I ran into fellow “Tischie” (an NYU alum), Todd Weisman, and we gossiped about a professor we had both learned so much from, but not before I congratulated him on getting his film “Improv Island” into the festival. It’s a documentary about Cubans able to improvise in the face of the US embargo.
Tracie Donahue, housewife turned documentary filmmaker, was motivated to create her flick “Secrets to Love” when her own marriage turned sour. She said to herself, “I didn’t do it right, but knew one really can have a fabulous marriage, and it really can be great.” I was inspired at how she managed to take a negative and turn it into a positive.
Even the barista at the coffee shop outside the Tampa Theatre was in “the industry.” I was waiting for my latte when I started chatting with Stu McLaughlin. The film that he made with buddy Gabriel Gomez, “Todo Sigue Igual”, was in the festival, but he wasn’t. Literally able to see the theatre from the window, Stu had to make mochas while being taunted by the sight of shiny limos arriving. “You know, its fine. I have my lanyard,” he said, conceding that even though he missed opening night, he’d at least be able to make his screening at Channelside.
I slipped my pinching heels off in the car, stuffed from the cupcake! Cupcake treats and a night of red carpets and glamour. Then I wondered, “Why does the Gasparilla Film Festival have to come but once a year?” I sighed; at least there’s the Sunscreen Film Festival in April to hold me over.
The Gasparilla International Film Festival, one of Florida’s largest independent film festivals, is operated by the Tampa Film Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing film education and community involvement in film in the Tampa Bay area. The film festival made its debut in 2007 and has become one of Tampa Bay’s most anticipated film events, hosting close to 10,000 participants. The event attracts a variety of film and media-related professionals in addition to film lovers looking to network and learn more about film.
To learn more about the festival, please visit http://www.gasparillafilmfestival.com/ or call 813-514-9962.