Though focused primarily on programming for adults, in keeping with its annual tradition, the Florida Film Festival also offers a family programing sidebar with intriguing new independently produced movies that you probably won’t find at the local cineplex. In addition, the Spotlight Films category contains two kid-friendly offerings that take a look at children in diverse ethnic settings.
Family Programming at 2017 Florida Film Festival
Albion: The Enchanted Stallion
In its Florida Premiere, this adventure features a 12-year-old girl (Avery Arendes) who encounters a mysterious black stallion that leads her to the magical world of Albion. Only she can bring peace to those who live there and save the entire race of people from the evil General Eeder (John Cleese). Filmed in Bulgaria, Florida, and Michigan, this movie features exotic locales and kid-friendly comedy in an imaginative coming-of-age story suitable for the entire family. Directed by Castille Landon (who also plays the part of a young warrior), Albion: The Enchanted Stallion stars Jennifer Morrison, Debra Messing, Stephen Dorff, Daniel Sharman, Liam McIntyre, and Richard Kind. Run Time: 103 minutes. This film is unrated.
This claymation short gives a brief history of humanity and the world as seen through the eyes of Russian director and writer Marat Narimanov. Told in just four minutes using one single shot, viewers can see this eco-friendly film (one of three related shorts by Narimanov) making its Southeast Premiere when it screens before the full-length feature Supergirl. This film is unrated.
This documentary introduces audiences to 12-year-old Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish girl from New Jersey who is breaking worldwide records in powerlifting. Although she seems to be a normal girl, going to school, studying the Torah, and spending time with friends, she’s simultaneously struggling to maintain her title as the strongest girl in the world who can lift three times her body weight. Her ever-present mismatched knee socks and sweet smile belie the determination and courage of this one extraordinary supergirl. Directed by Jessie Auritt. Run Time: 80 Minutes. This film is unrated.
Family Friendly Spotlight Films at 2017 Florida Film Festival
Based largely on the true story of the film’s star, Menashe Lustig, this drama explores family life in the heart of New York’s Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn. Within this ultra-Orthodox community, a mother is required to be present in every home with children. So when Menashe’s wife dies, tradition demands his young son be removed from his home to live with a married relative. The film looks at the final week before the wife’s memorial service, when father and son spend their last few days together. The movie was shot secretly within the Hasidic community that it depicts. Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein. Run time: 81 minutes. This film is unrated; in Yiddish with English subtitles.
This documentary chronicles three inner-city Baltimore girls in their senior year of high school at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Members of the Lethal Ladies dance team, Blessin Giraldo, Tayla Solomon, and Cori Grainger look ahead to next year in college (where each will be the first in her family to receive a higher education) while currently working on the Bowie State step competition. Directed by Amanda Lipitz. Run time: 83 minutes. This film is rated PG (for thematic elements and some language).
For more information about the Florida Film Festival, visit the official website.