NIFF 2014 Film Spotlight

In light of the sixth annual Naples International Film Festival coming to town November 6-9, we wanted to share six films that will brighten the screen, along with trailers too.

Take Me to the River

Florida Premiere | Closing Night Film

Musical Documentary

Screening at Silverspot Cinema on Sunday, November 9 at 6 p.m.

Music industry legend Al Bell, co-owner of Stax Records – Memphis’ musical epicenter in the 1960s and 70s, will be in attendance.

The sixth annual NIFF closing night film continues this year’s unofficial theme of music with the musical documentary Take Me to the River. Celebrating the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians had on American popular music, this film explores the musical melting pot of the region and the genres it has birthed – R&B, soul, country, rock ‘n roll, funk, and all those that followed. Bringing together legendary artists and a new generation of musicians, the documentary films live recording sessions, just as they did back in the day – with up to as many 14 musicians and singers performing simultaneously, giving the recordings a raw, improvisational feel of rhythm and tone.

Point and Shoot

Florida Premiere


Screening at Silverspot Cinema on: Friday, November 7 at 1:45 p.m.; Saturday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m.

In 2006, rudderless and a little sheltered, Baltimorean Matt VanDyke set out on a self-described “crash course in manhood,” atop a motorcycle, visiting every Arab country, filming along the way. The three-year road trip took VanDyke 35,000 miles through Northern Africa and the Middle East, all the while tensions roiled through the region, with long-established oligarchies and authoritarian governments falling to popular revolt – the Arab Spring.

While on his road to self-discovery, VanDyke met a number of Libyans, whose friendship moved him to help support their revolt from dictator Muammar Gaddafi. “Raised on action movies,” his road trip now turned to the streets of Libya, with gun and camera in hand, until he was captured by Gaddafi forces and held in solitary confinement for nearly six months.

Directed by documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry, Point and Shoot is a thought-provoking look at the Arab Spring through the eyes of an outsider adopted into the fold.

Austin to Boston

Florida Premiere


Screening at Silverspot Cinema on: Friday, November 7 at 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 8 at 3:30 p.m.

Austin to Boston Trailer from San Diego Film Festival on Vimeo.

At the close of the 2012 SXSW music festival, four bands hopped into four old-school VW camper vans and hightailed it for the northeast – hence the Austin to Boston moniker. The bands (Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bear’s Den) played their way across the country, from small venues to small rooms, and just about everything in-between in two weeks.  The result, one epic road trip filled with great music, forged friendships and a glimpse of America that far too often is simply just passed by.

Featuring: Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett and narrated by Gill Landry, this documentary is about a modern tour, done the old-fashioned way.

Ernest & Celestine

Animated Feature

Screening at Silverspot Cinema on Saturday, November 8 at 2:15 p.m.

An endearing family-friendly animated feature, Ernest & Celestine tackles difficult themes (fear, hatred and pressure to conform) and counters them with acceptance and love with such warmth and simplicity, it is sure to be a fan-favorite of the festival. The French/Belgium film is based on a children’s book series of the same name, and follows the story of Celestine, a mouse who lives in an orphanage in a subterranean community beneath a village of bears, who dreams of art but soon must give up her love of drawing to practice dentistry, and Ernest, an affable troubadour of a bear. Filled with terrifying tales told by her caretaker, the Gray One, Celestine, on a mission to collect bear cub teeth in the village, comes upon Ernest, starving and lonely. The two become fast friends, to the chagrin of both village and subterranean dwellers.

Winner of France’s prestigious César Award for Best Animated Feature, nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 86th Academy Awards, and the first animated film to ever win the Magritte Award for Best Film in 2014.

The Starfish Throwers

Cinecause Spotlight Film

Screening at Siverspot Cinema on: Friday, November 7 at 2:15 p.m.; Saturday, November 8 at 1:30 p.m.

THE STARFISH THROWERS // Project Teaser #1 from Jesse Roesler on Vimeo.

Sometimes, a film has the ability to be simultaneously heart breaking and heart warming. This is the case with the documentary The Starfish Throwers. One of two CineCasue films at NIFF (the other being Slingshot), The Starfish Throwers follows three individuals in three different parts of the world as they battle the epidemic of hunger:

Narayanan Krishnan, an award-winning chef in India, gave up his five-star job to fight the caste system, preparing, hand delivering and feeding fresh meals to hundreds of people in his hometown of Madurai.

Katie Stagliano’s story began with a seedling. At nine years old, Stagliano nurtured a cabbage seedling into a 40-pound cabbage, feeding 275 people. From that, Katie’s Krops bloomed – a non-profit of 73 gardens dedicated to ending hunger by growing vegetables to be donated to soup kitchens.

Upon retirement as a middle school teacher from the Inner City Minneapolis School System, Allan Law did not give up on helping people. Founding the non-profit Minneapolis Recreation Development, Law hand-delivers thousands of sandwiches to the homeless from 9 p.m.-10 a.m., a time when shelters are closed and the homeless are most vulnerable, nightly. Over the years, Law has handed out millions of sandwiches (in 2012 alone, he estimates more than 750,000), as well as provides emergency assistance to as many people as possible, everyday.

This documentary tells these individuals’ remarkable tales and the unexpected challenges they face. Though the epidemic of world hunger is far too big a problem for one person to solve alone, the individual actions of a few, and the impact those actions have, are beginning to bring in a tide of change.

CineCause is dedicated to “building confidence in the art and impact of socially relevant independent filmmaking.” As an advocate of social impact filmmakers, CineCause curates a selection of thought-provoking films, enlightening audiences on pressing global and regional issues, as well as showcasing positive goods from around the globe.

We’ll Never Have Paris

Florida Premiere

Romantic Comedy

Screening at Siverspot Cinema on: Saturday, November 8 at 8:20 p.m.; Sunday, November 9 at 2:05 p.m.

For those looking for some laughs, We’ll Never Have Paris is the tale of Quinn Berman – Simon Helberg of The Big Bang Theory channeling a hyper-neurotic Woody Allen – as he tries to win back his girlfriend after rebuffing her for another woman. Berman, suffering from what could best be described as a quarter-life crisis, sets out for Paris after his ex, who has left to “find herself,” and in the process, meets a Frenchman. In true romantic comedy fashion, Quinn can’t seem to get out of his own way.

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