Top Row: Jim Murrish, Eddy Fischer Middle: Bill Williams, Sue Dontell, Paulette King, Terry Cronin, Chris Kridler Front: Eric Emerick, Tommy Loomis, Keri Goff, Robin Krasny, Darren Houle
Each year Brevard County plays host to the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival (MIFF). It’s a booming scene of ‘who’s who’ in the realm of Florida Filmmaking but it also opens its doors to filmmakers from around the world. The theme ‘Get Inspired!’ is what’s driving this year’s festival aura.
Founder Terry Cronin started the MIFF, as it is lovingly called, back in 1999 at the Henegar Center for the Arts. It has since outgrown the venue and moved over to the beautiful Premiere Oaks theater where it now screens films all weekend long.
Terry being a filmmaker, author, and comic book publisher himself, revels in the artistry, comedies, and tragedies that make up the festival each year. With an even bigger festival planned for this year, I wanted to know a little more from the man himself
Why did you decide to start the MIFF?
“My friends Pat Martin and Bob Lizek had taken our horror movie ‘Under the Bridge’ to several film festivals and we didn’t find them to be as glamorous as we hoped. So we decided to try to do it better and as a fundraiser for good causes.”
Have you seen it grow over the years?
“Absolutely! Mostly thanks to the great work of Premiere Theaters, the technical support of Bill Williams from A Cut Above Video and the online expansion by Jeff Hall and Chris Kridler.”
Why do you think it is important to have a film festival in the community here?
“I love the quote that “The earth without art is just Eh!” Film is truly one of the most powerful artistic expressions in the modern world. Inspiring local artists to create is a large part of our mission, and exposing larger audiences from our community to visual storytelling is what we strive to do.”
This year’s MIFF will be held October 6th, 7th, and 8th at the Premiere Theater Oaks 10 in Melbourne. For more information on programming and tickets please visit Oaks10.com, Melbournefilmfest.com, or 3boysproductions.com
FILMMAKERS SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE MIFF
“MIFF is an opportunity for local filmmakers like myself to showcase our talents. This encouragement motivates us to strive to do and accomplish greater achievements. Without a local venue, we would not experience the enthusiasm of a live audience enjoying our “creations.”
– PAULETTE KING, Director of this year’s short film ‘The Shardai Cousineau Story’
“The MIFF is the only locally organized Florida focused film festival in Brevard. We seek out and show submissions from around the world, but we make a special effort to support filmmakers who live in or produce their productions in Florida. That makes us unique in that we try to showcase Florida films and our Florida community. Other festivals may get international sizzle, but we have Florida flair.”
– BILL WILLIAMS owner of A Cut Above Video Production
“Unlike many festivals that cater to bigger budget films, the MIFF gives the small, no/low budget independent filmmaker the opportunity to be recognized. The most exciting part of the MIFF is the camaraderie of other filmmakers.”
– SUE DONTELL, Director of this years short film ‘Never More’
“The MIFF is a great community event. Terry Cronin does a wonderful job of creating a theme for each year and shows us all that there is a bounty of culture and sub-culture right here in Melbourne worth exploring and celebrating.”
– ERIC EMERICK, writer and film edit, ‘Victimless’,
‘Not Today’ and ‘The Final Kick’
“Making films is very hard work. It’s tiring, stressful, expensive, complicated, and the end product is rarely what you envisioned. Seeing your work, and the work of your friends, finally up on the big screen is empowering. Every year we walk away from the MIFF with big plans and new projects in mind. In many ways the MIFF keeps us going from year to year.”
– DARREN HOULE, Director of this year’s short film ‘Fortune’
“Each year the MIFF embraces my series Real Food Real Kitchens which is an awesome feeling. It’s exciting to bring the series to the big screen and see the audiences mouths water as they see food being made in a larger than life format. It also brings the series to life because we have a reception afterwards where guests get to try the food they saw being made on screen and they get to interact with the home cooks and more. It’s a really unique and exciting event each year for people of all ages.”
– CRAIG CHAPMAN, Producer of Real Food Real Kitchens
MICHAEL BAUMGARTEN, Director of the feature film
‘Paying Mr. McGetty’
Give me a brief description of the movie ‘Paying Mr. McGetty’ and how it all came about.
“While attending the Urban Action Expo in 2014, we saw R. Marcos Taylor there. He had done an action scene for our movie THE MARTIAL ARTS KID months earlier and was fun to work with. Marcos was sitting right behind me during a reunion screening of the classic movie THE LAST DRAGON at the AMC near Times Square… and he kept saying the lines of the movie along with the lines on screen. Line after line… and he delivered them like he was a kid watching his favorite movie. It was right then I knew he truly had a love for films like I do… and perhaps a project would come along where we could work together. Luckily, the stars aligned for PAYING MR. McGETTY to get going and then Marcos was awarded the part of ‘Suge Knight’ in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Then later, when S.O.C. was about to have its premiere, Marcos stopped by my home for a bit and we talked about PAYING MR. McGETTY and filming it in NYC. But when we were ready to go 3 months later and it was already getting cold in NYC, we relocated the movie to Florida for better weather. It all worked out nicely.”
You had a film last year at the MIFF that was shot in Florida and now again this year ‘Paying Mr. McGetty’ was shot in Florida… Why is it important for you to film in FL?
“I have lived in LA full-time since about 1995. Prior to that, I got my start going to film school in Orlando before booking production jobs on the lots of Universal and Disney/MGM Studios starting in the Spring of 1990. Having lived in Central Florida for over 12 years, I had been to areas like Cocoa Beach and St. Pete many times. The Brevard connection was courtesy of Robin Krasny. She was an actress on the very first movie I worked on in Orlando and I bumped into her at a Staples store on Sunset Blvd. in LA. After telling her what I was up to, she encouraged me to submit my movie WILD ROOMIES to the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival and they were kind enough to let my movie play there. I have since returned to the MIFF with a new feature or short film every other year since then and really got to know the area even better. Last year I was there with the family martial arts movie THE MARTIAL ARTS KID, a movie that was mostly filmed in Brevard thanks to my fondness for the Brevard film community and thanks to action star Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson and producer James Wilson actually being raised in Cocoa Beach. So, it was great to have Don filming a movie in the same community where he grew up. It was the right project at the right time for Brevard and we’d like to continue filming in Florida if it makes sense for the story and the budget.”
Why is a festival like the MIFF so important to this community and filmmakers like yourself?
“Hope and camaraderie. Film festivals create a wonderful opportunity for people to get passionate about usually creating something from nothing, work together as a team, and then enjoy the thrill of seeing their combined work projected up on a big movie screen. If the movie clicks with the audience, it’s an amazing feeling to have all that hard work pay off and to have that team forever joined in spirit by the challenges of making that movie happen and getting it to the finish line.”
When it comes to film and filmmaking, what gets you inspired?
“Storytelling and entertainment. I always preferred movies to books and I greatly enjoy being able to educate people through this medium and to also entertain them with it as well. It’s an amazing blessing to be able to do what I do as a career.”
VINNIE TARANTO, Producer of the short film
‘Monty and the Runaway Furnace’
Tell me about Monty and the Runaway Furnace. Where did the idea come from and why was it so important to you to get it made? Is there a story behind the story?
Monty is loosely based on one of our childhood neighbors in Indialantic. He was a plumber and wore the same outfit every day. He worked well into his 80’s but his wife past away much earlier. They were the sweetest couple overflowing with love for each other and our neighborhood. We always wondered what he did with that hole that was left by his wife’s untimely passing. How did he deal with the grief.
This film was my brother’s Master Thesis project at Loyola Marymount in LA but besides needing to finish the project for his degree and to show the caliber of work we are able to produce we really wanted to tell a story about the beauty and power of eternal love like we witnessed as children in our neighbors.
Why is a festival like the MIFF so important to you and the community here on the Space Coast?
My brother and I were born and raised in Indialantic and I now live back in that city. There are so many reasons why a festival like the MIFF is important to myself and the community. Most importantly it connects people by creating a community of people with like interests. In making our film Monty, around 250 people in one fashion or another worked on this film. This doesn’t include the over 200 people that contributed to our Kickstarter. Seeing how high the Monty community was able to make our film soar you realize how important a good team is and how with the right team the sky isn’t the limit but space is (Space Coast humor 😉 ) Festivals like the MIFF also add community pride and recognition of just how great our community is. This community building extends to all sectors of our community not just film. The Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham Alabama will have their own brand new theatre and offices after their organizers connected with a builder who was remodeling a downtown high rise. This brings me to my final point on the importance of film festivals like the MIFF, economic impact. A community film festival can boost an area’s economy by increasing tourist activity bringing with it all the secondary expenditures like hotel rooms, dining options and shopping.
What’s next for you?
My brother and I have a few feature film ideas we’re in the final writing stages on. All the ideas involve transporting the audience into a reality that is much more fantastical or futuristic than our current one but it will have characters as recognizable and relatable as a good friend.
Is there any other films at the MIFF this year you are really looking forward to seeing?
Oh yes, there are many talented local filmmakers so I’m looking forward to seeing their films including The Wrong Lane and the Loose Ends Filmmaking Competition just to name a few. I’m also interested in seeing The Fits and Paying Mr. McGetty which stars Cocoa Beach’s own Don Wilson.
In one or two sentences, what gets you inspired when it comes to filmmaking?
The ability to bypass personal walls or barriers and reach inside and touch someone’s emotions. A good story is like a key to one’s soul.
Thursday, Oct. 6
6-7 p.m. Special festival kick-off – $7.50
“Fetch” directed by Joe Taranto. A kind grandson learns the bear necessities for following instructions while dog sitting. 0:30
“King of the Ring” directed by Joe Taranto. An edgy expose of an unexpected athlete at the pinnacle of her game. 5:00
“Monty and the Runaway Furnace” directed by Joe Taranto. A kind, old maintenance man is in love with the furnace that powers the factory he works at because he thinks it’s his deceased wife, and he has to save it from the new owner who wants to replace it. 33:43
7:30 p.m. Special Middle-Eastern Real Food Real Kitchens dinner – $30
Featuring progressive Lebanese cuisine with Chef Toni Elkhouri at Cedars Cafe. 4100 N. Wickham Road #137, Melbourne, FL cedarscafe.com
Friday, Oct. 7
2-4 p.m. Matinee Magic – $5
“Shiva’s Redemption” directed by Ashok Patel
Bunty, a victim of bullying, meets an unusual friend who helps him find his inner strength — strength to stand up, fight back and break free from his shackles. 14:40
“Launda Naach” directed by Shafaq Khan
Bihar, the northern state of India, is home to a folk dance called Launda Naach. This is an art form where men dress up as women and dance to entertain at social functions and festivals. 27:00
“A Shadow of Dara” directed by Kirill Proskura
A leader of a rebellion risks everything to find a powerful commander of an alien world who’s been captured by enemies. 14:15
“A Blind Man” directed by Joel Black
As a blind man copes with the passing of his beloved wife, he reluctantly accepts a service dog and is guided to a fuller life. 14:44
“White Odourless Bitter” directed by Lucas Haynes
The repercussions of the ’70s drug movement play out on an unassuming 7-year-old kid as his abusive father influences his future. 13:28
“All Men Are Flowers” directed by Shirley Kim-Ryu
Kara misses an opportunity to ask out her first high school crush before going away to Korea for the summer. 16:30
“On Your Street” directed by Michelle Brown
Two sisters find themselves unwillingly drawn into the world of human trafficking. 18:23
4-7 p.m. Culinary Arts & Reception – $25 (ticket includes a special tasting reception on the VIP balcony)
“Bagels in the Blood” directed by Jonathan Keijser and Daniel Beresh
“Life & Hummus” directed by Alex Matros
“Real Food Real Kitchens” featuring James Beard Foundation award-winning Chef Toni Elkhouri and Cedar’s Cafe. Special short documentary about her James Beard award-winning burger.
*A special food-tasting reception will follow on the VIP balcony.
7 p.m. Comedy Feature – $10
A Special Sneak Peek of a Work in Progress — “In Between Days,” directed by the Herbert Brothers
Best-selling author Rick Gray has it all; fame, fortune, and adoring fans. But as the ball drops on his fortieth birthday, he finds himself alone and fearing mid-life crisis. What follows is a comedy of errors, mishaps, and ultimately a journey of self-discovery. 105 minutes
9 p.m. “The Fits” directed by Anna Rose Holmer – $10
An 11-year-old tomboy (Royalty Hightower) tries to fit in with her peers after joining an all-girl dance team. Co-written and produced by Lisa Kjerulff, who grew up in Melbourne Village. A New York Times critics’ pick and No. 4 of Esquire’s top 25 films of 2016. 72 minutes
10:30 p.m. Fright Night Friday Horror Show – $10
“Shibari The Devourer” directed by Augusto Barranco
A father’s sleep disorder and his daughter’s fear of the dark may be the answer to the question: Are there really monsters under the bed? 10:14
“The Funspot” directed by Jake Hammond
An angsty young boy, stuck at his little sister’s birthday party, encounters a malevolent presence hiding within the ball pit of a sprawling indoor playground. 6:33
“The Devil’s Waltz” directed by Steven Shea
Two foster girls find themselves in an estranged murder plot, with a rich girl who has no idea of their terrifying past. 10:30
“Ripe for the Picking” directed by Sarah Murray
Peter the farmer goes for a tour of his field and runs into a very ripe fruit. 0:55
“Prayers” directed by Edda Manriquez
An experimental horror piece that explores the mysticism of the occult and its ritualistic practices. 1:30
“The Dead Under My Bed” directed by Robert Massetti
Is it the guilt he feels that keeps him awake at night, or is his father really back from the grave and wanting to take revenge? 6:11
“Attack of the Killer Donuts” directed by Scott Wheeler
A chemical accident turns ordinary doughnuts into blood thirsty killers. Now it’s up to Johnny, Michelle, and Howard to save their sleepy town from … Killer Donuts. 87 minutes
Saturday, Oct. 8
9 a.m. Florida Filmmakers Matinee – $10
“A Nice Day” directed by Jeffrey Rose
An unsuspecting store customer is driven to the brink of madness by a cashier and her evil ATM/Credit Card Reader machine. 9:04
“Blood Initiate” directed by Thomas Ardavany
The murder of JoJo’s mother and father, who were killed brutally in 1999 during a robbery attempt, sets the tone for the rest of her life as she seeks to carry on the tradition in grand style. 23:05
“Spot On” directed by David Karner
A pro sniper and his protégé are targeting a woman at a café from a rooftop. Will the newbie pressure the pro into making a mistake? 5:24
“Heart of the Matter” directed by John O’Hara
Sometimes it takes a little divine love to get right down to the heart of the matter. 10:52
“2” directed by Joey Harrison
All Justin wants is for someone to look at him. 6:11
“I’m Crazy” directed by Jo Ann Johnson
A glimpse of an Elemental Love for the Earth. 5:00
“The Wrong Lane” directed by Roy Lewis Garton and Mary Myers-Garton
Two couples, unfamiliar with each other, are brought together through supernatural intervention and forced to confront a dark secret two of them have been hiding. 15:09
“Stunning” directed by Vincent Anton Obriskie and Dominic Traverzo
A woman meets a man at her mother’s funeral and goes to extreme measures to see him again. 3:00
“Undertaking” directed by Kevin O’Neill
Roy Maynard (Eddie Jemison) collects roadkill and, like the vultures that prey on the weak, the town’s people prey on him. 23:40
“Sick” directed by Virginia Anzengruber
Music Video for the song “Sick” by Matt Rose. 3:01
“The Final Kick” directed by Tom Loomis
An old man is forced into an assisted living facility. But … is he really helpless? 6:45
“The Golden Rule” directed by Felix Crumsby
A rich man helps a homeless man and is helped in return. 3:25
“Good and Evil” directed by Cara Albert
A young man discusses the potential of his newly acquired superpowers with his best friend. 8:47
“The Shardai Cousineau Story” directed by Paulette King
The power of the human spirit. 12:03
“Never More” directed by Sue Dontell
How much can a woman take before saying “Never More”? 18:17
“Day at the Beach” directed by Christina and Jolie L’Heureux
Fun in the sun! 0:52
“Manifest Destiny” directed by TL Westgate
A western about a brother and sister trekking across the countryside with a young girl in tow. But what are they up to? 10:05
“Fortune” directed by Darren Houle
Two old friends encounter an unexpected event that tests their friendship and their mettle. You shouldn’t let someone else pick your fate. 4:22
“Not Today” by Bill Ronat
Papa just wants to keep his granddaughter safe, but it’s no walk in the park. 4:56
“Gynecologist: The Musical” directed by David McMahon
An unsuspecting woman is in for the surprise of her life when she visits her new gynecologist’s office for the first time. 7:32
12-1 p.m. Meet the Filmmakers Roundtable Q&A
1-2 p.m. Lunch break
2-4 p.m. “Caged No More” directed by Lisa Arnold – $5
Inspired by real events, “Caged No More” is the story of Aggie Prejean, a grandmother on a desperate search to find her two granddaughters, Skye and Elle, who have been kidnapped by their sinister father. As the details behind the girls’ disappearance begin to unravel, it’s discovered he has taken them overseas to be sold into slavery to settle his drug debt. Aggie enlists the help of the girls’ uncle, a well-respected local philanthropist, and his son Wil, who is former Special Forces. A global hunt ensues, and the team will stop at nothing to see the girls safely returned home. “Caged No More” is a drama meant to engage and educate audiences on the realities of human trafficking. 90 minutes
4-6 p.m. “Paying Mr. McGetty” directed by Michael Baumgarten – $5
Tyrell (R. Marcos Taylor) has the worst day of his life after waking up with a mobster’s daughter (Alissa Schneider), dealing with his angry girlfriend (Anita Clay) and fending off bad guys (Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Jonathan Lee, Wade Williams) who wish to do him harm. 85 minutes
6 p.m. Red Carpet
7 p.m. VIP Program – $20
“Hedge Hero” directed by Lauren Hammond
When his friend is taken by a dastardly serpent chef, Ned the hedgehog must gather the courage to become the superhero he’s always been inside. 2:38
“Emma Inspired” directed by Nicole Machon
Emma is a recent college grad, unsure of her next move in life. Her friends and family are constantly parading around their accomplishments, and her love life is uneventful at best. She has a job, but it’s cleaning up vomit at a skating rink. She’s a little behind, but she’s gonna figure it out eventually. 12:22
“Built to Serve” directed by Dylan Chase
An on-the-run service-robot gets his leash yanked when the only thing between him and freedom is a little girl and her dead dog. 2:09
“You Won’t Believe” directed by Arielle Cole
When Amy, a writer for a website that promotes viral videos, discovers her dishwasher repairman has collapsed in her kitchen, she attempts to capture her rescue on video. Armed with her smartphone and selfie stick, Amy uses the repairman’s injury as her potential ticket to viral fame. 4:23
“Reversed” directed by Alexandrina Andre
In a world where gender roles have switched, an average guy’s life is thrown off balance when he finds out he is pregnant. 5:32
“Copycat From Bellarat” directed by Stig Wemyss
Fueled by a lifetime of abuse and pushed to the brink by relentless torment from his boss, Tom exacts his revenge in a copycat performance that will strike fear into every bully, on every school ground and in every workplace. 9:31
“The Lord of Catan” directed by Stuart C. Paul
A husband and wife are pushed into an apocalyptic rivalry over a game of Settlers of Catan. 13:14
“Loose Ends” competition: “Victimless”
8:45 p.m. VIP After-Party and more awards at The Oaks upstairs, catered by Courtyard at the Oaks and featuring entertainment by recording artists Robin & Eddy and the Secrets (*this event is for ticket holders and filmmakers only)
All Access Pass $65 (Best deal of the weekend! $100+ value)
*All programs are R-rated equivalent except Culinary Arts
*All proceeds to benefit the No Limits Academy