Richard Dreyfuss and “The Blair Witch Boys” come to the Florida Film Festival


My LAST sailboat was bought from a dealership in Moneta Va., on Smith Mountain Lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The dealer showed me a couple of boats, including one he swore was used in the movie “What about Bob?” He provided the boat used in a famous scene in that Richard Dreyfuss/Bill Murray comedy, filmed in Roanoke and on Smith Mountain Lake.

I didn’t buy that one, and have kicked myself about that ever since. But you know, a Hunter 23.5 had water ballast, was easier to trailer and a more easily stepped mast.

Anyhoo, today the Florida Film Festival announced its lineup for the 28th edition of the Festival’s special events.

They’re bringing in the Oscar winner, Dreyfuss, and the most successful home grown filmmakers Orlando has ever known — the collective known as Haxan Films, colloquially called “The Blair Witch Boys” by one and all.

They’ll show “The Goodbye Girl,” scripted by the late Neil Simon. And “The Blair Witch Project,” conjured up by committee. Below, the press release.

We are welcoming Academy Award®-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss with a special screening of “The Goodbye Girl: (1977) on Friday, April 19th from 7:30-11PM at Enzian Theater.
The program lineup for the 28th Annual Festival, April 12-21, 2019, was announced on March 20th
. The
Festival will screen 184 films representing 41 countries, along with celebrity guest appearances, forums,
and parties. Of the films selected, 155 have premiere status, including 25 world premieres. Full lineup,
film descriptions, trailers, stills, and schedule available at:
The Florida Film Festival is excited and honored to welcome the following special guests. All special
guests will be in attendance for a Q&A with our audience after their films. The Blair Witch Project’s
attending cast and crew will also be available for a Meet & Greet after their post-film Q&A for patrons
who buy a Backstage Pass. The Backstage Pass includes a limited edition screen printed poster created
specifically for the event by Lure Design, a Meet and Greet with the cast and crew, and photo
opportunity. Patrons must supply their own camera for the photo opportunity.
To guarantee admission to all special guest events and Backstage Pass access to The Blair Witch Project
event, as well as an opportunity to meet Richard Dreyfuss, please purchase a Producer Pass. Film Lover
Passholders will be granted early access to each celebrity event, but must purchase a ticket to attend.
An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss, featuring The Goodbye Girl
Friday, April 19, 7:30-11PM at Enzian
Richard Dreyfuss was born on October 29, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York. Some describe him as
an American actor known for his portrayals of ordinary men driven to emotional extremes. After
spending his early childhood in Brooklyn and Queens, Dreyfuss moved with his family to
California, where he began acting in plays at the West Side Jewish Community Center in Los
Angeles. He studied drama for a year at San Fernando Valley State College (now Cal State
Northridge), and shortly thereafter, he won a recurring role on the short-lived television series
Karen (1964). During the late 1960s and early ’70s, Dreyfuss acted mostly onstage in everything
from repertory theatre to Broadway shows, and he landed occasional small roles on television,
but this then led to a starring role in the hit film The Graduate (1967) and a major screen
appearance in Dillinger (1973), for which he received critical praise.

Perhaps Dreyfuss’ most breakthrough role was in George Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973), and
his work in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974) remains one of his most-praised
performances. For director Steven Spielberg, Dreyfuss starred in two of the most popular films
of the decade: Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Dreyfuss capped this
successful period with an Academy Award-winning performance in the Neil Simon comedy
The Goodbye Girl (1977); at age 29, Dreyfuss became the then youngest recipient of a best actor
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, Dreyfuss appeared in The Big Fix (1978), The Competition
(1980), Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981), The Buddy System (1983), Down and Out in Beverly Hills
(1986), Stakeout (1987), Nuts (1987), and Tin Men (1987). In the 1990s, he continued to receive
critical praise in Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990), What About Bob? (1991), and
Once Around (1991). His sensitive multilayered performance in Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
earned Dreyfuss another Oscar nomination.
In 1996 in collaboration with Hugo Award-winning author Harry Turtledove, Dreyfuss released a
critically praised novel, The Two Georges, a humorous look at what American life might be like
had the United States not won the Revolutionary War.
Some of his best-known work at the turn of the 21st century was made for television, including
Lansky (1999) and Fail Safe (2000). From 2001 to 2002 he starred in the series The Education of
Max Bickford. More recently he portrayed corrupt investment manager Bernie Madoff in the
acclaimed television miniseries Madoff (2016). In 2004, Dreyfuss starred in a Broadway show, a
revival of Larry Gelbart’s Sly Fox.
Then Dreyfuss decided to join Oxford University St Antony’s College as a senior research advisor
and spent four years studying the damaging effect of the lack of civics being taught in the
American school system over the last 50 years. Dreyfuss divided his time between London and
the U.S., becoming an activist in what he realized was the one issue he had been concerned
about for the majority of his life. In 2005 he met, fell in love with, and married Svetlana Wolfe of
St. Petersburg, Russia, and together they have been on the quest to make sure that civics
learning became a priority in U.S. education. They started a non-profit called the Dreyfuss
Institute, a nation-wide enterprise to encourage, revive, elevate and enhance the teaching of
civics in American schools.
While Dreyfuss tried to turn sharply away from acting, a number of feature film projects drew
him back to his craft including Poseidon (2006); W., Oliver Stone’s biopic of Pres. George W.
Bush; and My Life in Ruins (2009); Leaves of Grass (2009), Piranha 3D (2010), RED (2010), and
Book Club (2018).
Dreyfuss has four adult children and is also a doting grandfather. He and his wife Svetlana live
near San Diego, California and are loving life to the fullest. Dreyfuss is currently publishing a
book on the damage created by civics’ absence which he affirms puts us in harm’s way because
“we don’t know who we are as Americans.” Dreyfuss says he would love to find a way to film the
Civic War, “just as the intense first act of a story that no one has written.”
The Goodbye Girl
Directed by Herbert Ross
USA, 1977, 111 MIN

Rated PG
In a textbook example of a brilliant screenplay finding the perfect cast at the perfect moment in
time, The Goodbye Girl stands proud as one of the most hilarious depictions of love overcoming
seemingly total incompatibility ever committed to screen. After being dumped by her live-in
boyfriend, an unemployed ex-chorus girl (Marsha Mason) and her precious daughter (Quinn
Cummings) are reluctantly forced to share an apartment with a neurotic off-off-Broadway actor
(Richard Dreyfuss) in this masterful romantic comedy by the great Neil Simon. Time magazine
noted, “It is rare that an actor can move an audience from hilarity to sorrow in a matter of
seconds, but that is what Dreyfuss does in The Goodbye Girl. Astoundingly enough, a small
movie has given birth to a major star.” Nominated for five Academy Awards®, including best
picture, best actress, best supporting actress (for 10-year-old Cummings), and best screenplay,
The Goodbye Girl made star Richard Dreyfuss (at the age of 30) the then youngest-ever recipient
of the Oscar® for best actor. With an additional four Golden Globe wins, including as best
motion picture, musical, or comedy, the film’s place in cinematic history was cemented in 2002
when the American Film Institute named it one of the “100 Greatest Love Stories of All Time.”
The Florida Film Festival welcomes you to a celebration of this cinema classic on Enzian’s big
screen, followed by a conversation with Richard Dreyfuss.
Mr. Dreyfuss will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film.
An Evening with The Blair Witch: A 20th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, April 14, 8-10:30PM at Enzian
Directed by Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez
USA, 1999, 81 MIN, Rated R
It was 20 years ago today…
We all remember the storyline: three student filmmakers (Heather Donahue, Michael Williams,
and Joshua Leonard) make a deep excursion unto the Black Hills of Maryland to shoot a
documentary about an eerie local legend, a woman named Elly Kedward who was banished
from the Township of Blair in the late 1700s for witchcraft. For the next 150 years or so, Blair
was plagued by sporadic disappearances, gruesome unexplained deaths, and a series of brutal,

ritualistic child murders in the 1940s. Things have been pretty quiet since then, and to the ill-
fated trio of documentarians, it seems like an ideal time to chip away at the folklore and

discover the truth. But the truth may have discovered them first. Several days into the project,
they disappear without a trace, never to be seen again. One year later, their footage is found,
revealing the terrifying events leading up to their mysterious vanishing. And the rest, as they
say, is history.
Employing vérité-style camerawork, boasting ultra-realistic performances by the three leads,
and utilizing the internet as a key promotional tool in sparking interest regarding the veracity of
the story, The Blair Witch Project brilliantly reinvented the horror genre and has become one of
the most influential films of our generation. Its team of creators—directors Eduardo Sanchez
and Daniel Myrick; producers Mike Monello, Gregg Hale, and Robin Cowie; and production
designer Ben Rock—are all UCF Film graduates (as well as Enzian alumni, in a couple of cases),
and the film became the first Orlando-produced feature to ever play Sundance, where it was
acquired for major distribution. It went on to win an award at Cannes, appear on the cover of

both Time and Newsweek, and eventually gross nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. Early
versions of the film were test-screened at Enzian, and The Blair Witch Project had its east coast
premiere and second US showing as the opening night film of the 1999 Florida Film Festival. To
this day, it is still the highest grossing film ever in the 34-year history of the theater. Enzian and
FFF are proud to have been even a little part of the journey for this innovative piece of cinema
history and the artists behind it.

Join us for this very special 20th anniversary celebration with a rare 35mm screening of the low-
budget supernatural chiller that started a revolution. Then stick around for a post-film reunion

featuring cast and crew members.
The Blair Witch Project’s cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film. A
Meet & Greet is also available after their Q&A for patrons who buy a Backstage Pass. The
Backstage Pass includes a limited edition screen printed poster created specifically for the
event by Lure Design, a Meet and Greet with the cast and crew, and photo opportunity.
Patrons must supply their own camera for the photo opportunity.
The cast and crew members attending the event are: Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard,
Eduardo Sanchez, Dan Myrick, Mike Monello, Robin Cowie, and Ben Rock.
Now in its 28th year, the Florida Film Festival is an Oscar®-qualifying festival, premiering

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Richard Dreyfuss and “The Blair Witch Boys” come to the Florida Film Festival

  1. Haven’t seen the Blair witch project now I guess it’s a good one

Comments are closed.