale with many touch points that will involve the 34th Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF).

FLIFF runs Nov. 1 to 17. Savor Cinema will kick things off Friday, Nov. 1 with a special movie, Scream, Queen, which is a documentary about featured guest Mark Patton. An avuncular fixture at horror movie conventions, this gay actor has served on Scream, Queen panels with certified Scream Queens like Linnea Quigley, P.J. Soles and Barbara Crampton. While there is safety at a horror convention, this new documentary will present Patton’s struggles in the motion picture industry after A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was released in 1985. Freddy’s Revenge will screen after Scream, Queen.

This Saturday evening, Nov. 2, at Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and Sunday evening, Nov. 3, at Savor Cinema, Gamble Rogers: Down at the Terminal Tavern will screen. A documentary about singer, songwriter and raconteur, this documentary will present the life and times of a unique artist. Special guests Bill and Melissa Shepard Sykes will be in attendance at a special party Sunday evening at Savor Cinema. The couple is expected to walk the red carpet this Friday evening, Nov. 1, at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science Gala Party.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., local resident Chris Noel will be visiting the Retro Pool Party at the Conrad Ft. Lauderdale Beach, 6th Floor, Spinnaker Pool Deck. Cast in the movie, Noel will be the Special Guest at the screening of Girl Happy, starring Elvis Presley. Filmed in Ft. Lauderdale circa 1965, Noel was cast as an “Elvis Girl.” While visiting Vietnam on a promotional junket, Noel became an advocate for Vietnam Veterans and worked for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. As a guest of the motorcycle posse, Rolling Thunder, she rode her chopper to Washington D.C. for many Veteran’s Day ceremonies.

On Saturday, Nov. 9 at 3:30 p.m. at Savor Cinema, Australian actress Radha Mitchell will receive the FLIFF2019 Career Achievement Award. With appearances in films like Olympus has Fallen, Silent Hill and Man on Fire (co-starring Denzel Washington); Mitchell will attend the screening of her new movie, Celeste. Celeste is a family drama that was filmed in North Queensland, Australia.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, Justin Long will attend the Centerpiece Party at Savor Cinema. The actor, producer and podcaster will present his new film, Safe Spaces at 8:30 p.m., and will receive the FLIFF 2019 Career Achievement Award.

To close out the evening, Popcorn Frights will screen the Sam Raimi scary flick, Drag Me to Hell, co-starring Alison Lohman and Justin Long.

Over 100 FLIFF Catalogs have been given away at Deerfield Beach Percy White Library since last Saturday. While the catalogs are likely to be gone at the time of this column’s publication, pocket schedules will still likely to be available.

Keep the party going, but have a safe and Happy Halloween.

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The Magic of Stone Soup

Posted on 31 October 2019 by LeslieM

This is the time of year when many churches and other non-profits search for ideas to motivate their members to supply the resources they need to reach out and bring sustenance and comfort to the people they serve. My own search for ideas often leads to folk tales, such as one with the title Stone Soup. I’m sure you are wondering what a story with such a strange title can have to do with fund-raising – stick with me a few moments and I’ll try to make some sense of it for you.
The story concerns a weary traveler who sought food and comfort at a tiny village. He stopped at each of the homes along the main street, “Can you spare some food and lodging for a tired and hungry traveler?” Each of the villagers replied, “We are sorry, but we had a meager harvest and have barely enough food and blankets for our families. We don’t know how we will make it through the winter.” The traveler was discouraged and sat down under a tree in the village square. He felt his own hunger but also felt for the needs of the villagers.
Suddenly the traveler remembered the beautiful stone he had picked up along the way and put into his pocket. He gathered the villagers around him, “My friends, what you see in my hand is a beautiful stone that will feed you now and throughout the winter; with this stone you can make stone soup.” The villagers were unconvinced but banded together and brought a huge iron kettle to the traveler. They were astonished when he filled it with water and placed it over a roaring fire and gently immersed the stone into the boiling water.
The traveler sipped the brew, “Stone soup is better with a little bit of salt and pepper.” Several children ran and got salt and pepper. The traveler sipped again, “This stone makes a wonderful soup, but it would taste better if we had a few carrots.” One of the villagers spoke up, “I have some carrots I’m willing to share,” and his daughter ran and got them. “What about the cabbages I have in my pantry,” a woman asked, “would they help?” The traveler replied, “Yes, they would indeed!” The woman went home and quickly returned with the cabbages. The villagers spoke among themselves; they went to their homes and brought back potatoes, onions, barley, beef, and soon a wonderful aroma of stone soup hung over the village square.
The villagers set out tables in the square and brought large soup bowls, crusty bread and apple cider, enough for everyone. After they eat their fill, their talents for singing, dancing, and fiddle-playing was on display long into the evening. On the morrow, they gathered to bid good-bye to the traveler. A small child embraced him and whispered. “Don’t forget your magic stone.” The traveler replied, “I am leaving the stone with you. Why? because it not only fed you yesterday, and will feed you tomorrow, but it has shown you what is possible when you work together and share what you have.” With that he rode off and the villagers agreed the stone had accomplished everything the traveler had promised.
So . . what is the connection between making stone soup and having a successful stewardship drive? The answer is obvious. Both events only succeed when the participants are willing to pitch-in with their “treasure, time, and talents.” When that happens, the magic of the stone provides nourishment and comfort for all.
Rev. M. Tracy Smith, SSA, Rector is from the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, 1416 SE 2 Terr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-695-0336. Wednesday: Holy Communion at 10 a.m., Sunday: Holy Communion at 10 a.m.

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Tigers roar past Coconut Creek, 28-16

Posted on 24 October 2019 by LeslieM

Blanche Ely senior Jevon Williams ran for 135 yds. and three TDs in a 28-16 win over Coconut Creek last Friday night. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely senior quarterback Jevon Williams ran 11 times for a game-high 135 yds. and three scores as the Tigers rallied for a 28-16 win over visiting Coconut Creek on Friday night.

Blanche Ely (7-1) won for the fifth straight game and will face Atlantic on Friday at 7 p.m. for the District 13-7A championship.

“Speed is everything,” said Williams, a three-time state champion hurdler in track. “Football is speed, it is not just strength, and I go by speed…if they can’t stop me, they can’t stop me.

“Last year, we won one game and, this year, we won our seventh game,” added Williams, who also threw for 100 yds. in the game. “We are on a winning streak right now. It feels great to me, and I am proud of this team and proud of myself as well. We got Atlantic next week and we are going to win that game as well.”

Coconut Creek (4-4) got on the scoreboard first on a safety when Blanche Ely punter Schneider Etienne had his knee touch down in the end zone as he was attempting to punt the ball for a 2-0 Cougars’ lead. 

Coconut Creek scored on its opening offensive series when Cedrick Bennett hit Damien Heller on a screen pass, and he went untouched from 23-yds. out for a 9-0 lead with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter.

Williams scored on a 6-yd. run to trim the lead to 9-7 before the Cougars’ John Blackmon hauled in an 8-yd. TD pass from Bennett to boost the lead to 16-7. 

The Tigers scored twice before the end of the first half to take the lead for good as Williams scored on a 6-yd. run and Shomari Lawrance scored on a 13-yd. run to cap a 9-play, 63-yd. drive with 3:22 left in the first half. Lawrance finished the game with 14 carries for 63 yds.

The Tigers capitalized on an interception by Antonio McBride, and Williams padded the lead when he scored on a 59-yd. run with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter for a 28-16 lead.

Blanche Ely’s lone defeat this season was a 42-0 loss to Deerfield Beach in the third game of the season. Since then, they have reeled off five wins in a row.

“Deerfield was a game where I felt we beat ourselves and I didn’t harp on that,” said Blanche Ely coach Clifford Wimberly after the Tigers finished 1-9 last year. “We jumped right back into action and put that game behind us. I told the kids we have a long season left to play and our goal was to ‘restore the roar,’ we would no longer be the step-child in Broward County and I think we are doing that.”

“I made the kids believe,” Wimberly said. “I gave them a vision…this is one of the heartbeats of the community. This is where my family is from and I am deeply rooted in Pompano. I knew how big the job was when I was taking it. We were 1-9 last year, but a lot of people don’t realize we probably played the toughest schedule in the state, and we have only lost one game since the spring.”

Blanche Ely is 10-5 against the Cougars dating back to 2004. Coconut Creek had won the last two meetings, and three of the last four entering the contest. The Tigers have outscored their opposition 244-126 this season.

Bucks fall 28-7 at St. Thomas Aquinas

Deerfield Beach fell on the road to St. Thomas Aquinas, 28-7 in a nationally-televised game that featured two of the top teams in the county.

The Bucks (5-3) had their five-game win streak come to a halt as the St. Thomas Aquinas team remained undefeated through seven games.

The Bucks’ Xavier Restrepo got the Bucks on the board first with a 54-yd. scoring toss from Michael Pratt with 7:19 remaining in the first half. From there, it was all Raiders who finished with eight sacks and scored 28 unanswered points.

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