The Fairhope Film Festival continues its winning “Best of the Best” strategy with a lineup that ranges from must-see documentaries like “Weiner” to the feature films making a splash everywhere, such as “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” to an exclusive collection of “Southern Shorts.” Nov. 10-13, Fairhope will be the place to see brilliant, entertaining and award-winning films culled by the selection committee from some of the world’s best film festivals.
One such film of particular local interest is “Big Charity: The Death of America’s Oldest Hospital” (Friday, Nov. 11, noon, Library Venue), a riveting look into New Orleans’ Charity Hospital — from its beginning to its closing. Exclusive interviews offer valuable insight into the enormous public institution known today as Big Charity. As an irreplaceable health institution, its closing after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 continues to have devastating consequences for the locals.
Conversely, many crowd-pleasing comedy films are slated, including the adaptation of the beloved bestselling novel “A Man Called Ove” (Friday, Nov. 11, 11:30 a.m., Faulkner), a dramedy about a curmudgeon who has a change of heart. “The Architect” stars Parker Posey and Eric McCormack as a couple who foolishly hire an uncompromising, modernist architect to design their dream house (Saturday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m., USA Baldwin County Performance Center).
Other intriguing titles include “Always Shine,” (Friday, Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m., Library), in which two actresses embark on a road trip to Big Sur. They hope to re-establish a bond broken by years of competition and damaged friendship, but jealousy opens old wounds. This twisted thriller is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. Juliette Binoche stars in the French religious drama “The Wait” (Sunday, Nov. 13, 12:30 p.m., Faulkner), while a cast of stars including Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Toby Jones and Stephen Fry tell the story of a pioneering Indian mathematician and his mentor in “The Man Who Knew Infinity” (Friday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m., Library).
If you were intrigued by last week’s Lagniappe cover story on cancer clusters in Baldwin County, you can see the documentary as part of the “Southern Shorts” screening (Saturday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m., USA/BC) along with short films both serious and hilarious, all linked to the South in some way.
This festival is not only a great way to see an incredible variety of films, it’s a bargain. A four-pack of tickets is only $40, while an eight-pack costs $75. In addition to films, the Fairhope Film Festival hosts other events, such as the Opening Night Party, a Red Carpet party and a variety of panels and discussions.
There are several venues for this event, all within walking distance of one another: The Book Cellar Page & Palette, 32 S. Section St.; Eastern Shore Art Center, 401 Oak St. (corner of Section Street); Fairhope Film Festival Office, 122 Fairhope Ave., Suite #3 (entrance on Summit Street); Fairhope Public Library, Giddens Center, 501 Fairhope Ave. (corner of Bancroft Street); Faulkner State College, Centennial Hall, 450 Fairhope Ave. (corner of School Street); Regions Bank Parking Lot, 55 N. Section St. (corner of Magnolia Street); University of South Alabama Baldwin County Performance Center, 111 St. James Ave. (corner of Summit Street).
You really must peruse the full list of films at www.fairhopefilmfestival.org and start planning your weekend around the festival’s schedule. You can also order your tickets online; at the Festival Box Office, located inside the Fairhope Welcome Center at 20 N. Section St.; or in person before a screening if seats are still available. For more information call 251-990-7957 or 251-929-4626.
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