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Fort Myers Film Festival screens local film, ‘Three Wishes,’ at T.G.I.M.


3-wishes-01Curtis Collins’ film Three Wishes has been submitted for inclusion in next March’s 7th Annual Fort Myers Film Festival. The cineastes who showed up at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art center for last Monday night’s T.G.I.M. got to see the seven-minute film that won both Best Film and Spotlight Magazine’s People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Bonita Springs Film Festival which concluded November 3.

curtis-collins-2The film stars Marty Wisher as a genie freed from a jewel-encrusted bottle by three men who have been shipwrecked for more than two years on a tiny island. It was shot on Bonita Beach in a single morning this past August, Collins told the T.G.I.M. crowd. They were on set at 4, ready to shoot by first light around 6, and done by 11 a.m. It took another 2 ½ weeks to edit the film.

Even though the celebrity judges did note a handful of technical issues that inevitably come with almost any low budget independent short film, Gina Birch, Stella curtis-collins-and-marty-wisher-2Ruiz and Shawn Guenther found much to love and praise. Birch, in particular, loved the “awesome” storyline and “great” premise while Ruiz said “the genie lady was a lot of fun and my favorite part of the film.” One audience member went a step further. “Barbara Eden wore Marty Wisher tee-shirts to bed,” he proclaimed to enthusiastic applause.

Collins told the T.G.I.M. audience that the moment he met Wisher, he saw I Dream of Genie and knew he had to write a script that featured her as a genie in a short film. “Marty was really the key to bringing the film to life.”

mary-wisher-the-genie-02“When he asked me if I would please, please, please play the genie in this film he wanted to do, I told him that I would be offended if he asked anyone else,” Wisher chuckled.

Wisher’s successful portrayal of the genie in Three Wishes came as no surprise to Guenther, who has worked with Wisher himself, but it was to Collins that Guenther offered his heartfelt congratulations. “I applaud any local filmmaker that can get a film done and give the community something to see. Host Eric Raddatz echoed the sentiment, acknowledging the magnitude of Collins’ accomplishment.

er“To have a crew who says they’re going to do something is good, and then to have a crew that actually does something is fantastic,” said Raddatz, who does all he can through the Fort Myers Film Festival and otherwise to applaud and encourage local filmmakers.

Collins has made quite a splash locally in 2016 not with Three Wishes, but his first full-length feature, Hanging Millstone, for which he and his crew have closed downtown Fort Myers to vehicular and foot traffic more than half a dozen times.

“We’re trying to bring the film industry here,” stated Collins, who begins filming a new full-length feature in January as editing nears completion on Hanging Millstone, which is cinematographer-angel-rodriguez-2tentatively due for release in March of 2017. “In fact, Fort Myers wants to name a film commissioner because they’re really serious about bringing Hollywood here. This is a beautiful place to shoot a film. And if you’re a filmmaker, our local community will support you,” Collins added, noting that each time they had to close the streets, he not only had the full support of Mayor Randy Henderson, but the assistance of a complement of 16 police officers, including SWAT.

While no decision had been made prior to its screening, it was clear that the judges and audience wished to see Three Wishes admitted into next year’s Fort Myers Film Festival. In addition to rodriguez-collins-and-wisher-2FMff, the film is being considered by a number of festivals around the country, including Cleveland, Columbus and Chicago.

“While we’re submitting it all over,” Collins summed up, “we just want everyone to know. There are some serious filmmakers right here in Southwest Florida.” And getting accepted into film festivals locally and around the country is certainly one way to underscore that message.

three-wishes-04Collins wrote and directed the film. Angel Rodriguez (pictured with ball cap and green tee-shirt) served as cinematographer. Robert Reyhart (photo 8, left) co-wrote the script and functioned as assistant director, with Adam Reyhart (photo 8, right) providing editing, sound, music, credits and other post-production work.

[Pictured below are Jim Heffernan, who co-starred in Three Wishes, is in Hanging Millstone and currently plays Ezekial Foster in Broadway Palm’s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Kaycie Lee, who is also a member of the Hanging Millstone cast.]

white-christmas-102sDecember 9, 2016.

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