BRADENTON -- When Alan Bailey announced he would move the Movieville Film Festival to Bradenton, he said it would be about more than simply showing films here. He wanted to introduce accomplished independent filmmakers to the Bradenton area, in hopes that they might make films here.
In the early days of the 2014 festival, which has been renamed the Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival, it appears that he's well on his way toward that goal.
"Michael Worth is talking about shooting three films here, back-to-back," said Bailey, the festival's founder and executive artistic director.
Worth is an actor and director whose film "God's Ear" opened this year's festival. Worth also stars in the film, along with Mitzi Kapture, John Saxon and Tim Thomerson.
Worth had never been to
Bradenton before he came in for the screening of his film Thursday, but he immediately fell in love with the city.
"I got off the plane and said, 'we've got to do something here,' " he said.
Bailey and Worth were on Old Main Street Friday evening for a BAMFF party.
Worth said he loved the ambiance of Old Main Street and other parts of the town, and the people he had met in his short time in Bradenton.
"Everybody's so friendly," he said. "I live in Los Angeles, and it's so hard to shoot a movie there. As soon as you take a camera out, people are coming up to you saying, 'Show me your permit, show me your permit.' You can't even take a picture of your mother."
Worth is better known as an actor than as a director. He starred in the TV series "Acapulco H.E.A.T." and has had guest starring roles in "Desperate Housewives," "The King of Queens" and "CSI:NY."
But he's also won acclaim as an independent screenwriter and director. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Mamet said "God's Ear" was "astonishingly emotional and moving" and called it "a masterpiece of filmmaking."
Worth said he doesn't know exactly what projects he will film in Bradenton.
"We're just starting to talk about, Alan and I," he said. "It's definitely going to happen."
Worth said he's been impressed with the festival so far. The attendance at his film was average, he said, but the reception was "fantastic."
On Friday's second day of film screenings, attendance was low, with only a handful of people watching a series of films at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
The crowd was small for Friday evening's event on Old Main Street, with just a few dozen people gathered around a stage featuring musicians from the Del Couch Music Foundation.
Bailey said he wasn't bothered by the small attendance at Friday's films. The screenings were during the day, and on a weekday. He said he expects more people at Saturday's and Sunday's films.
For information about the films and other festival events, go to movievillefilmfestival.com.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.