Best Film Festival - 2006
The Florida Room Documentary Film Festival
This winter festival concentrates on socially conscious documentaries, the kind of fare that often otherwise goes unseen in the local community. Unlike the better-known Full Frame Festival in Durham, North Carolina, The Florida Room handpicks its films along a theme. This year it was "The State of Our Water." The acclaimed PBS Point of View film Thirst and other films such as Bottle This! and The Miami River told stories about the privatization, pollution, and politics floating around the water issue. In other years, festival themes have tackled identity and diversity, politics and unsung heroes. Cofounder Rhonda Mitrani, who worked in postproduction for Miramax, is also a director whose film Cuba Mia aired on PBS; plus she's a busy video artist and a screenwriter. Cofounder Juan Carlos Zald?var is a New York University-trained director and video installation artist whose work has appeared in galleries and on PBS and the Independent Film Channel. If documentary can help change the world, it's good to have these two workhorses shepherding the way.