Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday

The second annual Tallahassee Film Festival, sponsored by the Florida Commerce Credit Union, will begin April 15-19 at Florida State University’s Student Life Cinema.

The original Tallahassee Film Festival was held May 15-17, 2008 after more than a year of planning, and was created as one of four Knight Creative Communities Initiatives in Tallahassee, according to the festivals president-elect Lori Vaughn. 

The original KCCI Catalysts for the film festival were Chucha Barber, Jeanne Curtain, Gloria Pugh, April Salter, and Dorothy Bland, the director of journalism at Florida A&M University.

“The festival schedule is far more ambitious than year one, with the expansion from three days to five,” Vaughn said.  “The breadth and depth of the festival is just so much larger.”

The event will open on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and will showcase two unique films. 

The first film, “In a Dream,” a theatrical trailer by Isaiah Zagar, is a feature that records his work and his chaotic relationship with his wife Julia. 

The second film, “Breaking Upwards,” a romantic drama created by couple Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, gives viewers an uncensored look at love, desire and the pangs of codependency.

This year’s festival will screen more than 75 new films compared to last year’s 65 films.

Three films by recent FAMU graduates will be among the films shown, Vaughn explained.
In an effort to broaden its scope of filmmakers, TFF will incorporate international entries as well.

“We have films from not only the Tallahassee area but 15 other countries including Ukraine, Nepal, and Afghanistan,” said Kim McShane, coordinator of the TFF.

During the Tallahassee Film Festival, an award ceremony will be held to recognize the winners of the 48 Hour Film Contest. FAMU students won the TFF’s 24-hour amateur film contest last year.

One of TFF’s sponsors, Film in Florida, has put together free education sessions on filmmaking workshops presented by filmmakers all over the country. Kenneth Jones, an award winning filmmaker and broadcast professor at FAMU, will be coordinating the education panels open to the public. The panels will be held Thursday April 16-18 at 9 a.m. at the Residence Inn Marriot on Gaines and Railroad Avenue. Another free event the public can participate in is a screening of the movie “Grease” that will be shown on the lawn at the Kleman Plaza on Friday at 8 p.m.

McShane said last year Tallahassee’s Film Festival had more than 2,600 people in attendance and hopes to see the number increase this year.

“We’ve had incredible marketing to advertise the event, Salter Mitchell Florida’s top public affairs firm did our advertising and we’re sure it will pay off,” she said.

Samantha Strickland, vice president of growth & management at Florida Commerce Credit Union, said they have always wanted to find something synonymous with FCCU values and they have found it with the TFF.