The projectors will be whirring at a fierce pace November 1-4 when the Naples International Film Festival (NIFF) comes to town for its fourth annual running, screening 40 features, documentaries and short films at two different locations: Silverspot Cinema and the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. NIFF celebrates the creative endeavors of newest and emerging voices in the world of film, this year showcasing 19 Florida premieres, two of which are broader East Coast premieres, including not only films from the U.S., but from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Kenya, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. In addition to premieres and international film, NIFF will be featuring two selections from CineCause, an organization and platform that curates films with specific themes or speaking to specific causes, and pairs them with relevant causes, helping further the message to audiences.
As film festivals sprout up in just about every urban center throughout the country—there are 35 sanctioned festivals in Florida alone—NIFF has quickly established itself as a player, not just in Southwest Florida, but in the Sunshine State as a whole. An interesting mix of independent and foreign feature films, and shorts, as well as a well-rounded grouping of documentaries, a genre that seems to be in vogue as of late, the NIFF brings to life a side of the film industry that is often overshadowed by big summer blockbusters and Hollywood’s insistence of producing sequels. Film festivals give filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work in a constructive arena, allowing for their work to speak for itself, and perhaps be discovered at the same time. They are a vital part of the growing film industry, where the newest voices and latest techniques are practiced and perfected for film buffs.
NIFF not only gives filmgoers an opportunity to see some great, under-the-radar independent films but also offers a chance to meet the filmmakers, producers and actors who created the works of art. Much of the talent behind the films make an appearance at the screenings, giving them a rare opportunity to get an honest, real-time reaction to their work as they watch their film on the big screen and observe the audience in the theater (so be on your best behavior folks, we have company). This year, 13 filmmakers will be attending screenings, with audience Q&A’s scheduled after each, giving filmgoers an opportunity to discuss the film in an art-house atmosphere, something rarely seen in Collier County. In addition to the screenings, there will be two panel discussions with NIFF filmmakers and industry professionals to discuss women in the film industry, specifically in director positions in 2012, and filmmaking in Florida, with insights from Florida filmmakers and officials.
And though the films are the real draw, the parties are also a big part of the fun. This year’s opening night (Thursday, November 1), NIFF will premiere (East Coast) Honor Flight, a documentary following a group of volunteers as they try to send every living War World II veteran to Washington D.C., on a complimentary flight, to visit the war memorials built in their honor. The viewing will be held at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts at 7 p.m., with a Q&A with the filmmaker immediately following the screening. From 9:30 p.m.–midnight, a VIP Party will give attendees a chance to discuss the screening with fellow patrons and the filmmakers, as well gear up for the upcoming films. Admission to opening night costs $29 for general seating, $159 for VIP tickets, which includes admission to a special pre-film reception where VIPs can rub elbows with NIFF filmmakers.
Full festival screenings begin 11:45 a.m. on Friday, November 2, at Silverspot Cinema in Mercato; tickets cost $12.50 per film (package deals available here). A total of 19 showings are scheduled for that day, two of which are shorts packages, with the final showtime coming in at 8:30 p.m. Viewings include the CineCause featured film, The Eyes of Thailand, a documentary about a woman’s quest to save endangered Indian elephants, one of which stepped on a landmine and is equipped with a prosthesis.
- For those seeking a break from the film action, Burn will be hosting a happy hour Sponsor & Filmmaker Reception for NIFF sponsors, filmmakers and VIPs from 5-7 p.m.
On Saturday, November 3, NIFF continues with another full day of screenings at Silverspot Cinema; tickets cost $12.50 per film (package deals available here). Things start with a discussion panel of film professionals and filmmakers on the topic of “Women Calling the Shots,” at 11 a.m. (admission, $1). The panel will discuss the realities of women in the filmmaker role, and how the industry has changed over the years. Following the one-hour discussions, a total of 18 showings will light up the screen, including the cine shorts package and the viewing of One Day on Earth, a CineCause featured film that visits every country on Earth on the same day—October 10, 2012 (10/10/10).
Immediately following the screenings, NIFF is throwing a party The Bay House from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets cost $40 at the door ($30 in advance) and everyone is invited to meet with filmmakers and fellow movie goers.
- For those seeking a break from the film action, Naples Flatbread will be hosting a happy hour Sponsor & Filmmaker Reception for NIFF sponsors, filmmakers and VIPs from 2-4 p.m.
Siverspot Cinema and NIFF round out the fourth annual movie-thon on Sunday, November 4; tickets cost $12.50 per film (package deals available here). Starting at 11 a.m., the final panel discussion, “Florida Filmmaking,” will explore what it takes to make a movie here in the Sunshine State and will be led by Florida filmmakers, Florida Film Commission officials and educators. Following the panel discussion, 13 screenings will grace Silverspot's theaters, including the Florida Shorts Package, a group of three short films made by Florida filmmakers here in the Sunshine State.
A complete list of films, with showtimes, is as follows:
- 3 Days of Normal – FL Premiere - Nov. 2: 8:30 p.m.; Nov. 4, 12 p.m.
- All I Want is Christmas – FL Premiere - Nov. 3, 2:15 p.m.; Nov. 4, 2:15 p.m.
- California Solo – FL Premiere - Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m.; Nov. 4 6 p.m.
- Dorfman – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 2 11:45 a.m.; Nov. 3, 7:45 p.m.
- Eye of the Hurricane – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 3, 2:45 p.m.; Nov. 4, 12:30 p.m.
- Father’s Chair (A Cadeira do Pai) – Foreign (Brazil) - Nov. 2, 12:15 p.m.; Nov. 4, 4 p.m.
- Future Weather – FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m.; Nov. 3, 12 p.m.
- Hitting the Cycle – FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 2, 2:30 p.m.; Nov. 3, 5:15 p.m.
- Missed Connections – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 3, 8 p.m.; Nov. 4, 2:45 p.m.
- Quartet – Foreign (United Kingdom) - Nov. 2, 2 p.m.; Nov. 4, 4:45 p.m.
- Shanghai Calling – FL Premiere - Nov. 2, 8:20 p.m.; Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m.
- Starbuck – FL Premiere – Foreign (Canada) - Nov. 2, 5 p.m.; Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.
- The Sapphires – Foreign (Australia) - Nov. 2, 6 p.m.; Nov. 3, 7:50 p.m.
- Think of Me – Filmmaker Attending - Nov. 2, 7:15 p.m.; Nov. 3, 12:20 p.m.
- Honor Flight – East Coast Premiere – Filmmaker Attending – Opening Night Film - Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
- Beauty is Embarrassing - Nov. 2, 12:30 p.m.; Nov. 3, 6 p.m.
- Detropia – Filmmaker Attending – Nov. 2, 6:15 p.m.; Nov. 4, 1:45 p.m.
- Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey – FL Premiere – Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 4, 4:15 p.m.
- Girl Model – Foreign (Russia, France, Japan and USA) – Nov. 2, 1:45 p.m.; Nov. 3, 12:05 p.m.
- High Tech, Low Life – FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending – Foreign (China) – Nov. 2, 2:15 p.m.; Nov. 3, 2:50 p.m.
- One Day on Earth – CINECAUSE Spotlight Film – Filmmaker Attending – Nov. 3, 5 p.m.; Nov. 4, 12:15 p.m.
- Spinning Plates – FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending – Nov. 2, 8 p.m.; Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
- The Eyes of Thailand – CINECAUSE Spotlight Film – FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending – Nov. 2, 4 p.m.; Nov. 3, 12:30 p.m.
- Practice: Change – The Africa Yoga Project Story – FL Premiere – Foreign (Kenya) – 17 minutes - Nov. 2, 4 p.m.; Nov. 4, 12:30 p.m.
Shorts Package 1: Anything is Possible
84 minutes - Nov. 2, 12 p.m.; Nov. 3, 4:15 p.m.
- Santa Land – Documentary
- Trotteur – Narrative – Foreign (Canada) – FL Premiere
- Election Day – Narrative
- Shoot the Moon – Narrative
- Clean – Narrative – East Coast Premiere
- Friend Request Pending – Narrative – Foreign (UK) – FL Premiere
Shorts Package 2: Endgame
80 minutes - Nov. 3, 1:45 p.m.; Nov. 4, 5:30 p.m.
- Children of the Air – Narrative
- Aaron Burr, Part 2 – Narrative
- Oliver Bump’s Birthday – Narrative – Foreign (Canada) – East Coast Premiere
- Dave vs. Death – Narrative - Foreign (Canada) – FL Premiere
- Orange O Despair – Animated - Foreign (France)
- Coma – Narrative
- The Maker – Stop Motion Animation (winner of Best Animated Short at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, thus allowing the filmmaker to submit the short into the 2013 Academy Awards)
Florida Shorts Package
79 minutes - Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.; Nov. 4, 12:30 p.m.
- Lure – Narrative - FL Premiere – Filmmaker Attending
- BFF Zombie – Narrative
- Gary – Narrative – FL Premiere