Festival of made-in-Florida films
Lots of unholy things have come out of Florida in the past decade or so (hanging chads, Marilyn Manson, Carrot Top). But now we have an export of which we can be proud -- "The Best of Florida: Made in Florida" video competition. Showing at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale), this lineup features some of the best filmmakers the Sunshine State has to offer.
The festival spans the entire weekend and is divided by genre. Friday kicks things off at 7:30 p.m. with the screening of commercials, public service announcements, experimental films, and music videos. Saturday at 5 p.m., the festival continues with short films. It concludes with documentaries at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The advertisements range from the commercial (Burdines) to the religious (I Am the Church) to the political (Phat Farm's Vote or Die). The short documentary session includes Mullet Madness (shown), while the full-length documentaries cover topics like water movement, photographing South Florida's varied bird population, and Gothic Undead.
If you make it through Sunday evening, there will be an awards presentation and the ever-necessary sushi party to accompany it. Tickets cost $8 for each session. Call 954-525-FILM, or visit www.cinemaparadiso.org. -- Jake Smith
Summer in South Florida may be slower than a Hertz rental car on A1A, but that's precisely why there's free admission now through September 30 at the Museum of Art (One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). With a little help from its friends at BankAtlantic, the museum opens two exhibits Friday -- both at no cost to viewers. "Going, Going, Gone? Mid-Century Modern Architecture in South Florida" features photographs of 80 architectural structures built around (no shit) the mid-20th Century; this might be the last time you see some of these buildings before they meet the wrecking ball. Moving into modern times is the exhibit "New Art South Florida," which includes graphic artists (Geoffrey Thomas), filmmakers (Lisandro Pérez-Rey), painters (Miroslav Antic), photographers (Richard LaBarbera), and mixed-media artists (Thomas Nolan). Both exhibits run through November 6, well after the deal has ended. Call 954-525-5500, or visit www.moafl.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Animatronic dinosaurs think you're tasty
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Robots bring such joy to our lives, from the way they excel at long division to their charming sidekick roles in quirky TV sitcoms. Of course, as soon as they develop the ability to function on instinct, we will be ripped apart by their metallic, claw-like mechanical arms. To get a taste of the terror to come, check out the newest exhibit at the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale): "Prehistoric Park: Return of the Dinosaurs." Realize how inconsequential our human race is while you stand in awe of the animatronic beasts. Learn about robotics while teams compete in high-tech building competitions. Most important, get some freeze-dried ice cream from the gift shop; it's supergood. Call 954-467-6637, or visit www.mods.org. -- Jamie Laughlin
Murder over Merlot
Whoever thought collecting taxidermy could lead to being deader than a stuffed bobcat? But that's the premise of Brian Wiprud's thriller Stuffed. The author stops by at 7 p.m. Thursday for some wining and signing at Murder on the Beach Bookstore (273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach). Yes, that's wine, as in free winetasting, courtesy of Dolce Amore Café. Call 561-279-7790. -- Jason Budjinski