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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.





Tuesday, November 7----Stories set in the South have a gothic tradition. Think William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Harper Lee. This Southern gothic tradition is carried on by the Florida-based film THINGS THAT HANG FROM TREES, adapted by director Ido Mizrahy from the autobiographical novella by Aaron Louis Tordini.

Set in the 1960s in America's oldest city, Saint Augustine on Florida's Atlantic coast, the film features an eccentric cast of characters centered around an unusual eight-year-old boy who tries to sort through his family's instability to find a kernel of optimism and goodness. The boy's mother works as a mannequin who sits almost motionless in the picture window of a dress shop. His father is in prison for crimes not made clear. He looks to the town's eccentric characters to give him a sense of family and belonging.

When the father returns from prison, the tidy world of this small town environment is thrown into violence and chaos, and the boy must learn to move forward with only his instincts as guidance. His wish to see the fireworks from atop the city's lighthouse is complicated by his odd neighbors, abusive peers, and hopeless parents. The young boy's seemingly simple goal develops into a struggle in which his life, both internal and corporeal, hangs in the balance. The film, shot on location, is wonderfully evocative of a lost time and place.

Child actor Cooper Musgrove makes an intense impression in the role of the young boy, who does not speak much but uses his expressive face to conjure up feelings of longing, sadness and resignation. Indie veteran Deborah Kara Unger finds the perfect blankness to play the boy's zombie-like mother, while actor Ray McKinnon brings the right tone of scruffy menace to play the reluctant father.

Film was scribed, first as a novella then as a screenplay, by Aaron Louis Tordini, the former lead singer/songwriter of Dandelion Wine and a native of Saint Augustine. The film's director Ido Mizrahy was born in Tel Aviv and began his acting career at the Israeli National Theater. After moving to New York City, Mizrahy has concentrated his efforts in the prolific off-Broadway theater scene as both an actor and director. THINGS THAT HANG FROM TREES is his feature debut.

The film had its world premiere last Spring at the New Directors New Films showcase in New York and has since been making the rounds of the festival circuit. In June, THINGS THAT HANG FROM TREES won the City of Setubal Award as the Best American Independent Film at the Troia International Film Festival in Portugal.

THINGS THAT HANG FROM TREES screens twice today at 3:00pm and again at 7:00pm at Las Olas Riverfront, with a final showing on Saturday, November 11 at 5:00pm. The film's producer Joseph Siravo will attend the screenings.

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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