The Fairhope Film Festival is back, Thursday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Nov. 12, bringing its savvy “Best of the Best” concept to featuring films that are sure to please.
From well-received recent independent films, such as artist biopic “Maudie” and Casey Affleck’s buzzed-about performance in “A Ghost Story” to documentaries such as “Last Men in Aleppo” and “Trophy,” the Fairhope Film Festival finds the films that are blowing up at other festivals across the country and brings them to lovely, quaint Fairhope for one memorable, walkable weekend.
Notable premieres are also a hallmark of this festival, and “One October,” a fascinating new feature-length documentary, will have its Alabama premiere at this year’s festival on Nov. 11, 3 p.m. at the Fairhope Public Library. Filmed in October 2008 on the eve of Barack Obama’s historic election and an unprecedented economic crisis, this city symphony follows intrepid radio reporter Clay Pigeon as he takes to the streets of New York to talk to fellow citizens about their lives, their dreams and their relationship with a transforming city.
The film is a breathtaking, lyrical portrait of New York City that celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit and the necessity of a multicultural metropolis. Seen from our current vantage point, the film is also a remarkable time capsule that foreshadows the roiling political upheaval spreading across the country today.
A roster of “International Shorts” you are unlikely to see anywhere else pops up Friday, Nov. 10, at the University of South Alabama Baldwin campus from noon to 2 p.m. The following day, “Alabama Shorts” pop up at the same venue from 2-3:30 p.m., including “The Underwater Forest” and a fairy tale set in Fairhope and produced locally, “The Ruby Glasses.”
“TClay Pigeon” takes viewers through a hilarious and delicious tour of Spain with British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (Sunday, 10 a.m. at the USA/Baldwin venue), while the story is close to home in “Alabama Bound,” which explores the legal roller-coaster ride of LGBTQ family rights in the South over the last decade (Saturday, 1 p.m. at the Fairhope Public Library). This is an intimate look into a powerful community living with both frustration and hope in conservative Alabama, where the line between church and state is often blurred.
A weekend pass costs $95 and grants entry for one person to unlimited screenings during the festival. It also includes admission to the Red Carpet Street Block Party. A 6-Pack Pass costs $65 and can be shared for multiple admissions, up to six in all. Additionally, individual movie tickets will be available at screening venues and event venues only. All passes must be picked up in person from the festival box office, at any time during box office hours.
The festival’s venues are: Coastal Alabama Community College, Centennial Hall, 450 Fairhope Ave. (corner of Fairhope Avenue and School Street); Halstead Amphitheater, Coastal Alabama Community College, Fairhope campus; Fairhope Public Library: Giddens Center, 501 Fairhope Ave. (corner of Fairhope Avenue and Bancroft Street); University of South Alabama Baldwin County Performance Center, 111 St. James Ave. (corner of St. James Avenue and Summit Street).
With dozens of films over four packed days, you must visit www.fairhopefilmfestival.org to plan your weekend; I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s offered. All the films you’ve been hearing about, and all the films you’re about to hear about, have been hand-picked for the Fairhope Film Festival.
Call 251-990-7957 or visit wwwfairhopefilmfestival.org for more information.