The Saint Augustine Film Festival is going virtual in 2021.
The 11th annual event will screen 129 films online from Jan. 14 to 24. Originally scheduled for Jan. 14 to 17 in St. Augustine venues, festival organizers have chosen a different option during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering online movie-watching for a safe viewing experience. Details are available at staugfilmfest.com, including a film guide.
Saint Augustine Film Festival
When: Jan. 14 to 24
What: 129 films available online
Cost: Virtual Pass for all 129 films is $100; pass for 10 films is $75; pass for five films is $40. Purchase at saff2021.eventive.org/passes/buy.
“Well, we gave it our best shot. Outdoor screenings on the grounds surrounding the Castillo de San Marcos, Nightly Drive-Ins on Francis Field. Screenings at Oglethorpe Park, Coquina Park, Culinary Outfitters, Pena Peck House, the Corazon Cinema & Cafe and other locations. But over the last couple of days, we received final word from the City of St. Augustine and the National Park Service that, due to COVID, those plans are now dust,” said Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of Saint Augustine Film Festival.
“Hey, we understand completely … we thought if everything was outside, then it could be safe … but, this plague did not miraculously disappear … and the next two months could be worst of all. With all of that in mind, especially the safety of our audience and staff, and not wanting to be socially irresponsible, we announce SAFF2021 will be a totally virtual event.”
The Saint Augustine Film Festival has a reputation of showing films not found anywhere else in North Florida. The films chosen are created by independent filmmakers from around the globe. The film guide at staugfilmfest.com offers descriptions of all the films, including the filmmaker, actors, a film trailer, the run time, and other details.
A Virtual Pass for all 129 films is $100; a pass for 10 films is $75; and a pass for five films is $40. Passes are available at saff2021.eventive.org/passes/buy.
In addition to the films streaming, an online auction will feature gift certificates, hotel stays and original artwork.
The nonprofit’s mission is “to provide a rich cultural experience to the public that highlights the skills of independent and foreign filmmakers and offers fresh insights into different cultures, the common bonds that link us, and the emotional art of storytelling.”
For information, visit staugfilmfest.com or watch.eventive.org/saff2021.
• “7 HOURS TO WIN YOUR HEART” (Italy / 95 minutes / Romantic Comedy): Giulio, an alleged journalist, seems to be happy: A good job and an upcoming marriage. With the help of two women, Giulio will discover that falling in love is always a mystery.
• “10 DAYS WITH DAD” (France / 104 minutes / Comedy): Antoine is the head of HR at a big company. Managing people is his thing, so when his overwhelmed wife suddenly goes on holiday and leave him with the house and their four kids, he knows it will be easy. But Antoine has underestimated the mess that it can be.
• “BEAUTIFUL DREAMER” (USA / 94 minutes / LGBTQ): A group of Bay Area friends in their early 40s navigate one of those life moments together: expecting a surrogate baby, a long and deep friendship in jeopardy, two women deciding to marry after years of living together, and more. Capturing this next uncharted chapter of their extended family, the film explores the messy secrets and complicated nature of parenthood and the modern family.
• “CAMBIO TUTTO” (Italy / 95 minutes / Comedy): The film chronicles Giulia’s daily routine in a big and stressful city. She has to deal with her new and incompetent boss, her broke and freeloader partner, his teenage son, a best friend who doesn’t listen to her and keeps dreaming about impossible love stories.
• “DAFFODILS” (New Zealand / 93 minutes / Romantic Musical): Leaving her dying father’s bedside, singer Maisie rushes to perform at a gig. As she sings, it’s hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she’s just been told — how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart.
• “THE DOG SNATCH” (Italy / 93 minutes / Comedy): On their first day as dog sitters, Rana & Marti lose a rich lady’s French bulldog. The girls realize the dog has been stolen by a phony vet who calls himself Dr. Mopsi. Who’s this man and why did he kidnap the dog? They must investigate his past to find out.
• “LA DEA FORTUNA” (Italy / 114 minutes / Drama): Alessandro & Arturo have been together for 15 years and, despite the feelings they still have for each other, their relationship is now at a crisis. When a best friend, out of the blue, asks them to take care of her two kids for a few days, something changes in their daily routine.
• “COSA SARA” (Italy / 101 minutes / Drama): Bruno Salvati is a director with little success who’s just separated from his wife Anna, with whom he had two children. Following a sudden illness, Bruno is diagnosed with disease that requires a donor.
• “FIVE WEEKS IN WESTPORT” (USA / 94 minutes / Drama): When mysterious a international film director arrives in town to stage a play based on real events, the lives of retired actors Mary and her husband Gus, along with close friends Grace and Murray will be upended as revelations from the past unfold.
• “HOTEL BELGRADE” (Serbia / 107 minutes / Comedy): Pasha, a Serbian womanizer and entertainer, owns a luxurious hotel in Belgrade. He lives carelessly until one day he accidentally breaks a mafia kingpin’s new collectable that is worth a few millions. To cover the debt, the mafia kingpin makes Pasha marry his daughter. While the bride-to-be prepares wedding, Pasha meets his Russian love, Dasha, whom he has not seen for four years.
• “HOW TO MAKE OUT” (France / 98 minutes / Comedy): Arthur, 15, has the hots for Ouassima, who ignores him. He’s never made out with a girl, and she’s going out with Matt, the hottest guy in school. Arthur decides to get closer to her by getting a bunch of single losers together so she can teach them how to make out, 10 euros a lesson.
• “I HATE SUMMER” (Italy / 108 minutes / Comedy): Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo are leaving for summer holidays. They don’t know each other. Three very distant ways of life, accidentally meeting on a small island off the Italian coast: same beach, same seaside, but especially same rented house.
• “THE LUNCHROOM” (Argentina / 78 minutes / Drama): For 30 years, Lila has been an office cleaner. She’s an important figure in the carefully knit society because of the unofficial staff cafeteria, which she runs with her friend. When she has the chance to redo the lunchroom and run it officially as the boss, the sudden elevation of her status causes trouble.
• “MOSSAD” (Israel / 95 minutes / Comedy): The Mossad and CIA team up to save the world from the “Really Bad Guys” terrorist organization. After an American tech-billionaire is kidnapped in Israel, the Mossad rushes to save him while the CIA sends its best agent to help out. The Mossad agent and the CIA agent must work together.
• “NIGHT OF THE BEAST” (Colombia / 70 minutes / Comedy Coming of Age): Using some of Iron Maiden’s famous tracks, such as “Aces High” and “The Trooper,” the story follows two young metalheads coasting aimlessly through Bogota’s alleys on the day of Iron Maiden’s first-ever concert in Colombia.
• “NIGHT SHIFT” (France / 94 minutes / Drama): Featuring Omar Sy and Virginie Efira, “Night Shift” follows a police brigade on duty as their individual stories, professional ethics and personal convictions collide on an unsettling night that will change their lives forever.
• “PADRENOSTRO” (Italy / 120 minutes / Drama): Rome, 1976. Valerio, 10 with lively imagination. His life is turned upside down when, he and his mother witness an attack on his father, top cop in Rome’s Antiterrorism Divi by a terrorist group.
• “PRIVATE EYE” (Poland / 40 minutes / Comedy): Max, a relentless and somewhat drunken PI, is hired for a routine job — to find the missing daughter of an influential businessman by a former acquaintance, who is the girl’s stepmother.
• “PUREZA” (Brazil / 101 minutes / Historical Suspense Drama): A true story of a mother in the Amazon in the 1990s. It has been six months since Abel left for the gold mines in southern Pará, and with no news from her son, Pureza departs from her native town with only the clothes on her body and measly savings in her purse. She retraces her son’s path.
• “SHIVA BABY” (USA / 76 minutes / Comedy): At a Jewish funeral service with her parents, a college student runs into her sugar daddy. The acerbic Danielle is many things: an East Coast college senior majoring in gender studies; a young, bisexual Jewish woman; a sugar baby testing out the transactional powers of her sexuality.
• “SOL” (France / 98 minutes / Bittersweet Comedy): Sol, a tango singer, has been living in Buenos Aires for years. Behind her impulsive nature and bright smile lies the loss of her son, with whom she had broken every bond.
• “SMALL TOWN WISCONSIN” (USA / 105 minutes / Drama): Wayne is the most fun-loving, party animal in Rhinelandern. Just ask his favorite wingman, Tyler, who’s seen it all, lived it all, loved it all. Only problem? Tyler is Wayne’s 9-year-old son. When Wayne learns the news that he is losing shared custody and that his beloved wingman will be moving far away, he plans a special weekend for his son to remember him by.
• “STAND!” (USA / 98 minutes / Musical Drama): In 1919, Stefan and his father Mike fled Ukraine for the New World, where they struggle to earn enough to re-unite the family. Stefan falls for the Jewish suffragette, Rebecca — but her brother Moishe and Mike oppose the would-be Romeo and Juliet.
• “THE WEAZEL’S TALE” (Spain / 2 hours / Comedy): A group of four friends — a film director, a film writer, an actress and her husband — share a big house in the country. Their coexistence is menaced by a young couple who deceitfully seek to get them to sell the house to develop a real estate project of their own.
— Saint Augustine Film Festival
The SHORT Programs of SAFF2021
Jan. 14 through Jan. 24.
“The Honey Makers” (UK / 12 minutes / English): 1984, North London. Arjun and Lalita, Indian immigrants, hardworking and prosperous, create a home in the face of mounting resentment. Will they forever be outsiders forcibly removed like the industrious hive of bees looking for their own piece of England in Arjun and Lalita’s garden?
“Early Light” (USA / 17 minutes / English): Two Wyoming veterans turn to the healing of horses as they battle their PTSD.
“The Rage” (France / 10 minutes / French w/English subtitles): Akmal struggles against his guiltiness and the memories of his life with Sarah, whom he lost brutally after a police control has gone wrong.
“Tiger Claw” (UK / 13 minutes / English): A trio of kung fu enthusiasts are on their way to a regional tournament when they witness a small-scale jewelry heist and are faced with the decision of whether to fight for the Golden Dragon Trophy or fight for justice.
“Disconnected” (USA / 8 minutes / English): When Stacy fears that she and her boss, Julia, are in danger, Julia ignores her. When Kayla arrives, however, reality becomes increasingly disconnected, and a danger that threatens them all is unclear.
“Urania Leilus” (USA / 24 minutes / English): A young female journalist is subjected to death threats and intimidation after uncovering human rights violations at a detention center for undocumented immigrant children.
“The Desert Son” (India / 30 minutes / English): A son travels from New York to the Thar desert to collect his estranged father’s ashes. On his journey, the son discovers a mysterious legacy his father has left behind.
“Glitches” (Taiwan / 21 minutes / Chinese w/English subtitles): A down-on-his-luck lawyer meets a mysterious woman while waiting for his delayed flight. After she admits to causing a fatal house fire, the young lawyer becomes torn in doing the right thing while learning the reasons behind her heinous crime, and becoming sympathetic to her.
“US MX” (USA / 16 minutes / English & Spanish w/English subtitles): In the not-too-distant future, the film follows Leah, 36, and her daughter, Ariel, 7, as they race against the clock to immigrate across the U.S./Mexican border before sunrise. As officers close in, the direction they run becomes less and less clear.
“Standing Ovation” (USA / 20 minutes / English): Charles stars in a play about slavery that’s written and directed by an acclaimed director who is talented, determined and willing to do whatever it takes to get the best performance out of his actors — even if it means sinking into the dark abyss of an actor’s mind to pull out the truest of emotions and pain required for this soulful character.
“Crutch Tap” (USA / 8 minutes / English): Years after the death of his older brother, a young man creates a new dance in his memory called Crutch_Tap. Now, he sets out to put on his first-ever live show and unveil his new dance to the world, keeping the promises he and his brother made with each other many years ago.
“I Need, I Want” (USA / 11 minutes / English): Matt Redcrop and Kayla Ross are struggling performing artists and lovers who have their sights set on the big-time. They are sharpening their skills under the tutelage of one of the toughest acting coaches in America, Shelley Isaacson.
“I’m Not Margot Robbie” (USA / 3 minutes / English): A young woman attempts to make herself look like actress, Margot Robbie.
“One Day” (Colombia / 18 minutes / Spanish w/English subtitles): Cristian, a young man from a marginal neighborhood of Bogotá, earns his living by rapping on the city bus. He dreams of traveling to Ecuador to participate in a music contest and leave everything behind. One day, his routine is disrupted by the unexpected presence of his little sister who secretly followed him. The violence around him puts his dream of a better life to a hard test.
“Auditioning With Mom” (USA / 9 minutes / English): A sometimes-working, mostly-struggling actor is forced to ask his 80-year-old mom to help him with his TV audition.
“Borderless” (Iran / 13 minutes / Farsi w/English subtitles): A teenage girl named Delaram has Down syndrome, and children and society think of her as mentally retarded. Delaram wants their judgments, which have created a border, to be removed.
“In Synch” (USA / 5 minutes / English): A young couple walk a fine line while thriving in an open marriage until they catch each other breaking their own rules.
“Love X Bites” (Myanmar / 18 minutes / Burmese w/English subtitles): During Covid19 outbreak, two women enter the quarantine at a hotel and share a room. Soon, sexual tensions flare up and they find themselves in a passionate affair. But a dark secret is about to rupture this bliss.
“Viper Virus: History in the Making” (Broward / 21 minutes / English): The COVID-19 Pandemic, or the Viper Virus, continues to spread. How are people in South Florida coping with this virus and how was it affecting their lives? Fort Lauderdale closed its beach during spring break. It was affecting each person in a different way. It was changing our world. People were concerned and scared. We were now living in a virtual world. What does the future hold?
For a full list of films and descriptions, visit saff2021.eventive.org