The Independents' Film Festival took place in Tampa, September 15-17 2011.
I went to the IFF Saturday Extravaganza to have the chance to catch the screening of Rust and watch one of our directors accept the award for Best Florida Film. I am so glad I had the chance to be part of this project. This intriguing short is beautifully made and the story woven really well both on paper and on screen. It is exciting to know that it is being seen and appreciated. It was a wonderful experience working with both the cast and crew during the making of it as well.
I got to see a number of the winning entries. I wish I had been able to see them all, especially since I was truly impressed with the ones I did get to see. There was a mix of indie shorts, student films, music video and animation.
Let's start off with my personal favorite winner, "Rust". "Rust" was one of the really great films brought together by the IFF. It's a story of love, hate, ghosts and sweet revenge. Here's a link to the trailer for you to get a glimpse:
One of my favorites was the Best Indie Foreign Short called "Pizzangrillo", directed by Marco Gianfreda. It was a sweet, funny movie with moments that tugged at your heart-strings. The humor was seemingly unintentional. In a span of few minutes, you cried, you laughed and left with a heartwarming smile. This one is from Italy.
I'm not used to seeing black and white, silent films but here was one. "The Magic Man" directed by DC Kasundra won Best Indie Mini Film. This was combined with modern visual effects so it adds a different touch.
There were two animated films. "My Brother Greg" by Philllip Enders, won Best Indie Animation. "Defective Detective", by Avener Geller and Stevie Lewis of Ringling School of Art and Design, won Best Student Animation. Both were funny, and very well done.
"Deep Blue Breath" is a really special film. This was a film made with the help of the Make a Film Foundation which works with terminally ill children. It is written and stars Clay Beabout, about his experience with Vater Syndrome. It is a mixture of live action and animation. It is a touching and inspiring movie. It won Best Indie Short film.
"Picture Day" by Ken Adachi from FSU won Best Student short film. This is the first time I've had the chance to see an FSU student film and I liked what I saw. A young man obsessed with the impact of his school picture risks losing his sense of self and possibly his friend over it.
Other award winners filmmakers I have the good fortune to know were Clint Mourino for "War of our Children" and Banks Helfrich for "The Ah of Life". Here's some information on Banks Helfrich's next project:
Last but not least is a "most excellent" music video, Liberty, by Ben Disinger that won Best Student Music Video. I agree with Ben that "...it needed to be said" which was his response when asked why he chose to make this video. Let me know what you think: