The fourth annual Fort Myers Film Festival opened Wednesday and continues through Sunday at various venues including the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Theatre, with parties and dinners held or scheduled around town.
The opening night film "Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory," an award-winning indy film about music therapy with Alzheimer's patients is indicative of the five-day fest designed to promote the work of independent film makers.
"The festival is an independent filmmaker's preferred event to create, unite and showcase the finest artistic cinematic works," the event Web site states. "It's known for world-class swagger and support of local filmmakers, and offers "the most vibrant intellectual and edgy crowd to grace Lee County in decades.'"
Industrial hemp advocate and Cape Coral resident Ingrid Setzer with some of the many things which can be made from hemp such as clothing, insulation, building materials, and food. She plans to see “Bringing It Home,” a feature-length documentary by filmmaker Linda Booker that follows North Carolina home designer Anthony Brenner’s “dream of building The Bird’s Nest, a toxin-free group home constructed of hempcrete” for his daughter and other children with chemical sensitivities.
Last month, "Alive Inside" drew the Sundance audience award for U.S. documentaries.
Film programming, which features dozens of films, short films, short film blocks and documentaries, began Thursday and runs to Sunday at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
Films are $7.
One person who intends on attending the festival this weekend is Ingrid Setzer of Cape Coral.
A master gardener and member of the Lee County Green Team plans, she plans on seeing "Bringing It Home," a feature-length documentary by filmmaker Linda Booker that follows North Carolina home designer Anthony Brenner's "dream of building The Bird's Nest, a toxin-free group home constructed of hempcrete" for his daughter and other children with chemical sensitivities.
She plans on attending with Bob Clayton, whom she says is the only hemp house owner in the state of Florida.
"We are advocates for industrial hemp," Setzer said, adding there are 50,000 plus hemp-based products currently being made world-wide that could totally replace plastics and be used for clothing and fuel.
"It's the longest, strongest fiber in the plant kingdom," she said. "We want to educate the public; most people don't even know about this."
The cultivation of industrial hemp, a non-PHC variety of cannabis, is illegal in the United States although it is a crop in numerous countries worldwide.
"Bringing It Home" will show at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Setzer is hoping the indy production culls recognition at the festival.
"It deserves to win," she said.
For film listings, ticket info and show times, visit sbdac.com .
The festival will wrap up with a champagne and dessert awards ceremony hosted by Chad Oliver Sunday at the Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers. Tickets are $15. An after-party at the theater will feature a performance by Al Holland. Tickets are $15. Visit broadwaypalm.com/content/fort_myers_film_festival.asp
For more information on all the films and events, visit FortMyersFilmFestival.com or find the event on Facebook for up-to-date announcements.
The Fort Myers Film Festival, which is supported by a large roster of local businesses, supports Lee County Schools filmmakers and Southwest Florida Children's Hospital.