StarLite Film Festival A Must Do; Especially “Palace Living”


    Support the “little guy” in the film industry.


    By Jacob Engels


    Over the past few weeks, the StarLite Film Festival has been popping up in my facebook and twitter feeds. While it’s not East Orlando “centric”, I am really interested in it and wanted to share a little bit about the world of “microbudget” filmmaking.


    StarLite Film Festival’s mission is to celebrate microbudet filmmaking and filmmakers. What is a microbudget film? Microbudget films are made with as little as $50,000 and usually no more than $200,000. They are full length feature films, not shorts.


    According to the StarLite Film Festival website, typical Hollywood full length feature films cost around $200 million to make and another $50 to $100 million to market. Films screened at the StarLite Film Festival typically cost about $50,000 and are usually self financed.


    So, think Blair Witch Project, Mad Max, Paranormal Activity, and Clerks. All were made with under $200k, with Paranormal Activity being the cheapest – only costing $15,000.


    StarLite Film Festival will take place from January 23rd to the 26th and feature films from South Korea, Germany, France, and the United States. It will be held at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, a true gem of Central Florida. This theatre was the first built for the “talkies” in our area, opening in 1935.



    Garden Theatre, located in Winter Garden, Florida.


    All access passes for each day of the festival are $30 for adults and $10 for students. Programming wise, I recommend catching the film Palace Living.


    Palace Living is about two couples who flee NYC in search of cheaper rent and find themselves in a retirement community in the Catskills. It’s got a comedic element similar to films Cedar Rapids with Ed Helms (Hangover, The Office) or Young Adult starring Charlize Theron (Snow White & the Huntsman, Prometheus).


    Palace Living promotional poster


    Once they settle in upstate, the couples spend time at the pool and poker room, bonding. They become friends with the quirky building residents, including someone who may or may not be a serial killer. An interesting concept, coupled with a mixture of comedy and drama, Palace Living seems like a good fit.



    If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you have over 8 other films to choose from.  Coming of age stories, an estranged gigolo grandfather, and marriage crisis are just some of the elements explored in the other StarLite films. I strongly encourage anyone who has time to come out and support the “little guy” in the film industry this weekend.



    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other business and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at