After a successful first year, the Fairhope Film Festival returns this weekend, Nov. 6-9, with a great lineup of films that have already ignited festivals throughout the world. Over the four days, 44 feature films and 20 short films will be shown at four Fairhope venues, from an intimate theater setting to a state-of-the-art auditorium. There are also moderated filmmaker panels, including the ever so hot topic “Crowdfunding Film” with an independent LA filmmaker, a Red Carpet Gala and Awards Ceremony and other parties.
But on to the films themselves, which are chosen for the festival to represent “the best of the best.” All selections are chosen by the programming committee based on being finalists at national and international film festival competitions in the past year. Some highlights include “Mood Indigo,” the latest flight of fancy from French director Michel Gondry, which stars Audrey Tatou and was nominated for three Cesar Awards.
Documentaries such as “The Galapagos Affair: When Satan Came to Eden” are also waiting to be discovered. This one tells about an uninhabited island that becomes a free-love destination in the 1930s, and soon becomes the site of a still-unsolved murder mystery.
I wouldn’t want to miss “Sister” starring Lea Seydoux and Gillian Anderson or the Academy Award winning Italian film “The Great Beauty,” considered to be the next generation of Fellini in the best possible ways. From Spain, “Living is Easy With Eyes Closed” tells the story of a raucous road trip fueled by Beatle-mania. The international selections in this lineup are particularly intriguing this year.
This is a great place to catch films you’ve been wanting to see like “Calvary” and “The Trip to Italy” or renowned documentaries “Finding Vivian Maier” and “Fed Up,” as well as films you can’t see anywhere else, like the film adaptation of hometown author Frank Turner Hollon’s novel “Blood and Circumstance.” This film makes its Alabama Premier on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Faulkner venue and includes a Q & A.
You’ll also want to hit the Fairhope Brewing Company for the Midnight Madness Screenings Friday and Saturday, where you can check out the horror film that was filmed in Mobile and Baldwin counties, “Hayride 2.” You might even have appeared in that one.
Saturday’s screening also looks promisingly bizarre, a micro-budget paranormal thriller called “Fateful Findings.”
Other venues for the film festival include Faulkner State Community College, the Fairhope Public Library, The Performance Center at the University of South Alabama Baldwin County campus, the Eastern Shore Art Center, including an outdoor screening, and the Lyon’s Share Gallery. As you can see, this is a walkable festival during our most pleasant season, weather-wise. Friday night is also Fairhope’s First Friday Art Walk, with food, fun and music in the streets.
Now that you have an idea of what kind of films to expect at the Fairhope Film Festival, the final inducement you need is how affordable it is. At $10 per screening, it’s cheaper than paying to sit through some God awful popcorn flick, plus, you know, good. Spring for a $55 six-pack of passes, and you have a delightful weekend ahead of you. The schedule and full lineup are available at www.fairhopefilmfestival.org.