BRIFT Actors Shine at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


BRIFT Actors Shine at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Burt Reynolds Master Actors win in two categories
Tequesta, Fl: The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre (BRIFT) announced that two films starring BRIFT actors were among the winners at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. At the awards ceremony held Sunday evening, November 11th, at the Copacabana Supper Club, two students in Burt Reynolds Master Acting class proudly represented their mentor and teacher, winning acclaim in two categories: Best Florida Shorts and Best Feature.
Tina Pfeiffer produced and starred in Prized Begonias, a film written by Manhattan-based playwright, Bara Swain, which also featured BRIFT Master Actor Jackie Turner. Pfeiffer originally developed the stage version of Prized Begonias under the direction of Burt Reynolds for the BRIFT Winter Showcase presented at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart (Fl) this past January. Prized Begonias tells the story of two lonely women who strike up a surprising and incongruous friendship while visiting a cemetery. 
Co-winning the first place award for best short film was especially sweet for Pfeiffer as this was her first venture into the world of film production. In a recent interview, Pfeiffer was quick to point out that the film would never have happened without the help of valued friends from The Burt Reynolds Institute and students from the Motion Picture Department at Palm Beach State College (PBSC). She specifically credited Director Frank Eberling and filmmakers/editors Aaron Wells (Silver Beach Productions), David Grant and Matt Pollifrone. “Actors must learn to be hyphenates,” Pfeiffer said. “We can no longer wait to be hired. We must learn to produce our own projects if we expect to work.”
The success of Prized Begonias allowed Pfeiffer to forge a strong bond of friendship with playwright Swain. Plans are now in the works to film a second Swain play, Critical Care, again relying on the talents and expertise of friends from BRIFT and PBSC. Pfeiffer was exuberant in her praise for teacher/mentor Burt Reynolds. “We are all so fortunate to work under Mr. Reynolds. He inspires us to not only become the best actors we can be but to stretch our wings and produce our own material. I am so very grateful to him.”
Winning the prestigious award for Best Film was Callous, a full length feature written and directed by J. Bradley Bruening, starring BRIFT Master Actor Steve Daron as Joe – a criminal with a conscience. The film focuses on the question of victimization – as in who is the real victim. A real estate developer, Victor, fears bankruptcy and colludes with a fellow business partner on an investment scheme. One of their targets is Neil, a mysterious man with a criminal past, who becomes aware of their deception and wants revenge. Soon everyone, including the Assistant District Attorney, is fighting for survival.
Daron, who began performing in New York City as a teenager, has a long list of admirable credits to his name. He has been honing his craft under the direction of Burt Reynolds for a number of years and considers his time at BRIFT among the most valuable learning experiences he has ever had. Daron has also been cast as the lead in fellow BRIFT actor Guisela Moro's creepy feature-length film, Hollow Creek, which has been filming locally and in West Virginia. Earlier this year, he appeared in an episode of the popular tv show The Glades, playing Tony Acosta. Daron owns First Edge Film Studios, where he produces, writes and acts.
Photo Credits: Aaron Wells (Prized Begonias)
Photo 1: Starting second from left – Frank Eberling, Tina Pfeiffer, Jackie Turner, Aaron Wells, Dave Grant
Photo 2: Cast and crew of Prized Begonias
Photo 3: Steve Daron (credit Steve Daron)