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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: LOCAL COLOR

Saturday, November 11-----The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, which ends its run in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow (before taking 20 titles and filmmakers to the resort town of Key West next week), has saved some of its strongest titles for its final wrap up. Certainly one of the most anticipated films of the Festival is the Festival Closing Night Film, the Southeast Premiere of LOCAL COLOR. The autobiographical film, written and directed by George Gallo, will receive a premiere screening on Sunday afternoon at 5:00pm at the historic Parker Playhouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale, capping a four-week celebration of more than 200 independent and international films.

The film, which is based on a pivotal event in the life of its director, has a wonderfully eclectic cast of industry veterans, including Armin Mueller-Stahl, Charles Durning, Ray Liotta, Samantha Mathis, Ron Perlman and Diana Scarwid. It also features a memorable debut by newcomer Trevor Morgan, who will attend the screening. The film had its world premiere last Spring at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Trevor Morgan and Armin Mueller-Stahl

The aesthetics of film are perfect for a story about memory. In LOCAL COLOR, a successful artist looks back with loving memories on the summer of his defining year, when he became a man and an artist. The film looks back at the year 1974, when the eighteen year old John Talia Jr. (played by newcomer Trevor Morgan) is a wildly ambitious young man, who dreams about becoming a famous artist. The troubled teenager befriends an elderly alcoholic genius painter (played by Oscar nominee Armin Muehler-Stahl) who has turned his back on not only art, but life.

The two form, what appears to be at first a tenuous relationship. The kid wants to learn all the secrets the master has locked away inside his head and heart. The disillusioned older artist, who has almost given up on art and life, finds the young man's interest as the antidote he needs to give him the will to live. Together, they give one another a priceless gift.

The film, which is based on a true story of its director George Gallo, is undoubtedly a personally meaningful labor of love. The director and his long time producer David Permut raised the $5 million budget mostly through friends and acquaintances, shooting in just 25 days. Pic was one of the last films lensed in Louisiana (successfully posing as Pennsylvania) before Hurricane Katrina took its toll.

George Gallo

Gallo had originally attended college as a graphic arts major. However, after seeing After seeing Martin Scorsese's landmark film MEAN STREETS, he made the decision to become a filmmaker instead. His first major writing credit was for the film WISE GUYS (1986), starring Danny Devito and Joe Piscopo. Gallo is perhaps best known as the writer/producer of the classic buddy film MIDNIGHT RUN (1988), directed by Martin Brest, and starring the unlikely duo of Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin.

He has since written and directed such films as 29TH STREET (1991), starring Danny Aiello and Anthony LaPaglia; the box office hit BAD BOYS (1995), with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the recent sports comedy THE WHOLE TEN YARDS (2004), with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry. The writer/director is in production on the film THE POISON ROSE with Ray Liotta, and just wrapped his script of HOMELAND SECURITY, a thriller starring Antonio Banderas.

While screenwriting and directing have taken up most of his time, Gallo remains committed to his fine arts roots. He is an accomplished painter whose focus has been on landscapes, in the style of the Pennsylvania Impressionists. He has won several awards for his artwork, including the coveted Arts For The Parks Award. He has had several one-man exhibitions in New York City and includes many of his own canvasses in his films.

Landscape By George Gallo

Director George Gallo and his young lead Trevor Morgan will attend the screening on Sunday, November 12 at 5:00pm at the Parker Playhouse. The film is one of three "official closing films", including the Hollywood, Florida-shot drama CANVAS starring Joe Pantoliano and Marcia Gay Harden (screening: Sunday, 2:30pm at the Parker Playhouse) and the international premire of the undersea documentary SHARKWATER (screening: Sunday, 7:30pm at the Parker Playhouse). The Festival's legendary Wrap Party follows at 9:30pm at The Sand Bar, where awards for films in competition will be announced.

For tickets, log on to the Festival website: or call: (954) 525-3456 or go to the theater box office.

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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