Tampa, FL (March 2009) - The Gasparilla International Film Festival came and went, leaving a very exhausted but pleased Eric Odum at the end of the after party at the Old Firehouse in Tampa. When I first spied the man who helped found the GIFF at the opening night party, he was the festival’s President. When we were actually able to sit down to an interview at the closing night party, he had turned his crown over to Chad Moore.
Eric Odum spoke passionately about his love of film, a love he developed when he lived in Brazil and was made to watch a Pedro Almodóvar film. He watched it over and over until he not only learned Spanish, but developed an appreciation of artistic cinema. His purpose in co-founding the GIFF was to fill the gap left by the absence of art house cinema in Tampa, to give local filmmakers a chance for exposure and bring to the Tampa Bay Area the films audiences wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to see, like Il Divo, the controversial biopic based on former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.