Oscar-Nominated Film Screened During Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival
To watch the film “Minding the Gap” is to become a part of a family of friends. Never before screened in Southeast Florida, this impassioned cinematic portrait is a pivotal portrayal of young men persisting, maturing and decompressing in post- industrial Rockford, Illinois. Documented by 29-year-old director Bing Liu over the course of 12 years, his life and the lives of his fellow skateboarders unfold to reveal cycles of assault, rendering the biopic worthy of an Academy Award nomination.
“I think the film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature, because Bing is such a great storyteller and the way the story is told is so ‘out of the box,’” said Diane Quon, who produced “Minding the Gap” and will be at the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival to discuss the development of the movie.
“We have heard a lot about ‘rust belt’ cities in the news … and our film gives you an intimate look at what it means to live in one of those cities — beyond a sound bite,” she said.
“Minding the Gap” also veritably voices the theme of this year’s Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival (VBWFF), “A Wide Lens on Life.”
“This year’s theme represents a commitment to honoring a diverse set of storytellers and lifestyles in a year in which the Oscars have done the same,” said VBWFF Executive Director Jerusha Stewart.
“The festival is applauding this cinematic celebration with its first ever OSCARS FLASH SALE, offering discount pricing on all passes and event tickets in order to make this enlightening film, and many others like it, accessible to all audiences,” she said.
Although “Minding the Gap” — metaphorically titled to represent the interspace between adolescence and adulthood, blue-collar and upper class, culture and customs — confronts troubling topics, the documentary is both sensitive and inspiring.
“As a parent watching this film, the subject of physical abuse in the name of parenting is heartbreaking,” said Christine Luethje Fleck, a music editor and VBWFF 2019 film juror. “But despite the disturbing subject matter, this is an encouraging story about resiliency and dealing with the negative forces in young lives. You watch each of these kids struggle with their oppressive situations, yet find courage and strength to survive, grow and look for happiness,” she said.
According to Liu’s director’s statement about his debut feature documentary, skateboarding was how he remedied his resentment, and directing was the method by which he learned how to live on.
"After I started skateboarding at age 13, I slowly discovered, after many bruises, broken bones and hard-earned tricks, that I’d regained control of my life,” Liu said.
“Eventually I began interviewing skateboarders: ‘What does skateboarding feel like?’ ‘Who do you love more, your mom or your dad?’ ‘Who taught you the feeling of hate?’ These conversations often turned into unexpected therapy sessions, intimate maelstroms of catharsis and realization.”
Throughout the film, the viewer is apprised of information that some of the characters aren’t even aware of; insight that is unanticipated and unmatched, a perspective that is broadened by watching the movie and attending the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival.
“I think to truly have a wider lens on life,” said Quon, “We all need to take the time to listen and learn.”
About the Oscar FLASH SALE
The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival OSCARS FLASH SALE will start Wednesday, Feb. 20, and end Thursday, Feb. 28, at 11:59 p.m. For the first time ever, all festival passes and event tickets are 20 percent off — no coupon code required! Visit vbwff2019.eventbrite.com to secure your passes today!
About the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, Inc.
The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, held June 6-9, 2019, is hailed as “The New Summer Sundance” by the Huffington Post. The “Top 100” film festival pairs compelling cinematic storytelling with global fine wines while highlighting the best of Vero Beach – art, natural beauty, eco-awareness, toe-baring lifestyle, emerging chefs and coastal hospitality as well as special Centennial events in honor of the City of Vero Beach.
This year’s festival theme, “A Wide Lens on Life” is inspired by the festival’s mission of connecting diverse visual artists with their audiences at a compelling, captivating cinematic celebration. Proceeds from the festival benefit Suncoast Mental Health Center. The center offers supportive services to children and families along the Treasure Coast, including St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee counties. The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) organization.
VBWFF partner festivals include: Devour! Film Fest, Sonoma International Film Festival and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
VBWFF venues include: American Icon Brewery, Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Costa d’Este, Grind & Grape, WOW! Tasting Lounge Pavilion, Heritage Center, Vero Beach Theatre Guild, The Wave and the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa.
VBWFF partners include: Vero Beach Outlets, Kite Tax Lien Capital, Barker Air Conditioning, Boston Barricade, Décor Envy, Riomar Title, Varietals & More, Indian River Home Care, AllThingsTreasureCoast.com, Inside Track Almanac, City Guide of Sebastian & Vero Beach, Cultural Guide of Indian River County, Frosch Travel, Celebrity Cruises, Bruno’s Chocolate Creations, Café 66, Chef Ashley Allison, Wild Thyme Catering and Wood ‘n Spoon.
For additional information on upcoming events, films, and all things Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, please visit VBWFF.com.