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Louisville Kentucky's First International Film Festival

Updated on June 11, 2010

Louisville, Kentucky: City focused on performing arts

One of the reasons I moved to Louisville Kentucky, after retiring from teaching in Chicago, was that the city offered a lot in the way of performing arts. I had been used to that in Chicago and wanted more than a lower cost of living, a friendly environment, and fabulous restaurants. I got all of these and more. Besides the great locally owned restaurants, the biggest surprise was the emphasis on the arts.

For visual arts, Louisville has every kind of museum imaginable. As for performing arts, there are a myriad of instrumental and musical styles being performed regularly all around the city, just about every day or night of the week, including restaurants, outdoor gardens, theaters, museums and parks (weather permitting). In addition. there's opera, dance, a symphony orchestra, and most intriguingly lots and lots of theater..... theater for everyone.

Louisville International Festival of Film: October 1-4, 2009

Louisville is always on the cusp of fine theater and film entertainment. This year, the city is very excited about presenting it's first International Film Festival due to run from October 1st to October 4. Thirty five films of all lengths and styles will be competing for prizes, Most of the films will have fairly large budgets and will bring in some well-known directors and stars. They will be screened locally at pre-selected venues throughout the city.

According to festival organizers, "Louisville's International Festival of Films (LIFF) is committed to screening artistic films not usually presented through commercial venues, giving independent filmmakers a place to showcase their work..." The festival will also "...host a variety of seminars, events and parties designed to provide Kentuckians and visitors alike the opportunity to become involved in the future of the Film Industry in Kentucky. [They] believe that an annual festival will promote Kentucky and Metro Louisville as a destination point for film production drenched in hospitality, arts and culture".

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger
2008 summer Olympics in China
2008 summer Olympics in China
Bebe Neuwirth
Bebe Neuwirth
Peter Coyote
Peter Coyote
Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Christine Baranski
Christine Baranski
Cuban Exiles
Cuban Exiles
Beatrice, the leading character
Beatrice, the leading character
A dream of childhood
A dream of childhood
Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd

Non-competing Films

Eight non-competing films to be shown at the festival have already been identified. The competing films, are still in the process of being selected from the more than 200 entries. The non-competing films are:

The Burning Plain, the opening night film, stars Charlize Theron, Jenifer Lawrence and Kim Basinger. Guillermo Arriaga, who wrote the screenplays for "21Grams" and "Babel" is the director. Two of the film's stars, Theron and Lawrence, will attend the festival.

Dream Weavers 2008: First debuting in China in June of this year, this touching documentary tells a story wrapped around the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. The main storyline centers around the construction of the National Stadium, where the games were held, and documents the lives of the ordinary people and Olympic gymnasts who were affected by events that took place during that time.

Adopt A Sailor: stars Bebe Neuwirth, Peter Coyote and Ethan Peck. It is directed by first time director Charles Evered. This is a very simple story about a trendy but dysfunctional New York couple who accidentally adopt a sailor during Fleet Week. A complicated relationship develops between these three very different people. Although meeting by chance, they somehow become a kind of family and change each others lives forever, in unexpected ways.

Another Harvest Moon: Tells of elderly nursing home residents who bcome like family and tackle their problems together. It stars award winning actors: Doris Roberts, Ernest Borgnine, Piper Laurie, Anne Meara, Rich Schiff and Cybill Shepherd. Written by new playwright Jeremy T. Black, it is directed by writer/filmmaker George W. Swartz. Although the film was written as an ensemble piece, the story centers around Frank, Ernest Borgnine's character. For a low-budget small film, it includes some very good work by actors who, like Borgnine, were box-office draws in their day

Falling From Grace: Fay Ann Lee has successfully created an indie film which is not amateurish. Besides directing the film, Miss Lee is both lead actor and producer of this romantic comedy.The film tells the story of a girl named Grace from New York who tackles the corporate ladder after escaping the sweatshops of Chinatown. The film stars the director Fay Ann Lee, Margaret Cho, and Christine Baranski. It is both endearing and believable with characters who are easily likeable.

Tell Me Cuba: Written by Alexander Wetherly, this film examines Fidel Castro's Cuba and the strained relations between Cuba and the US. Directed by Megan Williams, the film starts off with a brief history of Cuba, followed by well-known Cuban exiles who tell about their former lives, one by one, and the strife in their in their beloved country. As the film continues, they become more and more passionate about the removal of Castro.

Breathing Under Water: A symbolic film by writer/director Susan Murphy Dermody first filmed in Australia in1991, then on the cutting edge of international cinema. As a reaction to threats of nuclear war, the film is based on the theory that civilization has displaced the basic experiences of birth and death with an escalating capacity for invention and destruction. Dermody poses serious questions as she takes the leading character Beatrice though Dante's hell, purgatory and heaven in a quest to answer her own personal questions concerning the fall of humanity and its redemption. It is during her initial journey that Beatrice has dreams of her childhood. This is an interesting film visually, with animation and dream-like sequences.

India's Hidden Plague: A documentary narrated by Ashley Judd on the country's AIDS epidemic. This film documents Ms Judd's journey to Mumbai, India, where she meets with those for whom the threat of aids is a frightening reality. Through her emotional story she reveals the heart-rending and dire circumstances of these people. In an effort to help, Ms Judd has appealed to influential individuals and policy-makers around the world.

Ashley Judd in India

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    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      7 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Hi Alecia, Thanks for the comment. Another festival here in Louisville that you may like is the Humana Festival of new American plays. It's on right now. It runs for 6 weeks or so around this time of year. To find out about it, go to: http://actorstheatre.org/events/humana-festival-ki...

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      7 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I personally love Louisville. I've visited about three times since my parents have friends there but I never knew anything about their International Film Festival and from what you've described, they do have a great mix of genres. If I get to go back, I would definitely like to visit this festival!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      @mewlhouse: Yes, the film fest was quite successful...played a lot of really good films. They should be doing it again this year in October. I'll have to check out your film when I get a minute. Right now I'm in the throes of getting ready to move from Louisville to Austin, TX. Big job!

      Thanks for comment.

    • profile image

      mewlhouse 

      8 years ago

      I wish I had known about you living in Louisville as my feature film, Alphonso Bow, premiered at the Derby City Film Festival. But, if you do want to see it, view trailers or stream it online, it is available at alphonsobow.com

      I never made it to the Intl Film Fest you speak of here in your article.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for the comment. I was a little surprised myself, when I moved here from Chicago.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      How narrow minded we are, speaking of myself. I never knew Louisville had entertainment of that caliber. Living in So. Ca. we tend to think that, being called the Entertainment Capital of the world, nothing happens outside of our little sphere. Good work!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      You are so so right about that. The topics and stories seem to be more carefully thought out and have more global appeal. They many times have a lot more passion behind them, driven by the need to tell a great story.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I enjoy independent films, so I will keep an eye out for these. I always find it amazing how much more entertaining and engaging some small budget films can be compared to bigger Hollywood productions.

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