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FILM

FFF: 20th Florida Film Festival

Onscreen outcasts and misfits dominate the 10-day fest

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FFF 2011
  • FFF: 20th Florida Film Festival Onscreen outcasts and misfits dominate the 10-day fest | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Friday, April 8 7 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Project Nim (4 Stars) A story both infuriating and complex as revealed by director James Marsh, who won an Oscar for his last film, the brilliant Man On Wire, employs real footage and reenactments to tell the story of Nim Chi | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Saturday, April 9 | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Sunday, April 10 Noon at Regal Winter Park - Chekhov for Children (3 Stars) There is no knowledge of Anton Chekhov required for this touching documentary about a group of New York City junior high schoolers putting on Uncle Vanya in the late 1970s. The play, which should | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Monday, April 11 6:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater - La Pivellina (2 Stars) A middle-aged carny with candy-apple hair (Patrizia Gerardi) finds a baby abandoned in sketchy suburban Rome. Rather than call the cops, she takes the toddler to her caravan, home of Europe's least-chee | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Tuesday, April 12 | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Wednesday, April 13 1:15 at Enzian Theater - Dog Sweat (4 Stars) The Western media generally fails to paint a human portrait of young Middle Easterners living under Islamist regimes. Usually, they're portrayed only in terms of conflict. The beauty of this movie, filmed secre | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Thursday, April 14 6:45 p.m. at Enzian Theater - Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja (4 Stars) Finally, a documentary that's supposed to be better when you're high. (As opposed to the accidental brilliance of toking during Spellbound.) Jumping off of the premise that So | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Friday, April 15 3:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - 
Red Chapel (3 Stars) The most interesting part of Red Chapel is the fact that it fails. It fails in interesting ways, but it still fails. Its stated mission was to undermine the North Korean state with a (tremendously unf | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Saturday, April 16 12:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater - Ruby in Paradise A showing of the 1993 film set in Florida starring Ashley Judd. Following the screening, director Victor Nunez will do a Q&A with the audience, moderated by "Florida Films" program curator Scott Foundas. | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Sunday, April 17 Noon at Regal Winter Park - 
Bots High (4 Stars) I'd forgotten about Battle Bots until seeing this absorbing documentary about a group of high schoolers from Miami designing and eventually pitting their bots against one another. The film follows three set | 4/7/2011

Florida Film Festival 2011

April 8-April 17 at Enzian Theater

and Regal Winter Park Village 20

407-629-1088

floridafilmfestival.com

$10 (individual screenings), $40-$140 (ticket packages), $650 (all-access pass)

From arrogant chefs to bullied loners, metalhead angels to anti-Semitic chess champions, the 20th annual Florida Film Festival makes up for its comparable lack of star wattage (Alan Arkin, the only true celebrity appearance announced at press time, backed out due to a mild car accident that was suspiciously only reported by Arkin's people) with an oddball collection of delightfully left-field films from all over the world. If any theme emerges out of a crop that includes several sappy cancer subplots, eco-whining on a micro level, kids spouting Chekhov, a signing chimp, samurais, elderly rappers and, well, trolls, it's the ballad of the misfit - a familiar and welcome return to Slacker-era film fests that celebrated not only fictional losers but the unlikely heroes behind the camera as well.

Speaking of loser outcasts, the state of Florida is represented heavily this year: food events like "Swamp Cabbage Culture, Sweet Tea and Pie: Florida Food Discussion and Tasting" highlight Florida's Southern-cooking roots, a panel discussion on our state's image in film and TV led by Magazine Company president Jim Clark and special Florida film showcases curated by LA Weekly film editor Scott Foundas, a former Floridian.

Of course, it all comes down to the films, and we've reviewed nearly all of them below. Due to space and time constraints, we were limited to features, but as always, there are plenty of short-film programs to soak in, including a competition category featuring this year's Oscar winner, God of Love. (Visit floridafilmfestival.com for the complete schedule.)

Only two festival films received perfect five-star ratings from OW this year - Stuff and Hesher - but most of the movies (and their misfits) are worth your consideration. Let us help you pare it down. -Justin Strout

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