Tallahassee, Florida: Despite Hard Times, Film Festival Pushes Forward Including Free Outdoor Screening

We thought the purse stings were tight last year well, this year the purse strings are even tighter. But we're heading forward anyway."

That's how Tallahassee Film Festival special events coordinator Kim McShane summed up things during a party to rally sponsors Wednesday night at Tantra Lounge at Fusion Cafe. The third annual Tallahassee Film Festival is slated for April 8 to 11 in various venues around the city.

While the economic slump has hit hard in every sector of business and entertainment, someone apparently forgot to tell independent filmmakers.

"Last year we got 140 submissions short films, features, animation and 75 were selected," McShane said. "At this point, we already have 150 submissions."

Filmmakers have until Jan. 7 to enter their works. For more information, visithttp://tallahasseefilmfestival.com/call-for-entries.

The 2010 Tallahassee Film Festival also will include a free outdoor screening downtown, educational panels and the popular 48 Hour Film Contest.

The 48 Hour competition gives amateurs and professionals one weekend to write, cast, shoot and edit a five-minute short film on a miniscule budget. The mini-movies are posted on theTallahassee Democrat's Tallahassee.com Web site and readers are invited to vote for their favorite.

"We got 80,000 hits on the first day last (spring)," 48 Hour Film Contest director and Tallahassee Community College multimedia professor Carlos Miranda said. "We hope we can surpass that number of entries and viewers."

"The festival is a community project and community endeavor and we need everyone to embrace it," Mary Brogan Museum director and Film Festival vice chair Chucha Barber said. "We also want to make this the sexiest and coolest event in Tallahassee."

The sponsorship party was attended by Florida State film dean Frank Patterson, Torchlight Program founder and film distributor Paul Cohen, FAMU professor and filmmaker Ken Jones, Seven Days of Opening Nights director Steve MacQueen, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, and Mike Pate, who is Florida program director for the Knight Foundation and former publisher of theВ Democrat.

An all-access pass to the three-day 2010 Tallahassee Film Festival will cost $20.

"That's a lot of joy for $20," McShane said.

Mark Hinson


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