Each of us can look back on years and months past to find films that changed us. Maybe they brought us a new perspective of the world, maybe they introduced us to an unknown part of ourselves, maybe they captivated us with their story or their beauty. Film continues to make an indelible mark on the culture at large. And on it’s 10th anniversary, the Saint Augustine Film Festival is ready to celebrate – with feature films, documentaries, and shorts from all over the world.
The 10th Annual Saint Augustine Film Festival (SAFF) runs January 16-19 with movies at Lewis Auditorium, Corazon Cinema & Café, and Gamache-Koger Theater. Tickets to individual films are $10 Gen Admission and $8 seniors (60 & up). There are three different Film Badges: ALL ACCESS provides entrance to all films at any venue plus the four parties (see below) for $180; ALL FILM provides entrance to all films at any venue $120; LEWIS provides entrance to all films at Lewis Auditorium and Gamache-Koger $70.
ALL ACCESS Parties include: Friday, January 17 Opening Night Dinner at The Lightner Museum; Saturday, January 18 Centerpiece Party at Colonial Quarter; and Sunday, January 19 Wrap Party at Art ‘n’ Motion.
The Festival will show 21 feature films, 10 documentaries and 11 shorts plus a selection of Flagler College student films. Though every film shown is sure to capture audiences, there are three films of particular local interest, all of which will be shown at Lewis Auditorium:
AMERICA’S UNTOLD STORY
The first permanent European settlement in the nation was founded two generations before the Pilgrims arrived in 1565. America’s Untold Story uncovers the story of America that never made it into textbooks. The film was shot in and around Saint Augustine and is narrated by Jimmy Smits. It will be shown free of charge in two episodes – Part I on Thursday, January 16 at 7pm, and Part II on Sunday, January 19 at 6pm.
WHERE THERE IS DARKNESS
Fr. Rene Robert was regarded as a “living saint” in the tight-knit community of St. Augustine. But when Fr. Rene began helping ex-convicts get their lives together after prison, the people closest to him worried that he was putting his life at risk — especially the local sheriff, David Shoar, one of Fr. Rene’s longtime friends. This film will be shown on Saturday, January 18 at 12pm.
GAMBLE ROGERS: Down At The Terminal Tavern
Gamble was a wry humorist & chronicler of the classic misadventures & country shenanigans of those backwoods scofflaws, loading ramp philosophers & truly sorry individuals who inhabit his fictional Oklawaha County. He is also an outstanding guitar player & accomplished songwriter. This documentary traces the life & career of this unique & talented artist. This film will be shown on Sunday, January 19. Live music begins 3:45pm, and the film begins at 4:15pm.
The Festival is very internationally-focused, with the true life Cold War thriller BALLOON, and comedies COLD FEET and SWEETHEARTS from Germany; the doc CAMINO SKIES from Australia & New Zealand; the doc CHASING THE JET STREAM from Switzerland; the bittersweet road movie DELFIN, the dark comedy INITIALS S.G. and the hilarious RE LOCA from Argentina; four comedies from Italy DON’T STOP ME NOW, THE KING’S MUSKETEERS, L’AMORE A DOMICILIO and our Opener FROM THE VINE with special guest Joe Pantoliano (RISKY BUSINESS, MIDNIGHT RUN, THE MATRIX, BAD BOYS); the Swedish comedy THE DUCKPOND; the Danish comedy HAPPY ENDING; the Israeli comedy LOVE IN SUSPENDERS; the French comedy OUR HAPPY HOLIDAY; the social democracy humorous doc SEX, DRUGS & BICYCLES from The Netherlands; and the romantic comedy VICTOR & CELIA from Belgium. SAFF also has shorts from China and Luxembourg.
Films from the USA include dramas COLWELL (starring Karen Allen) and WORKING MAN (with Talia Shire), comedies FRANCES FERGUSON, SAINT FRANCES, and a retro screening of THE GOONIES (also with Pantoliano). Plus US docs FUNNY YOU NEVER KNEW about the Golden Age of Television comedy with George Goebel, Imogene Coco, Martha Raye and others; DRIVEN TO ABSTRACTION concerning the downfall of one of New York’s biggest galleries for selling fake art; MARCHING FORWARD the 1964 integration of two of Florida’s high school bands at the World’s Fair in NY.
Local filmmakers shine as well with the shorts Sparky & Butch written by Lorraine Portman, and Captain Traer Smiles At The Stars written and directed by Damian K. Lahey.
The St Augustine Film Society will present a Free screening plus panel discussion of PLASTIC PARADISE, on Wednesday, January 15 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church.