Three local directors featured at film festivalAnnual event returns Nov. 7-11
Rehoboth Beach — The Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival returns Nov. 7-11 with about 100 feature, documentary and short films. Three Cape Region residents are highlighted this year in the Regional Showcase.
Gary Merz, owner of Federal Street Gallery and Espresso in Milton, will show his award-winning documentary “Dancing On A Volcano” at 6:15 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10. The film follows a couple's heroic journey of liberating hundreds of Austrian Jews and Christians from the Nazi persecution and imprisonment.
“It's a story of a family who survives Nazi tyranny and escapes to Trinidad and New York,” said Merz. “The main thrust of the story is about Nadja Merino, who was the senior illustrator for the New York Times. She develops a relationship with the [Chile's] counsel general in Paris. Between the two of them, they saved many lives by changing identities, passports and job descriptions.”
The film was runner-up for the People's Choice Award at the Sarasota Film Festival in April and won the Audience Award at the New Hope Film Festival in Pennsylvania in June. Merz said he is excited to show the film in the Cape Region.
Merino, 100, is the aunt of Milton resident Patsy Cicala. Cicala introduced Merino to Merz through her art. In addition to the New York Times, her work was also featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper. Her artwork, including an original drawing of the beehive haircut of the 1960s, will be featured in the tent throughout the festival.
Fellow Miltonian Pamela Preston will make her Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival debut with an 11-minute short titled “A Ninth Life.” Premiering at 2:05 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, the film follows a newspaper reporter who meets a young girl caught up in an unusual chain of events. The reporter follows the girl through a series of occurrences spanning two decades, which send his belief system into a tailspin.
“I basically took events from my life, and I enhanced them to make them more fun,” she said.
The film took only four days to film, but nearly a year to edit, she said.
She recently showed her film at the Vermont Film Festival and is also working on a documentary while up there. While this is her directorial debut, she said, she's been in the filmmaking business since about 2000, working in a variety of different positions. In 2008, she worked on the film Frozen River, starring Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo.
Showing with Preston's film will be Lewes resident Rob Waters' 41-minute short “The Detector.” The film is about a man who purchases a metal detector to find his lost wedding ring on the beach. What seems like a simple task takes the main character on an unexpected adventure.
Waters said he's keeping much of the story secret because a twist early in the film changes everything. He shot the film over several months beginning in late April, working around the schedules of his friends and family, who star in the film. He said the film is a mashup of two ideas.
“I wanted to kind of do a darker film,” he said.
He said his wife read the script, and she said liked it, but she didn't think he would enjoy making the film.
“So I took the essence of the story and made it the beginning,” he said. “The rest was something I liked making.”
This will be Waters' second entry at the film festival, as his short film “The Last Resort” was shown two years ago. Waters works as a graphic designer, but he said filmmaking was an interest he always wanted to pursue.
For a full schedule of films and tickets information, go to www.rehobothfilmfestival.com.