Film Fest 52

7:00pm Wed Oct 9
Q&A With Directors Immediately Following Screening

Rocketman - Mad Mike’s Mission to Prove the Flat-Earth is a documentary about an aging daredevil named ‘Mad Mike’ Hughes. Hughes decides to launch himself in a homemade rocket on a mad mission to prove the Earth is flat in this hilarious documentary that chronicles his journey to lift off.

It all started when…
Director/Producer Toby Brusseau was searching the web and came across an article about a flat-Earther who was launching himself in a homemade rocket to prove the Earth was flat. It gave him a chance to produce something similar to one of his favorite Chris Smith documentaries, American Movie. He made some calls, partnered with long-time collaborator Michael Linn, and one month later they were filming ‘Mad Mike’ Hughes and friends in the California Desert.

Director’s Statement
Around the world, many have heard the story of a guy about to launch himself in a homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat. Some took him seriously, but mostly, the world laughed, ourselves included. However, we felt there was a deeper story behind Michael “Mad Mike” Hughes, and we wanted to tell it from a place of understanding. How could anyone truly believe something like the flat-Earth theory when the Earth is obviously round? ??

Mad Mike is representative of a schism within the US: those who trust in science, and those who don’t. He follows the Zetetic Method of research and trusts nothing other than his own experiments and observations, as, in his mind, all other evidence has been tainted by conspiracy. ??Set in the beauty of the stark California desert, the underdog story of Mad Mike and his crew of misfits inspired us to engage in a more civil discourse, in the hopes of better challenging those who think differently than us.


7:00pm Wed October 16
More Than Words: The Photography Of Newsman Bob Paley

6:00pm Meet n' Greet with filmmaker
7:00pm Film and Q&A With Director: Mary Paley

Bob Paley, a photojournalist with Albany's Knickerbocker News, was described as a poet with a camera. Often with a single photo, Paley captured the mood, the moment and the meaning of the forces that rocked mid-twentieth century America. He could see that one image in a complex series of events that convey more than words.

More Than Words tells the story of how a small city in upstate New York coped with the powerful forces that were unleashed as America came of age in the years following World War II. The film is truly a newspaper story; a tribute to the tireless crusaders of America's fact-based media.

The documentary draws heavily from the photo library of photojournalist Bob Paley whose images energized people and sparked social change. The stories of those who lived during that turbulent period are documented through the personal testimony and photographs of those who tried to tell the story of those times.


7:00pm Wed Oct 23

6:00pm Meet n' Greet Director: Lex Gillespie
7:00pm Film And Q&A

Bagels meet bongos in this surprising story of Jewish dancers who fell in love with the Cuban mambo in the 1950s, sparking a dance craze that swept the nation and the world. Only a revolution could stop it.

"The Mamboniks" tells a little-known story: how Jewish people fell in love with the music and dance of Cuba during the exciting 1950s mambo era.

It's a positive story of building bridges between cultures and communities - a vital message for our divisive times.

At its heart, the film is about much more: it's about the power of music and dance to bring people together.

Meet the Mamboniks
The mamboniks started dancing as teenagers in New York of the '50s.

Now retired in South Florida, they held a mini-reunion at a deli in Deerfield Beach. They had great stories, told with humor, heart and chutzpah. They are characters that documentary makers dream of: colorful, lovable, romantic, and highly expressive.

We were inspired by their passion and zest for life. Their spirit is infectious. And they're a bit zany!