Film & TV

FLIFF Hosts Lavish Gatsby Affair but Maintains Indie Integrity

The first film at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), Free Ride, debuted to a packed audience. The crowd included the likes of producer Stephen Moyer (AKA Bill Compton of True Blood -- yes, the Vampire Bill), director Shana Betz -- who wrote and directed the film based on her mother -- and many sponsors and other participating directors.

After the film premiered, guests headed to a Great Gatsby-themed soiree that looked straight out of Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the classic novel. It was the cat's pajamas, if you will. The house itself was a work of art. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, it held three bars, eight bedrooms, two pools, a man-made beach, and a 100-foot VIP yacht. Balloons clouded the pool while professional dancers decorated in flapper attire fox-trotted under a clear night sky. The courtyard was sprinkled in twinkle lights, and the guests were bedazzled in beaded dresses and gowns, zoot suits, and fedoras.

One of the sponsors, Cyndi Boyar, was dressed to the nines with her equally gorgeous friend, Hunter Powell, who flew down from New Jersey for the festival. "I'm a celebrity makeup artist, and I decided I wanted to be a part of FLIFF," says Boyar.

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Tana Velen