About The Festival
On April 26, The Connecticut Film Festival will take Danbury by storm as it does every year around this time. This year the festival will screen a wide variety of features, shorts, documentaries, animations and student films during its 4-day and night festival. Films and workshops will take place at: The Palace Theatre, Bethel Cinema, The Danbury Library and the Danbury Women’s Center
Always looking to please, surprise and often shock audiences with thought provoking films and discussion, this years movies can change lives, possibly save lives (see Sunday night’s program) and hopefully shake audiences out of their everyday boring (automatic pilot) routine.
Our hard-hitting “Occupy” block of films will have you thinking long after the festival is over! Opening Night is no exception, when three of our - grab your attention - films lead off the festival with a World Premiere! State of Connecticut Attorney General, George Jepsen will handle the introduction to set the stage. Following the screenings will be a lively panel discussion with cast members and a World Premiere after party catered by Some Things Fishy Catering!
6:00pm, Thurs, April 26, The Palace Theatre rolls out the Red Carpet to a Welcome Reception and the World Premiere of “Confidence Game” written and directed by Ridgefield resident, television and film producer, writer and director: Nick Verbitsky.
Confidence Game is not your typical, sensational Wall Street’s gone wild documentary, but rather a jaw dropping, street level, 360-degree view of systemic malfeasance and widespread corruption on Wall Street and at Bear Sterns. It reveals how an amalgam of Washington policy and regulatory failures, compliant ratings agencies, media manipulation and fraud in the subprime mortgage market on a massive scale short-circuited Wall Street nearly destroying the American Economy. As Jack Webb used to say, “just the facts ma’m” and that’s how this film lays it all out in a very understandable fashion. See Opening Night Section.
Prior to Confidence Game, the festival will screen two thought provoking short films (non-religious) “Jesus Was A Commie” and “Somebody” CTFF is honored to have social and political activist and award winning movie actor and director: Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) as our guest, who will be presenting his most recent thought provoking short films. Tickets are $25.00 for the films, discussion and reception.
Following the films, Matthew Modine with authors and investigative journalists: William D. Cohen and Roddy Boyd who both appear in Confidence Game will take the stage with Confidence Game Director Nike Verbitsy for a lively and interactive discussion with the audience.
Friday, April 27th After a full day of diverse movie screenings in Danbury and Bethel, Unions Savings Bank present an evening of cultural diversity with The Academy Award Nominated feature length animation: Chico & Rita! This incredibly colorful feature is receiving exuberant media buzz and accolades from all over the world! “I LOVE IT! LUSHLY SCORED AND MAGICAL, THE BEST MUSIC FILM IN ANY GENRE IN A LONG TIME! - Chicago Tribune,” FOUR STARS! “BEAUTIFUL! A SWAYING, SEXY, DREAM OF A MOVIE! – The Observer,” “FOUR STARS! MAGNIFICENT! DELICIOUS! RAVISHING! – The Telegraph”. Need we say more? The Chico & Rita After Party takes place immediately following the film where the audience can get their photo taken with the film’s stars and will be treated a delectable array of Cuban cuisine and music provided by Some Things Fishy Catering. Tickets are $25.00 for the film and reception. See Chico & Rita section.
Saturday, April 28th, the festival is in full swing at all four locations. “The Green”, “The Vintner’s Luck”, “Another Harvest Moon” and “Behind The Wall” will screen along side a block of Brazilian Short films and the BRAND NEW block buster thriller: “LEAVE”.
Workshops, Panels and Interviews for Film, Social Media Marketing and Screenwriting begin at 11:00am and run through 4:45pm and include a writers track with; “Story & Cinematic Structure”, “Pitching Your Script: What Are Studios Looking For? ”, The Film Industry Production track includes: “Pitching Film & TV Projects To Studio Producers”, “Directing & Editing For Blockbuster Results!” (Featuring Directors and Editors of “Confidence Game” and “Leave”) and “Directing Actors For Film & Television – Communication Is Key!”. The Social Media Marketing track includes: “Community Building on Social Media” and “All About 2 Dimensional Codes” See Workshops Section.
NEW this year, CTFF presents a special HS & College Student Event: “So You Want To Go To Film School” Columbia and Tisch Graduate Students: Ben Benjamin Rutkowski & Brian Paccione will screen some of their recent projects and discuss the pros and cons of film school. CTFF has followed their amazing projects for more than 5 years. These are the guys to talk to if you are considering this path.
At 5:00pm - Focus On Film 2012 - A Conversation With The
President of Focus Features: Andrew Karpen. Along with many filmmakers and movie enthusiasts, CTFF is truly honored to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with Andrew Karpen. CTFF Director of Education: Marty Lang, will lead the discussion and then open the floor to a question. See Focus On Films section.
Saturday Evening wraps with your choice of comedy or serious films. At 7:00pm, “Celebrity Comedy Shorts” From The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival will leave you doubled over after seeing “Grampires: When Sharon Bit Harry” starring Billy Crystal and Helen Merren. And then, if that wasn’t enough, Celebrity Female Impersonator: Varla Jean Merman, (who claims to be the illegitimate child of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman), will tear the house down with “Varla Jean & The Mushroom Heads” at The Palace Theatre. In Bethel, The BRAND NEW blockbuster thriller “LEAVE” starts at 6:45pm followed by “ Hello Lonesome” and The Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn” at 9:15pm
Sunday April 29th, is never a day of rest at CTFF. At 2:30pm, The Show Us Your Shorts Film Competition sponsored by RedCarpetRefs.com is an opportunity where anyone can submit a 3-5 minute short of their choosing. Selected films will be screened at the Palace. The Red Carpet Refs will present awards and winners will be posted on ctfilmfest.com and RedCarpetRefs.com, and be screened at future CTFF events. Submission rules (yes there’s still time to submit) and registration can be found at ctfilmfest.com.
Sunday afternoon, the movies continue in Bethel and Danbury with a focus on health. At 2:15pm the festival hosts the anticipated return of the hit film “The Sacred Science” directed and produced by local filmmakers; Director: Nick Polizzi and Producer: Dan Bailey. The Amazon may hold the cures to diseases like: PARKINSON’S DISEASE. BREAST CANCER. DIABETES. DEPRESSION. Despite remarkable advances in modern medicine, our society still struggles to effectively treat these and other common illnesses. The Sacred Science follows the journey of eight brave souls as they leave the developed world behind in search of deeper answers and a cure with Peru’s indigenous medicine men. See Sacred Science section.
5:30pm, doors open at The Palace for the festival finale. A unique opportunity for filmgoers and music lovers to: See A Film, Listen To A Concert, And Save A Life! The Connecticut Premiere of “More To Live For” followed by a Jazz Tribute Concert To Celebrate the late Tenor Saxophone legend: Michael Brecker.
The evening kicks off with a Red Carpet reception catered by Some Things Fishy Catering, followed by “More To Live For” directed by Noah Hutton. MTLF is a film of tragedy and loss, and strength and hope, presenting the stories of three individuals facing life and death, and their commitment to making a difference. Their unrelated paths become connected in a desperate fight for survival and a singular mission: to bring awareness about bone marrow donation to the millions of people who could save a life today. It is their hope that these deeply personal accounts of confronting illness will inspire hope and action, leaving the viewer empowered to become part of the cure. See More To Live For Section.
Save A Life – You’re Part Of The Cure. Following the film, there will be an intermission where audience members can be tested for FREE to become registered donors and hopefully Save A Life! Testing is painless and takes only seconds.
Tribute Concert To Celebrate Michael Brecker - After the intermission, The Roger Ball Quintet (see Roger Ball section) will take to the stage as the evening’s “house band” and host an invitational jam session of monstrous magnitude with Jazz and Funk players from the NY Metropolitan area, many of who were inspired by Michael and others who performed with him over the years.
The donor testing will take place during an intermission between the screening and the concert. Refreshments and drinks will also be served during intermission while the stage is set up for the concert. Then, the audience will be treated to a music performance by some of the finest Jazz musicians in the country. Tickets are $25.00
Ah, it’s good to be back in Danbury. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
We look forward to seeing you in Danbury, April 26-29 and then June 28 - July 1 at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook CT.