Naples International Film Festival returns Thursday

Use this guide to help you create your must-watch film list

Arnel Pineda went from the slums of Manila to fronting Journey. 'Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey' will be at the Naples International Film Festival. The festival runs from Nov. 1-4, 2012.

Ninfa Z. Bito

Arnel Pineda went from the slums of Manila to fronting Journey. "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" will be at the Naples International Film Festival. The festival runs from Nov. 1-4, 2012.

A man who suddenly finds himself the lead singer of an internationally-known rock band, an American city looking to make a comeback and a man who discovers he's a father several hundred times over. These are just some of the stories of second chances, finding oneself and starting over that can be found next week a the Naples International Film Festival.

The festival kicks off with an opening night party Thursday at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts and a screening and filmmakers' discussion of "Honor Flight." The documentary follows volunteers of Honor Flight Network, an organization which sends World War II veterans on free flights to visit war memorials in Washington D.C.

Naples International Film Festival

Information: www.naplesfilmfest.com

OPENING NIGHT FILM AND PARTY

When: 5:30 p.m. red carpet, 7 p.m. film and 9:30 p.m. dance Thursday, Nov. 1

Where: Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples

Cost: $159, VIP ticket and $29, film only

Tickets/Information: 239-597-1900 or www.thephil.org

FILMS

When: Nov. 2-4

Cost: $12.50 per film or $125 for 12 film vouchers

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

When: Florida Filmmaking, 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 and Women Calling the Shots, 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

Cost: $1

Where: Silverspot Cinema, the Mercato, 9115 Strada Place, Naples

Tickets: At Silverspot box office or www.silverspotcinema.com

PARTY AT THE BAY HOUSE

When: 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

Where: Bay House, 799 Walkerbilt Road, Naples

Cost: $30, advance; $40, at door, includes one drink ticket, hors d’oeuvres, music by Little Eddie and the Fat Fingers and DJ.

Information: 239-591-3837

Then, Friday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 4, cinephiles will have the opportunity to view a variety of documentaries, feature films and shorts from around the globe at Silverspot Cinema in North Naples.

"This year we noticed there seemed to be a lot of romantic comedies submitted that were from the male perspective. Our films 'Missed Connection' and '3 Days of Normal' are examples of that theme," said NIFF Executive and Artistic Director Shannon Franklin, discussing the upcoming festival by email.

"We also seemed to get a much larger number of female directors submitting their work this year. In years past, we would only have one or two female directors, and this year we had so many films made by women, that we are doing a panel discussion on 'Women Filmmakers.'"

In addition to the "Women Calling the Shots" discussion on Saturday, Nov. 3, there will also be a panel discussion on Florida filmmaking on Sunday, Nov. 4. Moviegoers can also chat with filmmakers during special Q&A session following certain films.

While word of the festival, now in its fourth year, continues to spread among filmmakers, the criteria to make the cut remain the same.

"We try to make sure that we have different types of films in our program, so we can have something for everyone," Franklin said.

"Comedies, dramas, family-friendly films ... whatever the film, it has to be made well, tell a great story and fit inside the scope of the entire festival program for that year."

Here is a guide to help you create your must-watch film list (* denotes Q&A with filmmakers after screening):

DOCUMENTARY

"Beauty Is Embarrassing": Raised in the Tennessee mountains, Wayne White went on to find success as one of the creators of the "Pee-wee's Playhouse." 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"Detropia": Detroit's residents embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future. 90 minutes. 6:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey": Arnel Pineda never expected his YouTube videos would take him from the slums of Manila to fronting Journey. Can he deal with the demands of his newfound fame? 113 minutes. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.

"The Eyes of Thailand": After losing their legs to land mines, two elephant survivors are given a second chance to walk again. 62 minutes. 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. (Screens with "Practice: Change — The Africa Yoga Project story") *

"Girl Model": Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. 77 minutes. 1:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 12:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"High Tech, Low Life": Follow rogue bloggers Zola and Tiger Temple as they risk political persecution to become China's uncensored eyes and ears. Stephen Maing 2012. 87 minutes. 2:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.*

"One Day on Earth": A film made in every country of the world on the same day. 104 minutes. 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

"Practice: Change — The Africa Yoga Project story": The story of how one woman's idea to bring yoga to some of the biggest slums in the world caught on like wildfire. 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. (Screens with "The Eyes of Thailand")

"Spinning Plates": Follow three restaurateurs as they face challenges they have overcome. 94 minutes. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

■ ■ ■

NARRATIVE FEATURES

"3 Days of Normal": A lonely small-town cop and a reckless Hollywood starlet find each other and themselves during a long weekend in rural New Hampshire. 83 minutes. 8:30 p.m. Friday Nov. 2, and Noon Sunday, Nov. 4

"All I Want Is Christmas (aka Ira Finkelstein's Christmas)": Ira, a Jewish 11-year-old, is obsessed with Christmas. When Ira's hopes for a holiday vacation are dashed, he hatches a plan to finally get the Christmas of his dreams. 90 minutes. 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4

"California Solo": When a former Britpop rocker gets caught driving drunk and faces deportation, he must confront the past and current demons in his life. 94 minutes: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4

"Dorfman": An antic, romantic comedy about 27 year old Deb Dorfman, who is uprooted from suburban San Fernando Valley and gets caught up in the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of L.A. 92 minutes. 11:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 7:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.*

"Eye of the Hurricane": A small Everglades community struggles to put people's lives back together in the wake of a devastating hurricane. 104 minutes. 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

"Father's Chair": Theo is a hardworking doctor, husband and father. When his son disappears, Theo discovers what really matters to him. 93 minutes. 12:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4

"Future Weather": A teenage loner becomes obsessed with ecological disaster, forcing her and her grandmother to rethink their futures. 100 minutes. 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and Noon and Saturday, Nov. 3.*

"Hitting the Cycle": Rip, a pro baseball player nearing the end of his career, returns to his long-forgotten hometown to face his fractured past and discover a life beyond the diamond. 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. *

"Missed Connections": has 77 minutes. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

"Quartet": Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred are in a home for retired opera singers. When Jean arrives at the home, she disrupts their equilibrium. Still, the show must go on. 95 minutes. 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4

"Shanghai Calling": When Sam is sent to Shanghai on assignment he is out of his element. Along the way he will try to save his job, find romance and learn to appreciate the wonders of the city. 100 minutes. 8:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"Starbuck": Just as David is ready to grow up, he finds out his mercenary sperm donations have resulted in 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a class-action lawsuit to determine the identity of their father. 109 minutes. 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"The Sapphires": It's 1968, and for four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote mission this is the year that would change their lives. Billed as Australia's pop answer to The Supremes, the sisters are set to embark on their first real gig. 100 minutes. 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 7:50 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"Think of Me": As things unravel for a struggling single mother in Las Vegas, she must decide what she's willing to give up to get by. 103 minutes. 7:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.*

■ ■ ■

SHORTS PACKAGE 1 — ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

84 minutes, noon Friday, Nov. 2 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

"Clean": A comedic short film about a couple's attempt to present themselves in the best light to their new guest.

"Election Day": A political thriller set in a high school student government.

"Friend Request Pending": A short comedy about the mature generation dating in our modern social networking world.

"Santa Land": Retired couple Ray and Marlene Kraatz, the official Santa and Mrs. Claus of Zephyrhills, Fla., spend their final chapter of life among a quirky community of Santa Clauses

"Shoot The Moon": Faced with a possible home foreclosure, Marcy Meyers puts her faith into a national game show that promises a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win it all.

"Trotteur": A tale of man versus machine in a duel between a young man and a locomotive.

SHORTS PACKAGE 2 — ENDGAME

80 minutes, 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4

"Aaron Burr, Part 2": A contemporary re-imagining of the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

"Children of the Air": Juxtaposed to the original fairy-tale version of the Little Mermaid, Children of the Air is a dark story about fleeting love.

"Coma": When not pulling the plug makes you the bad guy.

"Dave vs Death": From his deathbed, David Kane challenges the Grim Reaper to a game of chess.

"Oliver Bump's Birthday": Fated to die when he turns 13, young Oliver Bump is in a race against the clock to cheat the fate that awaits him.

"Orange O Despair": What happens when a small sad orange meets a bunch of fun dancing pineapples?

"The Maker": A strange creature races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life.

FLORIDA SHORTS PACKAGE

79 minutes, 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 and 12:20 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.*

"BFF Zombie": Teenage Skylar is faced with impossible decisions, like, who should be her BFF? That decision becomes easier when one friend gets run over. But jealousy can reach from beyond the grave.

"Gary": A door-to-door makeup salesman tries to reconnect with his estranged wife by creating a book of memories.

"Lure": A family man believes he's rescued a helpless girl from a violent boyfriend only to discover he may be in danger himself.

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