Naples International Film Festival
Silverspot Cinemas | Naples, FL
“Remember all the movies Terry we’d go see, to learn how to walk like the hero’s we thought we had to be.” Backstreets, Bruce Springsteen
Here at badDOLPHIN, we love a good flick. Especially a good indie flick. We also love a good party. The Naples International Film Festival sounded like the perfect marriage of both, so we headed to North Naples to check it out.
Except for the Opening Night Gala, held at the Naples Philharmonic Center, and the children’s flicks, which are held at the Norris Center in Cambier Park, the entire festival is held at the über-lux Silverspot Cinemas in the über-trendy Mercato “lifestyle” development on Route 41 and Vanderbilt Drive in North Naples. The Mercato is Naples’ night-spot-du-jour, and the Silverspot, well, the Silverspot is THE cinema all other multiplexes should model themselves after. Chicly decorated, the lobby has a full-service restaurant with beer and wine available at the concession stands. The theaters themselves are awesome. Killer leather lounge chairs with built-in drink holders and 60 inches of leg room. Not to mention the state-of-the-art sound and digital projection system. You pay a few bucks more for your movie ticket, but in our opinion, it’s well worth it.
We chose a collection of shorts titled, “Love and Laughter” to kick things off. Standouts in this collection were, “God of Love,” “Mind the Gap,” and “Le Petit Dragon” — all were done extremely well and all were funny as hell.
Leaving the theater, we struck up a conversation with a gentlemen we later learned was Terry Hitchcock, the star of the documentary, “My Run” which chronicles his running of 75 consecutive marathons to honor both his late wife who died of cancer and the plight of single parents. After speaking with Terry, we decided to go see “My Run” the next day and it was both moving and inspiring. If you get a chance to see it in your city, please do. If not, at least put it in your Netflix queue; the DVD will be released next year. Post film, both Terry and director Tim VandeSteeg were present in the theater to answer questions and talk about the making of the film — this was an incredibly cool perk for us movie-goers.
The only downside of the film was the parking situation. The Mercato has limited spacing in its’ garages and, as the festival grows, this will be an issue that will need to be addressed. Perhaps next year they can park cars at the nearby Pavilion Shopping Center and shuttle them across 41 to the Mercato. After our parking garage adventures, we needed a brew to settle down, we made sure to stop at the Naples Pub for a cold one before hitting the theater.
In our opinion, the Naples International Film Festival is a fantastic way to spend the weekend. We can definitely see it continuing to grow and thrive here in Naples. We loved the whole atmosphere — there were bands playing all around the Mercato and just a general feel-good vibe. Couple that with awesome weather and I can hardly think of a better way to pass the time than enjoying a couple brews and a couple of great movies in an awesome setting.