Tallahassee Film Festival spotlights experts

For three days the Tallahassee Film Festival, “For Filmmakers Who Have Something to Say,” will spotlight expert and emerging filmmakers. The event is slated for May 15-17 and is sponsored by Knight Creative Communities Initiative, a group that promotes community talent.

Dorothy Bland, a film festival board member and division director of Florida A&M’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, said the event will be beneficial to all in attendance. Bland said the festival is an event that focuses on local talent as well as Florida’s history in filmmaking.

“This event is for the community and for the students at Tallahassee Community College, Florida State University and Florida A&M University to show off their work and for people to enjoy the art of filmmaking,” Bland said.

The festival will cover a variety of film-related activities, such as workshops and screenings. Workshops and screenings will be held at Heritage Hall at the R.A. Gray Museum, All Saints Cinema, the Student Life Cinema at FSU and the FAMU SJGC Lecture Hall.

Florida ranks No. 3 in the film industry, according to filminflorida.com. FSU has the No. 1 film school in Florida.

“We are very fortunate to have all three schools of higher education to be involved and also having the event in Tallahassee,” Bland said. “In addition, we have our very own professor Kenneth Jones who graduated from FSU film school and who is an award-winning filmmaker.”

Bland said Jones’ work will be recognized at this event, as well as Burt Reynolds, a world-renowned actor who is also an FSU graduate.

Bland said the film festival board put a lot of work into deciding the venues. This was in an attempt to draw visitors to the Gaines Street area.

“I look forward to each venue at each university and seeing others work,” said Lamont Carswell, an FSU student and producer of the short film “Dreaming in Color.”

Bland said individuals submitting their work for the first time will have the opportunity to learn from Florida’s filmmakers and network with filmmakers in the industry.

James Bland, 22, a senior business administration student from Titusville, said he is looking forward to “viewing the other films that are entered in the film festival and hopefully winning an award for my film.”

“This will be my first film festival, so I’m really looking forward to the overall experience,” said Bland, writer and director of “Dreaming In Color.” “I hope to meet some key people in the film industry that could possibly offer me some advice and guidance on how to become a better filmmaker.”

Dorothy Bland said if students take advantage of this event they will be amazed of the history and talent in Florida.

“I’m not sure how the turnout will be, being that the film festival is in the summer,” Bland added. “I want to take advantage of everything that festival has to offer.”

For more information about this event, please visit http://www.tallahasseefilmfestival.com.