Sunday, August 6, at 11:00am, the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street, welcomes the public to a free premiere screening of “Paradise,” a short film co-produced by Key West High Conch 5 Studios students Bronza Fox, Krzsyztof Madro, and T.J. Nitti, which has been selected for an upcoming screening at the prestigious American High School Film Festival in Times Square, NYC.
Shot on several area islands utilizing the latest in 4K cinematography technology, the visually vibrant and rich film features stunning footage of the Florida Keys. The narrative is of a young fisherman, played by recent KW High graduate Fox, who gets stranded on a tropical island, initially struggles to survive, but ultimately adapts to the island and embraces the primitive and simple lifestyle.
“Months of filming 12 miles offshore was a logistically complex and challenging project for our team,” said Nitti, who begins film school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts this Fall. “It required the coordination of multiple vessels, planes, and drones, along with weather and scheduling issues.”
Another challenge was the need for extreme multi-tasking skills. For example, in addition to filling the lead acting role, Fox was also one of the directors, cinematographers, and drone pilots. “As all young filmmakers know, finding actors willing to go through months of filming for no pay and minimal glory, especially in a film that requires long hours on boats and deserted islands, is nearly impossible, so we often end up having to use ourselves,” he said. “The hardest shot was having to scale a 30 foot coconut palm tree for 16 takes. My arms were bloody and raw for a few days after that.”
Initial reviews of “Paradise” from the field squad at RED Digital Cinema are superlative:
“Honestly, that’s the best High School student film I’ve ever seen. Everyone involved should be super proud. The scope of the project alone was impressive.” -Kris Prygrocki.
“The cinematography was awesome. You utilize so many different aspects of filmmaking and it pays off. It helps tell the story and allow the audience to involve themselves in the story that you have created.” -Clark McClanathan
Key West High School is noted for having one of the most respected television and film production programs in the nation, and sends graduates to some of the top film schools in the country. With abundant natural beauty, top-notch educators with in-depth, long-term professional film production experience, and some generous benefactors, Key West has become an ideal incubator for the next generation of filmmakers.
There will be a question and answer session in the theater immediately following the screening. The production team has submitted “Paradise” to several high profile film festival competitions around the nation. This October will be Nitti and Madro’s second time screening at the upcoming American High School Film Festival.