Historic City News readers are encouraged to mingle with directors, producers and actors appearing in over 40 films from 20 countries that will be presented during the three-day Saint Augustine Film Festival beginning January 20th at several downtown Saint Augustine locations.
Exciting subjects and people whose common connection to Florida are being highlighted during the 7th Annual event include a Dean Emeritus from the University of Florida, a Jacksonville-born man who fought racial inequality, a film about the State foster care system with a writer and cinematographer who went to Apopka High School, and Saint Augustine residents who became patrons of film.
“We are very excited about the quality of films and subject matter that we’ll be showing this year at the Saint Augustine Film Festival,” said Gregory von Hausch, the President and CEO of this Festival and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. “We have romantic comedies, mysteries, drama, and documentaries from Argentina to Taiwan, and we’re also pleased to be showcasing Florida through the lens of several people and events to a degree we haven’t done before.”
Want a taste of what’s in store?
Klandestine Man – will give the audience a special preview of a documentary about Stetson Kennedy, a Jacksonville-born man who waged a lifelong war against racial inequality, institutional segregation, and social injustice. An audacious, determined, larger-than-life character, his daring actions demonstrate how one man bravely risked his life to transform the destiny of a nation. A privileged son of Southern heritage, a young Kennedy could not ignore the bigotry and intolerance around him. In the 1940’s, he went undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan and fed information to the producers of the nationally broadcast Superman radio show to expose the identities of their leaders. A prolific author, crusading journalist, and tireless activist, Kennedy was a wild man, not above embellishment or self-promotion, but his courage, his actions and his accomplishments made him a legend. Director, Mark Moormann from South Florida; and Sandra Parks, the widow of Stetson Kennedy, will attend the screening.
A Wing and A Prayer – is about the little-known true story of the American origin of the Israeli Air Force in 1948 and the improbable group of World War II veterans who risked their lives and American citizenship to given the newborn state of Israel a chance to survive. Ralph Lowenstein, Dean Emeritus of the College of Journalism, University of Florida appears in this documentary and he will attend the screening of the film which is narrated by William Baldwin.
Foster Shock – takes a first-hand look at what happens to children when they are taken from abusive families and become dependents of the State of Florida. The documentary has interviews with Florida’s finest professional child welfare experts. Mari Frankel, Director, lives in West Palm Beach, and Brian Bayerl is the Writer, Cinematographer and Editor who will be in attendance. Bayerl attended Apopka High School in Orange County and studied at Florida State University. Bayerl will also screen the documentary he directed called Datuna: Portrait of an Artist.
The Great Walk – by Director Jeremy Workman, is a documentary about Matt Green, a former civil engineer, who has spent several years walking every street of New York City and doing research on everything he sees. It’s planned to premier in 2018, however, the 2017 Saint Augustine Film Festival will host a most special and notable event: an evening presentation of the work-in-progress with both subject Green and filmmaker Workman in attendance. The two will present scenes from the film and Workman will invite the audience to comment on them and offer their reactions and thoughts.
It’s an incredible opportunity to see behind the curtain of the filmmaking process and hear from the creators during the making of a major documentary. As a bonus to this event, Green will also lead a walk around Saint Augustine on Saturday, January 20th at 10:00 a.m. starting at the Lewis Auditorium. Get ready to see this city in ways you never expected.
The backstory: in January 2014, when Workman visited the Saint Augustine Film Festival with his award-winning documentary Magical Universe, he met Saint Augustine residents Allen and Catherine Altman. The couple became intrigued by his work and soon decided to become involved in this documentary on Green and his most amazing walk.
Information on all films, locations, film passes and gala events are at www.staugfilmfest.com. Advance purchase of film passes and galas is required. Individual tickets are now available to purchase online for Lewis Auditorium screenings; same-day tickets will be available 10 minutes prior to films in the standby lines subject to availability.