The 2013 Gasparilla International film festival had it’s opening night this past Tuesday March 19th. The opening night was at the beautiful historic Tampa theater. I had not been to the theater before and I must say “What a beautiful theater” it is! Walking up to the theater the lights on the sign outside creates excitement and anticipation. Once inside the architecture is fascinating.
There were lights, cameras, red carpet and plenty of action going on among the people who were waiting to get in. Definitely fit for the stars!
The opening night film, after the VIP reception was “Empire State” a movie based on a true story. Directed by Dito Montiel(who helmed The Son of No One). The movie was inspired by a true story of a 1982 NYC armored car company robbery, thought at the time to be the largest cash heist in U.S. history. The acting in the film was great starring Liam Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock), Emma Roberts, Chris Diamantopoulos, Nikki Reed and Michael Angarano. The film’s producer (From Miami) Randall Emmett received the 2013 GIFF Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking award and well deserved.
Wednesday and Thursday night the film screenings were at the Cinebistro in Hyde Park. Another spectacular location and the films are nothing short from great! Last night (Thursday) the first film I sat in to watch was a documentary by the name of “Killer B3”. A documentary about the Hammond organ, written and directed by Murv Seymour who is one of our locals based out of Tampa. What a pleasant surprise! One of our well-known local musicians by the name of Shawn Brown was in the film and some music by Nate Najar. Shawn was able to make a live appearance at the end of the screening and was running out to go play at the Garden (one of my favorite places), downtown St. Pete in the Detroit. We have such great talent playing around downtown St. Pete all the time. We are so fortunate!
KB3 captures the spirit and passion of players who have committed a lifetime to master the Hammond sound, choosing to make music with the complex and bulky instrument over the simplistic and portable keyboard.
KB3 features organist, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Mcgriff, Tony Monaco, Joey DeFrancesco, Shawn Brown, Pappa John DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith, Jr. and many others.
This documentary reflects the passion and determination of the director, editor (Joe Bamford) and of all the musicians. The stories of courage and Love for music of each individual musician are as strong as the Hammond Organs. I was not familiar with the Hammond Organs and this documentary achieved far beyond “Just Telling a Story”. Job well done and inspires film makers not to give up or sell out!
GIFF continues Today Friday March 22nd through Sunday March 24th. For the rest of the week-end the screenings will be at the Muvico in Ybor city and there will be workshops at HCC Ybor during the day on Saturday.
I strongly encourage everyone to go out and enjoy the experience of film screening. For more information go to www.GasparillaFilmFestival.com.
By: Ann Marie Cash
Host of St. Pete Buzz