Mouse Trap Films president Benjamin Oberman and his staff want to change the film industry.
"Every year I saw more and more films qualify for film festivals, prove their worth, but yet fall through the cracks, mostly because they lacked A-list stars or weren't based on best-selling novels," Oberman said. "I knew there was an audience for these films if the two can be connected."
Oberman's solution was to create Film Festival Flix, a monthly traveling tour that hits Miami tonight. Each month, film enthusiasts are treated to critically acclaimed films from festivals around the world and an opportunity to interact with filmmakers and actors live or via simulcast. Revolutionary in its approach to marketing and exposing independent films, FFF attempts to bring the film festival experience to your neighborhood theatre. Tonight, actor Lou Martini Jr. of Sopranos fame hosts showings of The Holy Land of Tyrol and A Secret Promise at O Cinema.
set in the year 1809 and tells the story of Katharina Tyrolean and her
husband Franz attempting to flee Bavaria in the middle of war. When
Franz heads off to fight, Katharina is forced to rely on herself and
wins her new village's respect. But when Franz returns, a conflict tests
their allegiance to each other and their people. The acting and imagery
of the setting is enough to draw audiences, and the suspense keeps them
engaged and at the edge of their seat.
A Secret Promise is the story of wealthy businessman Ferro Olivetti, who promises his dying father he would "go far away with no money." Along the way, he discovers what would have otherwise been hidden and what he had been looking for all his life without knowing it: true love.
"Seeing the films on the screen, the filmmaker's response and the audience's feedback is what makes it worth the effort," continued Oberman, a former Olympic figure skater who was the skating consultant for the 2007 Will Ferrell movie Blades of Glory.
Of course, it hasn't been easy. Mouse Trap Films has encountered challenges in bringing these acclaimed yet underground films to larger audiences, namely "getting the establishment to understand our alternative use of a theatrical release, to shift from their way of thinking which no longer works, especially for indie films, and convincing filmmakers to trust us with their babies." But so far so good, as audiences so far have responded enthusiastically to the concept and interaction with filmmakers and actors. Creators of the short film contest local selection have even wept in Oberman's presence, thanking Mouse Trap profusely for exhibiting films they worked so hard to perfect.
Martini, who just completed a film with Eric Roberts called West End, loved the concept and jumped at the opportunity to be involved.
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"I'm most looking forward to greeting new people in the Indy film world and of course the fans," said Martini. "Especially the always rabid Sopranos fans."
Tonight's event starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 10:30. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://filmfestivalflix.com/.