Saturday, February 28, 2015

Between Myth and History: Florida Renaissance Festival

Between Myth and History: Florida Renaissance Festival, that’s the name of the documentary that I’ve been involved with as the narrative writer. After a long process endured by Humaya Films production crew, the premiere happened on Wednesday February 25th at Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Since I was involved with the film, I can’t give a fair critique so what I will do is explain why this film is worth everyone’s attention. The reason this film was created in the first place is to show the patrons that come every year exactly what goes on behind the scenes. To shine the light on the people that live multiple lives, endure harsh struggles and yet somehow find a way to make magic happen by bringing the past into the present.

I was approached by the director of the film, Vivian Orozco whom is also very involved in the Florida Renaissance Festival and had previously read my work. Realizing the unique opportunity offered to me, I jumped into untested waters as I’ve never worked in Non-Fiction. It was a challenge for a short time but thankfully I worked with a director that knew what she wanted and worked with a crew that knew how to support each other. At the end of it all, the film came together beautifully as it received a standing ovation by the crowd that came to see it at the premiere. A crowd that was grateful to see a film that showed what makes the Florida Renaissance Festival so special.

It shows the importance of Quiet Waters Park which is where the Florida Renaissance Festival occurs in Deerfield, Florida. An area of the park that may just seem like dirt and trees but is in actuality the most important site in Deerfield. A site where people come to at the beginning of the year to forget about the problems of modern times and enjoy a time that was more simplistic and inspiring. It’s brought together by a group of hard working individuals that build sets that performers need to entertain the patrons. The performers, who are the backbone of the festival and deserve much appreciation for the sacrifices they make to be involved.

These are wonderful people who show tremendous dedication to their craft in order to make the patrons feel as though they are back in time. Dedication in the form of attending every rehearsal, practicing in their spare time and building props accurate to the time period. From getting every detail in the jewels of the crown to the beads and threads of the outfits, nothing is left unchecked. These are people who have families, other jobs, and the same struggles that we all have in modern times and yet they still find the time to put on some of the most entertaining shows of the year. Shows that leave you laughing, smiling and making you want to come back for more because this is entertainment you can only receive at this event.

An event brought to Deerfield every year by Bobby Rodriguez Productions that started the Florida Renaissance Festival over twenty years ago. Now it’s one of the biggest attractions every February and March. The success of the event is only possible because of everything that has to happen behind the scenes and the only way for you to see that is by watching this film. Patrons who go to the festival every year can have a greater appreciation for those who build, perform, and produce one of the greatest events you can attend in the year. It was a pleasure being part of this film and if you’re a lover of the Florida Renaissance Festival, this film is as much for you as the people that make history a reality.

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