It’s not every day Lake County welcomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. On May 6, Mount Dora will host Gilbert King, awarded the 2013 nonfiction Pulitzer Prize for “Devil in the Grove.”The acclaimed book, set in Lake County, highlights the racial injustice of the case involving The Groveland Boys, Sheriff Willis McCall, and Thurgood Marshall.
King is returning to Mount Dora to talk about his newest book, “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: a True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found.” The new book is an investigative nonfiction tale that raises themes that still haunt American society.
The story is based on a rape case in 1950s Leesburg when Lake County judges, juries, deputies and attorneys manufactured or accepted falsified evidence to send a mentally-disabled teenager, Jesse Daniels, to a notoriously cruel mental institution. Daniels was released fourteen years later with the help of his mother, a reporter, and an attorney.
The presentation will examine an era in Lake County when justice was perverted by bigotry and tempered by the power of the free press. The free presentation begins at 4:00 p.m. and will include a question and answer period. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Dora Community Center, 520 North Baker Street. Books will be available for purchase to have signed by the author after the program.
As if finally getting a local movie theater wasn’t enough for the small Central Florida town of Mount Dora! This September movie lovers will trek from near and far to the city known for its quaint downtown and low rolling hills as it hosts the 13th annual Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO).
The international festival will be held September 7 through 9 at the brand new Epic Theatres slated to open soon just off U.S. Highway 441. In recent years, CENFLO presented 70 to 80 films to audiences, and many featured well-known talent.
After films are submitted to the festival for consideration, they undergo a rigorous judging process on specific criteria. Films with the highest grades from judges are accepted into the festival. The winning film and four finalists are also selected. Film submissions are open until June 1.
The festival’s executive director, Brendon Rogers, is a Tavares resident and approached Epic Theatres with the idea of bringing the festival to the new Mount Dora 12-screen multiplex.
The DeMarsh family, owners of Epic Theatres, immediately welcomed the idea.
The festival has come a long way since its debut year in 2005 at the Osceola Center for the Arts. In 2013 it was named among the "Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" by Movie Maker Magazine.
In the future, organizers hope to expand the festival to include a Showcase Series which will screen outside of the regular festival and include films that have a much narrower criteria. Master classes, workshops and a screenwriting competition are also planned, along with more community outreach.
A volunteer team will be assembled to assist during the festival, according to Rogers. For more events and news in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Find out what's happening locally with just a tap on your phone by downloading the area's freemobile app. Monthly issues of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.