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Amelia Islander

A Rendezvous with Film and Music

Jun 11, 2015 04:24PM
The Rendezvous Film Festival kicks off this month at Studio 209, Amelia Community Theatre, on Friday, June 5 at 7 p.m., for nine full days of film screenings from around the globe. Also featured are music videos, concerts, a film lunch series, and a gaming expo, including live performances by Shane Wooten, John King, rock band Blistur, and others. The festival will feature over 200 films from 82 countries. This year’s festival is a culmination of eight years of work by various Amelia Island film enthusiasts, who have held a film festival every year since 2007. But when Randy Bowman got involved, he had a vision to take the festival to new heights. With his experience in marketing, he became the festival’s sponsorship coordinator, and then the president of the board of directors. “When the Jacksonville Film Festival was discontinued, we saw a need to bring an even bigger festival to Amelia Island, and bring the film community together on Amelia Island,” says Bowman. “Including music and gaming is something that would bring us more media attention, and more sponsors. There is only one other festival of its kind, in Austin, Texas.” The board of directors rebranded the festival by naming it Rendezvous, after Evan’s Rendezvous, a jazz club formerly located at American Beach. In fact, one of festival’s honorary board members is Willie B. Evans, Jr., son of the original owner of the club. Other board members include Michael Smith, Alex Martinez, and John D’Agnese, along with Bowman. Together they have formed significant partnerships to raise the festival to the national and international level. Opening night of the festival will include a red carpet ceremony and a wine tasting by Wine Decadence, followed by a screening of “The Walk”, a film by Aaron Wolf, who will conduct a question-and-answer session after the viewing. At 9 p.m., indie rock band Weekend Atlas will take the stage. Guests are welcome at the Marani Vodka Lounge at Courtyard Pub and Eats after the kickoff to meet celebrities featured at the festival. For the first time in film history, Rendezvous has partnered with VidPlat LLC to develop a native iOS mobile application that allows everyone participating in the festival —from filmmakers to attendees—to crowd-direct a documentary of the nine-day event using their Apple devices. The Rendezvous app also allows users from around the world to watch live streaming video stream movies, hear music, and give real time feedback. Everyone who attends the festival will have the opportunity to become a filmmaker using the app’s video and photo capture capabilities. The Rendezvous app project was conceptualized by Shane Wooten, tech entrepreneur, CMA Nashville recording artist, and CEO of VidPlat. “The festival is going to be amazing,” says Bowman. “We are so excited to make history as a film festival and help Shane make his app idea a reality!” Most of the films and events will be held in downtown Fernandina Beach, in places like Amelia Community Theatre, City Hall, and others. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the “Make a Film Foundation,” a group that matches a sick child with an actor or producer to become part of the film-making process. For more information,  visit www.rendezvousfestival.org.