CIFF Film Fest REVIEW: “Around the world in 5 days!”

6 May

Apr 24-28, 2013  Charleston International Film Festival

REVIEW:  “Around the world in 5 days at CIFF!”

(1) One of the CIFF Board of Directors, Ben Levitt, just back from Israel, made the brilliant move to attract more than me to Charleston’s CIFF. He’s magnetic – it shows what his metal is made of.  Ho hum, the first person we “bumped” into was Hollywood writer/producer/director, Gil Hacohen, from NY, on his way to Israel. “Shoot, Gil, lets go! – OK, G-d willing!”

(2) The short films were more than intriguing – several were out of this world. “Rebuild” was brilliant, as in illuminating (like I dreamed in my trailer, “Recharge Your Life,” G-d willing, next year in Jerusalem & CIFF). “Narcocorrido” was a world I could never dream of – so foreign, that only penetrating shooting by the filmmakers & actors could blow away any preconception. The bar was so high, I dared to say they were hard to top. Then came the toppers. “Spaghetti for Two” used out of sight camera angles, hovering over the earth over bumper car people – hilarious in their desperation/competition for love, money, food, and umbrellas – capturing glimpses of accidents where they share it all – all without saying a word. Hacohen’s “Shooting Chris” was not just out of this world, it was a parallel universe. Live footage was anything but… it transported you back in time. Interviews were surreal. But the ending and then the Q&A with Hacohen revealed the unbelievable parts. Other films (that made local enthusiast, Candace Suggars, smile) were “Smile,” from the world of mime (an award winner); and “Guttersnipe” about the homeless whose world revolves around their shopping cart. 

(3) CIFF founders, Brian and Summer Peacher showed us where there’s a world there’s a way. The Peachers, Board Members Bob Kosian and Margaret Ford Rogers, and all of Charleston embrace filmmakers from one end of the world (that may be me) to on top of world, that’s Bill Butler (the cinematographer of “Jaws, Greece, One Flew Over The Coocoo’s Nest” – he was presented the Spire Lifetime Achievement Award – with cameo video salutes from Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola). 

(4) Away from the lofty silver screen, we got down to earth with filmmakers, actors, producers, editors, animators, etc during film Q&A, workshops, after-parties, awards, and even on our sailboat. Holy Producers, Bat Man, Chris Brigham is in the Holy City. He worked on “Argo”(Academy Award Winner); and Shutter Island (with actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ruby Jerins :) To cap it all off, we went to the world of India, where Kathryn Peters was hostess at her Seeking Indigo wellness boutique (it will light up your world). 

(5) Charleston is on a world stage – we are #1 on Condé Nast Traveler‘s list. We’ve been the rage around the world for years, and the world never stops turning. So start planning for next year, because CIFF offers more than just Film (back from the underworld, we joined with Charlie Chaplin to Do The Charleston. He’s done it before and shined like a star…

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