Freethought Film Festival
Nov. 15-17 | The Peacock Room, 1321 N. Mills Ave. | 888-821-1990 | freethoughtfilmfest.org | $10-$75
Florida Surf Film Festival
Nov. 15-16 | Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1414 Art Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach | floridasurffilmfestival.com | $15-$25
In addition to the Central Florida Jewish Film Festival, two more niche film fests – the Freethought Film Festival and the Florida Surf Film Festival – screen in Central Florida this week. First, there’s the third annual Freethought Film Festival, a celebration of critical thinking, questioning commonly accepted notions about life and exploration of alternate truths. The program consists of 20 shorts and six full-length documentaries on such topics as atheism, mental health, nihilism and UFOs. One film on the agenda catches our eye in particular: Project Censored: The Movie is a filmmaker’s take on the well-known journalism project that exposes stories ignored, undercovered or downright censored by mainstream media. Most of the festival’s films will screen at the Peacock Room, but the final movie in the fest – Bipolarized, a documentary about one man’s struggle to find alternative treatments for his bipolar disorder – will be shown at the Cobb Plaza Cinema Café 12 downtown.
The Florida Surf Film Festival, meanwhile, holds its screenings on Friday and Saturday nights at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach. The festival, a celebration of both Florida surf culture and contemporary filmmaking, is a first – despite the fact that Florida is most certainly the epicenter of East Coast surf culture, the state hasn’t yet hosted a major surf-related film festival. This first-ever event features a variety of indie shorts and feature-length documentaries that showcase the beauty and freedom of surfing and surf culture. Highlight: The festival will host the United States premiere of Missing, Taylor Steele’s documentary about taking a trip around the world with world champion surfer Mick Fanning. The film takes the renowned surfer away from the competitive game and back to surfing in its purest, wildest form.