Florida 5 invade Gotham fest

In an unusual collective move in the indie film world, five Central Florida filmmakers are expected to descend as a unified group on the Independent Feature Film Market this week in Gotham to screen their work.

Billing themselves as the Florida Five, the filmmakers are Anthony Torres, helmer of “Bash,” a film about a homophobe who falls in love with a black drag queen; Michael Monello, co-producer of “Gabriel’s Dream,” about a group of blue-collar workers who unite to overcome an oppressive boss; Ben Hershleder, director of the short “Paul McCall”; Mark Atkins, helmer of ” Night Orchid,” a southern gothic feature; and Max Beck, producer of “Out Loud,” about two misfits on a crime spree.

Monello, director of marketing of the Enzian Theater, an arthouse theater in Orlando, said that one of the group’s goals is to “show off the cast, crew, locations an above-the-line talent that Central Florida has to offer.”

They’re also hoping to sell their films.

The Florida Five are linked by their use of Central Florida for film locations and production, as well as the fact that four of the group also attended the U of Central Florida’s film school.

While the indies represent a tiny fraction of the $142 million spent last year on film, TV and commercial production in the Orlando area, they count themselves as part of the production boom that has lofted Central Florida to the top production region in the state.

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