By Amanda Anderson
BREVARD -- Everyone wants to have their 15-minutes of fame, and some Brevard County residents will celebrate theirs next weekend.
On Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, the "15-Minutes of Fame" Festival of Short Films will take place in Palm Bay. This independent film festival will showcase films produced by up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world, as well as several from Florida.
"We have been hosting the festival, twice a year, since 2009," said Migdalia Etheridge, festival sponsor alongside her husband, Ray. "The current festival will be our ninth."
The short-film festival will open on Friday with a free screening on "Vaudeville Comedy: Then and Now," a low-budget feature shot entirely in Palm Bay by Mr. and Mrs. Etheridge. "Vaudeville Comedy" features 12 actors from Brevard.
"This is a feature that runs 86-minutes and is a tribute to the men and women of the vaudeville stage," Mrs. Etheridge said. "It features vintage film clips of performers, who were greatly influenced by vaudeville, and 17 newly shot comedy skits, in which modern-day actors perform material, which was written for the vaudeville stage nearly a century ago."
Local actors featured in "Vaudeville Comedy" include Eric D. Young, Angela Kopp, Madison Condrais, Thomas Curtiss, Sarah Derleth, Joseph Kienstra, Ken Verderame, Lisa Farrall, Johnny D. Baca, Corey A. Johnson, Roy Lewis Garton, James Knight, Bob Gray, Zackery Roundy, Samuel Gardner, Palmar Kelly and Pete LaMaster.
"The film will be shown to the community free of charge as a 'thank you' to everyone, who participated in the movie, as well as those who have attended our film," Mrs. Etheridge said.
The free screening is set to take place at The Knowledge Exchange in Palm Bay at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday's events will be held at the Palm Bay Dollar Movies on Malabar Road.
"We have tried our very best to select films that everyone will enjoy, regardless of where they live," Mr. Etheridge said.
There will be more than 40 movies for viewing, ranging from two to 15 minutes in length. There will be five shows -- 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. -- and will feature different movies at each showing.
"Before the festival, each film is carefully graded for its technical merits and entertainment value," Mr. Etheridge said. "We do not hold award ceremonies, though, as many of the winners live outside of Florida. Winners are notified via email."
Those filmmakers who do attend the festival are given the opportunity to introduce their film and answer questions from the audience.
"This festival is a good introduction to the general public that is curious about independent, no-budget films, but are not willing to experiment sitting through a full-length independent film feature," Mrs. Etheridge said. "The short films go by very fast, and the experience can be very interesting and rewarding for both the filmmakers and the attendees."
"We are thrilled to provide an opportunity for Brevard filmmakers to come together and see the work of other filmmakers from outside our area," Mr. Etheridge added. "We have numerous repeat attendees each year, for which we are very thankful."
For more information about the "15-Minutes of Fame" Festival of Short Films, email Ray and Migdalia Etheridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.