2018 Florida Film Festival Food Sidebar and Tasting Events

By Leslie C. Halpern

The 27th Annual Florida Film Festival, produced by Enzian Theater and running from April 6 through April 15 throughout Central Florida, includes 10 days of films, parties, forums, and food. There’s also a Food Sidebar with two appetizing feature films and food-oriented events hosted by Enzian Theater, Eden Bar, and other Central Florida eateries.

Here’s a taste of the Festival’s food-related programming that is open to the public.

Food Film Sidebar

Back to Burgundy. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Back to Burgundy

In the Food Films Sidebar. In French, Spanish, and English with English subtitles. Narrative Feature. Florida Premiere. Screens April 7, 1:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park Village.

This heartfelt narrative drama captures the intoxicating ambiance of the French vineyard where most of the film was shot. Jean’s father drove him away from home with his cold criticism, and now ten years later his father draws him back. The return visit has far more significance than the departure, because his father is dying. As his father’s life end, Jean’s new life begins. The oldest of three children – all bequeathed the house and vineyard equally – Jean must decide if he wants to stay, rent, or sell his stake in the long-time family business. Using this time to sort out his feelings for his siblings, his relationship to his father, and the separation from his wife and their child, Jean is faced with important decisions, and this time he can’t just run away. Lush, rich, and layered, this film features beautiful cinematography, delightful performances, and a story worth telling. Enjoy with a glass of wine.

  • Directed by Cedric Klapisch
  • Stars Pio Marmai, Ana Girardot, Francois Civil, Jean-March Roulot, Maria Valverde
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • MPAA rating: Not Rated
  • 4 / 5

Ramen Heads. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Ramen Heads

In the Food Films Sidebar; In Japanese with English subtitles. Documentary Feature. Florida Premiere. Screens April 8, 1:45 p.m. at Regal Winter Park Village.

This mouth-watering documentary presents ramen noodles in an entirely new way for those not living in Japan, where a fanatical culture exists for the slurpable noodles found in this everyday treat. The story centers mainly on Tomito Osamu, a chef who keeps winning Best Ramen awards for his unique broth that stews for three full days before serving. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his tiny restaurant, he enlists the aid of two other well-known ramen chefs to help him prepare something special for that day. Just as his ramen combines a “witch’s brew” of ingredients, the doc includes a little bit of this and that. In addition to Tomito’s professional and personal life, the film peeks inside other ramen restaurant for tips from their chefs, provides an animated history of ramen noodles, visits a ramen festival, and then returns to the 10-year restaurant anniversary party. It’s a strange brew of ideas that ultimately satisfies.

  • Directed by Koki Shigeno
  • Stars Tomito Osamu
  • Run time: 93 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: Not Rated
  • 3.5 / 5

Food Events

Block Party. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Festival Block Party

  • Sponsored by Winter Park Village
  • Saturday, April 7, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Regal Winter Park Village
  • 510 North Orlando Avenue
  • Winter Park, FL 32789
  • Free for all Festival ticket and pass holders

There’s a block party celebration with live entertainment that meets at the Winter Park Village fountain across from the Regal Cinema. Individual ticket holders and pass holders receive free drinks and appetizers from select Winter Park Village restaurants. Space is limited.

Locally Fresh! Scrumptious Cinema

  • Sponsored by Orlando Weekly
  • Sunday, April 8, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater
  • 1300 South Orlando Avenue
  • Maitland, FL 32751
  • $12

Central Florida foodies partner with local filmmakers at this unique event. Watch their documentaries, accompanied by cooking demonstrations and food samples.

Locally Fresh! Farmers Market

  • Sponsored by Orlando Weekly
  • Sunday, April 8, Noon – 2:30 p.m. on the lawn at Eden Bar
  • 1300 South Orlando Avenue
  • Maitland, FL 32751
  • Free

After Locally Fresh! Scrumptious Cinema, the lawn at Eden Bar becomes a Farmers Market filled with fresh local products for purchase.

Sunday Brunch. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

  • Sunday, April 8, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Enzian Theater and Eden Bar
  • Sunday, April 15, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Enzian Theater and Eden Bar
  • 1300 South Orlando Avenue
  • Maitland, FL 32751
  • $13.99

This pre-movie brunch requires no advance ticket purchase.

Sip and Savor: Cocktail Tasting

  • Sponsored by Diageo
  • Wednesday, April 11, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Eden Bar
  • 1300 South Orlando Avenue
  • Maitland, FL 32751
  • Free and open to the public

Sample a selection of craft cocktails provided by Diageo.

Visit the Florida Film Festival website for full movie listings, a full schedule of events, and ticket information.



2018 Florida Film Festival Music Sidebar

By Leslie C. Halpern

As in previous years, the 27th annual Florida Film Festival offers a music sidebar in addition to its other programming. This sidebar includes non-competing documentaries related to music, musicians, and musical instruments. In addition to this sidebar, the Festival also features live music at Eden Bar. Produced by Enzian Theater and held from April 6 – 15, 2018 throughout Central Florida, the Festival features parties, forums, and more than 180 independent narrative features, documentaries, and shorts on a variety of unusual subjects.

Music Sidebar Selections for 2018

40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie

Hardcore hippies in the 1970s, the band Magic Music never produced an album nor achieved the widespread fame many felt it deserved.  Emmy-nominated sitcom writer-producer, Lee Aronsohn decided it was finally time to reunite the former members from his favorite band that played back when he was a student at the University of Colorado. Not only that, but he talked them into one more gig and a documentary.

40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

  • Director: Lee Aronsohn
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Screenings: Sunday, April 8, 4:00 p.m. (Regal Winter Park Village); Sunday April 15, 12:30 p.m. (Regal Winter Park Village)
  • Southeast Premiere
  • Talent in Attendance

The Godfathers of Hardcore

New York City hardcore legend Agnostic Front has survived 35 years of personal and professional challenges among its members. In addition to the music, this documentary explores friendship, family, drug problems, health issues, and, of course, the music. From film and music video director, Ian McFarland, this film looks at the two leaders in New York Hardcore and how they defined, shaped, and inspired the musical movement.

The Godfathers of Hardcore. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

  • Director: Ian McFarland
  • Stars: Roger Miret, Vinnie Stigma
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Screenings: Saturday, April 7, 9:00 p.m. (Regal Winter Park Village); Friday, April 13, 8:00 p.m. (Regal Winter Park Village)
  • Florida Premiere
  • Talent in Attendance on April 7

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Forsaking traditional documentary-style storytelling, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami provides viewers with a blend of bold concert performances and unscripted candid moments. There’s Jones the performer on stage singing in enormous high heels and an extraordinarily large hat and not much else. There’s Jones the businesswoman yelling at her promoter over the telephone. There’s Jones at home with her parents and other family members in Jamaica, all talking over each other at mealtime. Rather than the usual story arc, this doc presents different sides of the eccentric singer and lets the audience come to its own conclusions.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

  • Director: Sophie Fiennes
  • Stars: Grace Jones, Jean-Paul Gourde
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Screenings: Thursday, April 12, 6:30 p.m. (Regal Winter Park Village); Saturday, April 14, 9:00 p.m.
  • East Coast Premiere

Live Music at Florida Film Festival

Local musicians perform outside Eden Bar (located at Enzian Theater in Maitland) to enhance the atmosphere during the Festival. Free and open to the public.

  • Weekday Performances: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Weekend Performances: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Visit the official Florida Film Festival website for full movie listings and ticket information.


Finding Your Feet – Movie Review

By Leslie C. Halpern

Though comparisons to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are inevitable, Finding Your Feet is more like Quartet, except with dancing instead of singing. Filled with charming British actors and actresses in their 60s and 70s, the story is not the best and is less than exotic, and instead leans toward the predictable and stereotypical.

Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall star in Finding Your Feet. Photo copyright 2018 Roadside Attractions.

Lady Sandra (Imelda Staunton) lives her pampered life as the wife of a highly regarded, retired Scotland Yard police chief. They live in a glorious mansion and associate with other highbrows, many of whom have gathered for Sandra’s and Mike’s (John Sessions) 40th anniversary party. It’s during this party that Sandra discovers Mike’s long-term affair with her best friend.

Dance Lessons

Forsaking her wealthy friends who may have been aware of the affair or even conspired against her, Sandra takes refuge with her older sister, Bif (Celia Imrie), in her cluttered London apartment. Bif’s irresponsible, fun-loving lifestyle, which includes dance lessons at her local senior center, is the opposite of Sandra’s rigidly structured daily routine.

Likewise, Bif’s free-wheeling sexuality conflicts with Sandra’s only-been-with-her-husband mentality. The unsubtle stage is set for mutual compromise, and that’s exactly what happens. Compromise doesn’t come easily though. Both women manage circumstances beyond their control.

Acclaimed British Actors

Bif’s friend, Charlie (Timothy Spall, after tremendous weight loss), is not only her frequent dance partner, but her closest friend. Anticipating the future when Sandra will be divorced and Charlie will be a widower (his wife is living in a treatment facility) and they will need each other’s support, Bif fixes them up on a date that the audience knows is coming long before Charlie and Sandra do.

With a cast comprised of so much established talent (and including David Hayman and Joanna Lumley), the movie doesn’t totally miss the mark. However, overused story elements and movie cliches make this feel-good film about aging and the rejuvenating powers of romance and dance feel more tired than anything else. There’s isn’t much new material here, but fans of Staunton, Spall, and Imrie will enjoy watching these stars delivering performances that excel beyond the script.

Finding Your Feet

  • When a snooty titled English woman learn her husband of 40 years is having an affair with her best friend, she takes off for London to live with her estranged free-spirited older sister.
  • Stars: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions, Joanna Lumley
  • Director: Richard Loncraine
  • Genre: Romantic Drama
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for suggestive material, brief drug use, and brief strong language)
  • Additional Information: Watch a trailer for this film.

2018 Florida Film Festival Forums

By Leslie C. Halpern

The 27th Annual Florida Film Festival, produced by Enzian Theater and held this year from April 6 – 15 throughout Central Florida, offers 183 feature and short films from 38 countries. The Festival includes the American Independent Competition, 23 world premieres, 82 women filmmakers, and a new experimental shorts program named Sunspots: New Visions in the Avant Garde. As always, Festival goers also can choose from a variety of additional programming, such as celebrity guest events, special screenings, film sidebars, family films, parties, and the popular film forums offered free to the community.

Here’s a quick look at this year’s forums, all held at Enzian Theater. No tickets are required, and the forums are free and open to the public; however, seating is limited. The moderator asks questions of the panelists, and a general Q&A with the audience follows the discussion.

Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Write Now! A Screenwriter’s Road from Keyboard to Storyboard

  • Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Enzian Theater

This group of respected screenwriters will provide an up-to-the-minute insider’s guide to succeeding in the film industry, including tips on breaking in and working with the changing markets (such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu). Panelists will discuss agents, hot topics, and writing on spec, among other issues. Moderated by screenwriter Barry Sandler (Crimes of Passion, Making Love), this panel features Nick Naveda (Say You Will, Words on Bathroom Walls) and Don Mancini (Childs Play).

Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Indie Women: Grab ‘em by the Movies

  • Thursday, April 12, 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater; sponsored by Full Sail University

In recent years, Florida Film Festival has devoted time and attention to some of the extraordinary women filmmakers working today. The Indie Women film panel returns this year, marking an even stronger presence at the Festival with women filmmakers representing more than 45% of the total programming. With strong women filmmakers including Greta Gerwig (Ladybird) on today’s scene at the same time as the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, these are changing times in the entertainment industry (and beyond). Panelists include Brooke Purdy (Quality Problems), Raama Mosely (Tatterdemalion), Jen Serena (My Indiana Muse) and Caroline Voagen Nelson (Aquacade), who will talk about their industry experiences. The forum will be moderated by Anne Russell, Program Director – Film Production MFA at Full Sail University.

Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

Filmmaker Forum

  • Friday, April 13, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater; sponsored by IMDBPro

Always a favorite, the filmmaker forum brings together a combination of talents from each year’s Festival. Conversations are lively, dynamic, and totally unscripted. Panelists reveal their triumphs and challenges, gloats and grievances, along with plenty of colorful anecdotes of the independent filmmaking process. Charles Sutter, Adjunct Professor, Film Department, UCF School of Visual Art & Design and festival selections team member, will moderate the panel, which includes Karl Jacob (Cold November), Fiona Dawson (TransMilitary), Christina Parrish (Call Me Brother) and David Howe (Call Me Brother).

Visit the Florida Film Festival website for full movie listings and ticket information.



Kid-Friendly Movies at the 2018 Florida Film Festival

By Leslie C. Halpern

Though focused primarily on movies for adults, the 27th Annual Florida Film Festival – which runs from April 6-15 – honors its tradition of also offering a family programming sidebar with unique new independently produced movies appropriate for youngsters. In addition to the sidebar, the Spotlight Films category contains another film that children and teens may enjoy watching with their parents – a documentary about Fred Rogers and his long-running television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Family Programming

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales…

Screens Saturday, April 7 at 11:30 a.m.; Regal Winter Park Village.

Making its Southeast premiere at The Florida Film Festival, this adaptation of the director’s own graphic novel includes hand-drawn 2-D animation. The film is comprised of three separate tales presented as a stage play by the Honeysuckle Farm Theatre Company. Complete with non-stop action and quirky talking animals, each story has a farm setting with reappearing animals that includes a mother hen, a pig, a duck, a rabbit, and a fox. The film is in French with English subtitles, but the universal action depicted on the screen tells its own story of cooperation and understanding that goes beyond words.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales…

  • Directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert (animator)
  • Stars the voices of Kamel Abdessadok, Jules Bienvenu, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Loup Horwitz, Guillaume Darnault
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: G

Lu Over the Wall

Screens Saturday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m.; Regal Winter Park Village

Set in a small Japanese fishing village, this animated feature tells the story of 14-year-old Kai, a child of recently divorced parents who withdraws into music to deal with his grief. When he joins a band that practices by Merfolk Island, Kai meets Lu, a high-spirited mermaid with an enchanting singing voice. When the suspicious villagers learn of Lu’s existence, they are divided between wanting to exploit her to revive the fishing village and fearing her presence because of a legendary curse. The film, filled with lively music and fluid Japanese anime, looks at how the magical young mermaid not only changes one boy’s life, but an entire village.

Lu Over the Wall. Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

  • Directed by Masaaki Yuasa
  • Stars the voices of Kanon Tani, Shota Shimoda, Shin’ichi Shinohara, Akira Emoto, Soma Saito, Minako Kotobuki
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: PG (for some peril and thematic elements).

Family Friendly Spotlight Film

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Screens Saturday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Enzian Theater.

This documentary examines television icon Fred Rogers, who helped children understand some of life’s challenges and deal with their own emotions through his calm words of wisdom. His television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ran for more than three decades, often using puppetry to deliver its messages. His inclusive idea that all of us belong to a global neighborhood was way ahead of its time.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Photo courtesy of Florida Film Festival.

  • Directed by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville
  • Stars Fred Rogers (in archival footage), Joanne Rogers, Francois Scarborough Clemmons, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Negri, David Newell
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • This film is unrated

Visit the official website for more information about the Florida Film Festival produced by Enzian Theater.