Jacksonville Film Festival


Jacksonville Film Festival

The Jacksonville Film Festival, which was a long weekend (Thursday - Sunday), was extended to a full week (Thursday - Wednesday) starting in 2008. It features film screenings, great parties, panel discussions and “talks” with knowledgeable film makers. The annual May event in Jacksonville, Florida features approximately 60 films screened at various locations across Jacksonville. In the 2008 the venues included the Florida Theatre, the Terry Theater, Jacksonville Public Library, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cafe 331, The Jacksonville Landing, Fuel, Twisted Martini, and Mavericks.

Films are submitted in one of four categories:
* Feature – films over 60 minutes length
* Documentary – documentaries over 60 minutes length
* Short film – under 60 minutes including animation, experimental, documentary & narrative
* Student short film – high school or college level productions

The mission of the Film Festival is to focus attention on independent films & filmmakers not available at the local multiplex and connect Jacksonville to its early “Hollywood of the South” movie-making roots.

Past films

The first film shown at the Festival was The Flying Ace, made in Jacksonville in 1926 by the Norman Studios. It had been recently restored by the Library of Congress "Motion Picture Conservation Center" and had not been seen in 75 years. It was warmly received at a packed house at the historic Ritz Theatre.

Bill Murray’s appearance was a highlight of the second year and a film that was previewed – Napoleon Dynamite - was the season’s biggest hit. The world-wide press discovered Jacksonville and its new and small-but-fresh Festival in 2004.

"Lonely Hearts", which was filmed in spring, 2005 at various locations around Jacksonville with a cast that included John Travolta and Salma Hayek, was the headline film at the 2006 festival.

The 2008 Film Festival showcased not only the film "The Year of Getting to Know Us",which was shot in Jacksonville, but also "CRAZY", "METEORO", and "Inside the Circle".

A complete list of films can be found at: http://filmfestival.jacksonville.com/previous-films/

History

The Jacksonville Film Festival was conceived by Joan Monsky and Karen Sadler in the spring of 2002. They assembled a small advisory group of community leaders and arts advocates to create a mission and a template for the event which was ambitiously scheduled for May, 2003.

The Robin Shepherd Group designed the turtle logo and creative graphics, the city and the Times-Union declared their support, Preston Haskell contributed wisdom and encouragement (and more), and Erik Hart offered space and services at the Florida Theatre. Sponsors also took a leap of faith, and volunteers were generous with hours and hours of time and effort. Joan Monsky was elected president and brought in programmers to help guide the artistic vision. After long, arduous planning sessions, the First Annual Jacksonville Film Festival made its successful debut.

The mission of the Festival was threefold: to connect Jacksonville to its early “Hollywood of the South” moviemaking roots, to focus attention on independent film and filmmakers, and to contribute to the revitalization of downtown Jacksonville.

The first film shown at the Festival was The Flying Ace, made in Jacksonville in 1926 by the Norman Studios. It had been recently restored by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center and had not been seen in 75-years. It was warmly received at a packed house at the historic Ritz Theatre.The list of independent films that first year was also impressive: Secret Lives of Dentists, Burial Society, Camp, G-Sale, A Decade Under the Influence… and many more.

Six urban venues hosted films, parties and special events including the popular Entertainment Law Panel and Viva Cinema. Downtown was also alive with movie buffs, movie stars and movie guests.

Bill Murray’s appearance highlighted the second year and a film that was previewed – Napoleon Dynamite - was the season’s biggest hit. The world-wide press discovered Jacksonville and its small, fresh, new Festival.

In 2005 – 2006, the Festival became a non-profit corporation, Jacksonville Film Events, Inc. and added new initiatives: Books Alive!, a monthly program in partnership with the Jacksonville Public Library, celebrating family films derived from literature and REEL People, the film festival “fan club” offering year-round screenings of diverse and unique films never before seen in Jacksonville.In 2007, the Jacksonville Film Festival celebrated its fifth year. The festival has been embraced by the city and is gaining increasing recognition in the Southeast as an important destination for the independent film community. A key to the success has been the festival commitment to offering “Something for Everyone!”

2008 will be known as the year of significant change. Jesse Rodriguez took the helm and along with the board of directors, extended the festival to a full week incorporating programs such as A TASTE OF ASIA, EUROPA EUROPA, HIP HOP FOR THE MASSES, as well as A MOMENT OF SILENCE PLEASE, a film program for the Deaf. The concept for a FILM FESTIVAL VILLAGE was also realized making all of the venues and hotel within walking distance of each other. Now as an international film festival, over 15 countries will be represented through cinema.

References

External links

* [http://filmfestival.jacksonville.com/ Official web page]


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