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Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

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The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) reels out over 200 films from around the globe. Filmmakers and celebrities attend many of the screenings and events during the festival. Parties and gatherings at area "hot spots", on board yachts, and on the beach will provide audiences an opportunity to hob knob with film talent and other movie buffs.




Film In Focus: 48 SHADES

Tuesday, October 31-----The coming-of-age film is now a staple of international cinema. It is a form that continues to fascinate, particularly debut directors. Such is the case with the Australian film 48 SHADES, the writing and directorial debut of actor Daniel Lapaine.

Lapaine made his film acting debut in 1994 in the international arthouse hit MURIEL’S WEDDING, which introduced Toni Collette, a much sought after actress down under and in Hollywood. He had substantial roles in the films BROKEDOWN PALACE (1999), directed by Jonathan Kaplan and starring Clare Danes, Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman, and DOUBLE JEOPARDY (1999), directed by Bruce Beresford, and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd.

Daniel Lapaine

Based on the award winning novel by Nick Earls, 48 SHADES OF BROWN, the film is a deft mix of comedy and drama. The story centers on Dan, a 16 year old, who must choose between going to Geneva with his parents for a year or moving into a house with his young Aunt Jacq, and her roommate Naomi. He chooses the latter and now, in his final year of school, has to come to terms with survival in an adult world and falling in love for the first time.

The film features an appealing ensemble of young performers who pep up the standard coming-of-age dramatics, offering a refreshing sight of a teenage male with more interest in the metaphysical than the physical. Most of the film, as with the book, is from the boy’s perspective and his on-screen narrative voice is observant and very amusing. Newcomer Richard Wilson, a handsome young actor with a long television resume, finds just the right tone of naivete mixed with innate sophistication.

Robin McLeavy, Richard Wilson and Emma Lung

His intention of knuckling down during his senior high school year, though, is thrown for a spin at the first sight of his aunt’s housemate, Naomi, a beautiful blonde college student with a hippie air played by Emma Lung. Most of the story centers on the awkward young man’s first romantic crush, with fine comedic results. The film also features a terrific selection of pop songs, that in effect, do Daniel’s talking for him.

The film had its world premiere this summer at the Brisbane Film Festival, where the film was shot. It had its North American premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival. South Florida audiences are the first in the US to see this charming and off-kilter film that appeals to both teenagers and those who lovingly remember the sense of sexual and intellectual awakening of their teenage years.

The film screens on Wednesday, November 1 at 8:00pm at the Cinema Paradiso, with a pre-screening reception at 6:00pm celebrating the "sister cities" relationship between Fort Lauderdale and Brisbane, Australia (two places awash in sunshine). The film's producer Rob Marsala will be in attendance. The film has its final screening next week on Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30pm at the Las Olas 15 at Riverfront.

Sandy Mandelberger
Online Festival Dailies Editor


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About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Online Dailies for the 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival , October 23 - November 11, 2009

United States

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