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Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) reels out over 200 films from around the globe. Filmmakers and celebrities attend many of the screenings and events during the festival. Parties and gatherings at area "hot spots", on board yachts, and on the beach will provide audiences an opportunity to hob knob with film talent and other movie buffs.




BART GOT A ROOM Wins IFG Inspiration Award At Fort Lauderdale Film Festival


Tuesday, November 11-----American debut filmmaker Brian Hecker has been awarded the first International Film Guide Inspiration Award given at an American film festival, at this past weekend’s Awards Gala at the ( Hecker won for his feature debut, the comedy Bart Got A Room, which closed the Festival. The film, a winning family comedy shot in south Florida, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008 and has been picked up for distribution by Plum Pictures (  


 Danny Stein, played by newcomer Steven J. Kaplan, is a somewhat geeky high school senior whose biggest challenge is finding the right date for his senior prom. Danny wants what any young man wants on his prom night…..a little lovin’ from a cute girl. As he attempts to hook up with a bevy of belles, facing rejection each time, he comes to realize that his platonic girlfriend is the best date he could wish for. Danny is helped along the way by his recently divorced, slightly dysfunctional parents, played with panache by William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines. The film ends on a high note that demonstrates how adversity has made the callow teenager wake up from his dreamy expectations and appreciate what he has in his life.  



Hecker based the story on his own nerdy past growing up Jewish and awkward in south Florida. He hails from  Hollywood, Florida, the setting for the film. The fledgling filmmaker received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwest University and an MFA from the American Film Institute, where he was awarded “Director of the Year”. His award-winning short film Family Attraction, starring Chris Penn and Martin Sheen, led to the development of projects for Miramax, MGM and Universal. Currently, Hecker and his business partner Craig Sherman are writing a biopic for Leonard di Caprio and Paramount Pictures about the rebel-genius Nolan Bushnell who started the video game revolution in the early 1970s.  



The International Film Guide Inspiration Award is presented by Wallflower Press (, the largest independent film book publisher in the UK, and the Criterion Collection (, the leading distributor of classic world cinema. The Award, with a cash value of $2500, consists of both the 2008 and 2009 editions of the International Film Guide, a collection of film books and director monographs from various Wallflower Press series and a library of 10 classic DVDs drawn from the Criterion Collection including: RASHOMON (Akira Kurosawa), WILD STRAWBERRIES (Ingmar Bergman), NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (Federico Fellini), THE 400 BLOWS (Francois Truffaut), BAND OF OUTSIDERS (Jean Luc Godard), THE LADY VANISHES (Alfred Hitchcock), SANS SOLEIL/LA JETEE (Chris Marker), IF (Lindsay Anderson), M (Fritz Lang) and DOWN BY LAW (Jim Jarmusch).  In addition, a profile of the winning Filmmaker and his Film will be included in the printed 2009 edition of the International Film Guide and on the sister website (, which will launch later this month.   


 In 2008, the International Film Guide Inspiration Award has already been presented at the Vancouver International Film Festival ( and the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema ( Next month, the Award will be given out at the Santa Fe Film Festival (, to an emerging Documentary Filmmaker. Plans are in place to present the Award at nearly a dozen film festival events around the world in 2009.  
The International Film Guide Inspiration Award is part of the renaissance of the International Film Guide, a yearbook publication that covers the world of independent and international cinema, which is celebrating its 45th year with a January 2009 publication date. The Guide, a comprehensive 450-page book, offers a world survey of over 125 countries, as well as special focuses on the worlds of film festivals, new media and other topics of interest to film professionals, academics, programmers and cinephiles. 


“We’ve wanted to work with film festivals to recognize new talents for a long time now”, Wallflower Press publisher Yoram Allon explained. “But rather than simply offering a cash prize, we felt it would ultimately be more meaningful to the filmmakers to provide them with a unique award….one that would provide inspiration, insight and helpful tools at the start of their careers. What better mentors to these new filmmakers than the classic directors of world cinema?”

Sandy Mandelberger, FLIFF Dailies Editor

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About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Online Dailies for the 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival , October 23 - November 11, 2009

United States

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