Film Festival Mishaps

While I was sitting in the breezeway studying for my second final of the day an announcement comes up over the radio. It was something about FAU hosting a film festival in Fort Lauderdale on May 1st.


The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is held October through November.  I later discovered that it was a screening of three films from Broward county high schools. After all the confusion was cleared up I decided that I should go to the screening.


The films were presented at Cinema Paradiso, which is where most of the screenings for the Fort Lauderdale Film Festivals are shown. It’s a nice little theatre that reminded me of what movie theatres used to look like pre-Muvico. It really made me feel like I was watching something artistic, not just another product that Hollywood churned out.


So on May 1st 2002, my friend Glen and I went to see the world premiere of three short films by three Broward County high schools (Hallandale, Dillard and Piper High). Capturing the hearts and souls to their audience with their hard work, these young adults have written, directed, acted in, edited, and produced their own 16 mm films.


Final Draft


In this short film by Piper High School students, four young screenwriters work hard to make their dreams a reality by having their film produced. 


Given a job by a big time Hollywood producer, the four bohemians are to come up with the script for a big-budget Hollywood movie with lots of action and minimal artistic direction. 


After restless days and nights of brainstorming, the writers reflect on past productions, such as: Football Players in Tutus and The Underwear Killer. Consequently, the four have had their disagreements and their creativity has lead to their “art house-type” film script named Precipitation.


This was a great short film, which generated many chuckles in the audience.  One point in particular would be where the characters reflect on a past production, a movie involving vampires and dance choreography which mimicked N-SYNC.  At this point in the movie, the theatre was filled with laughter.


A Pardoner’s Tale


A Pardoner’s Tale by Dillard High School modernizes Chaucer’s classic from his Canterbury Tales minus the Middle English, and the same “Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas” theme.


With an urban setting, 3 friends spend a day in a pool hall. Ruining a good day, the three are shortly interrupted by a disturbing phone call, in which they discover that Death (AIDS) is to take the life of their friend. Assembling together, the trio set off to find Death before it takes their friend. In the journey, the three stumble upon a large amount of money, in which each of the individuals are tempted to keep the fortune to themselves, consequently leading to their downfall.


Although it seems as if the seriousness of Chaucer’s story has been replaced with melodrama in an “In-The-Hood” style adaptation, these students deserved their long moment of applause.


In summation, the over all production has showed the school’s hard work has paid off and has produced first class quality work!


9 Eleven


Unlike the other two films, Hallandale High School has a serious approach. 9 Eleven begins with the focus of two female students’ lives, an American and an Afghani, from the day they first met before 9/11. As the two become best friends, the tragedy of the September 11th attacks affects their lives.


Unable to escape prejudice, the Afghani girl is ridiculed and hated by the majority of the students in her school; consequently, she loses her best friend. After recognizing her unfounded prejudice the American runs to the Afghani’s home.  Shortly after her arrival, the two reconcile and the movie ends in melancholy.


Hallendale High School‘s exceptional film (whose staff was predominately freshmen) sends chills down the spine of its audience, especially during the scene in which the students watch the destruction of The World’s Trade Center.


Although some members of the audience felt as if Halledale’s 9 Eleven played with the emotions of the audience, it was great to see how they addressed this serious topic.


The films where sponsored by The Community Foundation of Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. It was part of their Cinema Education Program. They will be shown again at the 6th Annual Miami Children’s Museum Film Festival on June 2nd at Miami Beach‘s Regal Cinema.


For more info on the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival or Cinema Paradiso go to


For more info about the Miami Children’s Museum Film Festival go to