Swede Fest Palm Beach is now in its third year (they prefer the term “threequel” to “threepeat,” thanks), and film festival founder Belle Forino has noticed an increase in the quality of the 47 films submitted so far. Yes, we’re getting even better at making laughably bad movies.
“The term ‘bad films by good people’ really applies. I mean, there are some bad films,” Forino says, laughing. But she does acknowledge “some incredible creativity.”
A “swede,” a term inspired by the 2008 Jack Black comedy “Be Kind, Rewind,” is a three-minute (or shorter) send-up of a favorite film or a scene, made with no budget and extra imagination. The use of found items as props is encouraged, and it can’t cross the PG-13 line.
If that sounds like something you’d be good at (bad at?), you have a bit more than a month to create your film for Swede Fest Palm Beach, which is accepting submissions through July 9. The winner, decided by audience balloting, receives a year’s subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro CC film-editing software (a $250 value) and the admiration of ... well, your family will be happy for you.
Swede Fest only allows one entry per film title, and among the potential hoots already claimed are “Frozen,” “Soul Plane,” “Twilight,” “White Chicks,” “The Matrix,” “Casablanca” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” To submit a title, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This is all ages. We’ve got kids who are doing it with their parents, students, a couple of friends, neighbors, a brother and sister,” Forino says. The winners of the first festival were two Palm Beach County tweens who used toys to make a stop-motion version of “The Hulk.”
The Swede Fest Palm Beach festival itself is a giddily over-the-top, red-carpet affair taking place 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Borland Center for Performing Arts (4801 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens), and will include food, drink, music and big-screen showings of some of the best swedes, hosted with a comedic wink by members of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival. Consistent with the event’s noncompetitive vibe, all entries will be shown on a smaller screen in the lobby beginning at 6 p.m. and at intermission.
The atmosphere is family-friendly and infectious, Forino says.
“It’s really alive, a sort of quirky, fun night. Everyone leaves, and they’re laughing and talking,” she says. “Kids will love it. It’s crazy and clean, and quirky and creative.”
Swede Fest Palm Beach has been a sellout its first two years in the 500-seat Borland Center, so be advised that tickets will go on sale Wednesday, June 11, at SwedeFestPalmBeach.com. Cost is $8 and $11 for VIP (for reserved seating in the first three rows). Admission is free for entered filmmakers.
Orlando resident Emily Kopp, once of Plantation and Davie’s David Posnack Jewish Day School, will reintroduce locals to the soulful truth-telling on her debut album, “Serendipity Find Me,” at 7 p.m. Saturday at C&I Studios (541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The evening, which concludes Kopp’s nationwide Serendipity Tour, will include Nashville songwriter Wes Harllee and natives Bushwood. Tickets: $10. Info: EmilyKoppMusic.com, C-IStudios.com.
THE RETURN OF THE HUKILAU
The news that the 14th annual Hukilau, June 11-15 in Fort Lauderdale, would be the last for the gloriously retro tiki-culture shindig inspired plans for extra enthusiastic, if slightly mournful, celebrating next week at the Mai Kai and the Bahai Mar Beach Resort. But the new news, that investors have stepped in to help Hukilau organizer Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White keep the Polynesian Pop popping in 2015, is cause for even more excitement. Among the drinks and seminars and vendors and drinks on the schedule, performers include the Sweet Hollywaiians (Prohibition-era swing from Japan), the Smokin’ Menehunes (California traditionalists), burlesque star Angie Pontani, Grinder Nova (Latin lounge) and Miami spy-jazz ensemble the Gold Dust Lounge, as well as cocktail authors Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (“Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them”) and Philip Greene (“To Have and To Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion”). Tickets/info: TheHukilau.com.
WHERE TO FIND 'LOST SUNSET'
OK, change of plans on the release party for “Lost Sunset,” reported in this space last week. You’ll be able to hear (and buy) the album by guitarist and composer Russell Mofsky’s Gold Dust Lounge at a listening party 9:30 p.m. June 21, but at a new location: the Nest, at 60 NE 14th St., in Miami, across from the late Vagabond. As before, Shark Valley Sisters and the all-star “Rat Opera” band will be among special guest performers. More info: Facebook.com/russellmofsky.
Erasure may prove that they were about 25 years ahead of their digitally savvy times when the they open their U.S. tour at the Fillmore Miami Beach on Sept. 12. That’s a couple of weeks before Andy Bell and Vince Clarke release a new album, “The Violet Flame.” Tickets for the Fillmore show are $34.50-$50 and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday at the box office, LiveNation.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Info: FillmoreMB.com, ErasureInfo.com.
You know David Alan Grier. He was the non-Wayans-brother brother on “In Living Color” and voted one of the 100 greatest standups of all time by Comedy Central. But he’s also done Mamet on Broadway (three Tony nominations on his resume), co-starred with Denzel Washington (the powerful film “A Soldier’s Story”) and won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his 1983 film debut in “Streamers,” directed by the great Robert Altman. Maybe we don’t know Grier at all. Check out his standup act Friday-Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach). Tickets: $22. Info: 561-833-1812, PalmBeach.Improv.com.
A TROVE OF MUSIC
The bard of bars of a certain laid-back South Florida outlook (and, more recent, the VIP at Zac Brown’s Cruzan show), singer-songwriter Catfish Hunter has a new album out that takes its name from his second home on Fort Lauderdale beach, “The Treasure Trove.” The title track, a bouncy, tropical ode to the boozy charms of the rustic bar, opens and closes with some classic late-night bitching by Trove owner Jeff Rudd, which he may repeat at an album-release party set for 9 p.m. June 14. Info: Facebook.com/CFHMusic.
DRINK WITH THE ANIMALS
Can you hold the cougar jokes for a minute? On Saturday, the Palm Beach Zoo (1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach) will begin a series of weekly get-togethers featuring bands, booze, food and exotic animals called Roar & Pour. “Previous evening events at the Zoo have shown us that people are looking for weekend evening alternatives to the typical bar, restaurant or movie scene,” events manager Ron Brooks says. “So we're launching Roar & Pour.” The inaugural event, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., will feature music from locals the Goodnicks, who will set up among cafe tables and chairs in the Fountain Plaza (you can bring your own chair, too). Upcoming Roar & Pour parties will host the classic rock of Calamity Jane on June 14 and Jimmy Stowe and the Stowaways (a Jimmy Buffett homage that includes Landshark beer) on June 21. Admission: $15.95, members $9. Info: 561-547-9453, PalmBeachZoo.org.
If you are pondering what to prepare for your NBA Finals watch party Sunday night, consider that the DVD of the eight-episode second season of South Florida restaurateur Steve Martorano’s web series, “Martorano: The Italian American Cook,” is now available at Amazon, at CafeMartorano.com and in his local restaurants. As you may recall, in Episode 8, shot at his restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Martorano takes you through the process of making a classic: rigatoni with Sunday pork gravy. Info: SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com/yocuz. Here's a look at Martorano, unedited.
TOM PETTY REMINDER
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Sept. 20, with opening act Steve Winwood. The tour supports “Hypnotic Eye,” due for release July 29, the Heartbreakers’ first studio album since 2010’s “Mojo.” Tickets will cost $25-$131 at the Cruzan box office (601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach), LiveNation.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and 800-745-3000. Every ticket will include a copy of “Hypnotic Eye,” scheduled for release July 29. More info: TomPetty.com.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Maybe you have looked longingly at the folks inside Club 4th, the private, air-conditioned party in the beautiful waterside Lake Pavilion during West Palm Beach’s popular Fourth on Flagler celebration. Well, tickets ($25) are now on sale for the 21-and-older gathering, hosted by WRMF, 97.9-FM, which includes a DJ, two free drinks at the bar, dinner from Ruth’s Chris and a great view of the fireworks. Info: Club4thTickets.com, WPB.org/4TH.