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Local filmmaker captures island’s historical past in ‘Sandbars To Sanibel’

By Staff | May 1, 2009

Local film company Video Biography LLC, spearheaded by filmmaker Rusty Farst, has teamed with island historian Sam Bailey to re-create life on Sanibel in the 1920’s.

The film, entitled “Sandbars To Sanibel: Pioneering An Island,” will be due for release to the general public in the fall of 2009. A two-part DVD, “Sandbars To Sanibel” will reveal the real history of these Sanibel structures plus include a captivating and embellished narrative showing a day in the life of the island and her people.

“The Historical Village has been an incredible set, one only dreamed of by Hollywood producers,” said Farst. “Where else could you have such a perfect and complete village than these original buildings?”

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village has been generous enough to open their doors to this project on the days they are closed so as not to have interruption during shooting. Each building will show the authentic characters who lived within these very walls. Shot at a film-like 24 frames per second, “Sandbars To Sanibel” lets each room come alive with saturation and brilliance revealing all the original wood grains.

Scene locations include the lighthouse keepers quarters and the original schoolhouse, chock full of unruly children. A team of mules are scripted over the Fourth of July weekend and aerial videography will show a birds-eye view of the village.

The script is written by islander Jody Brown along with production assistants Mary McLaughlin and Deb Gleason, all who have parts in the film. A total of some 35 local residents will be involved in this project.

Farst has also completed local films for PURRE and CREW and is currently working on a CONNECT segment for WGCU Public Broadcasting about local scuba diving. His feature-length documentary film, “A Wall As Witness,” about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is currently running the film festival circuit and is an official selection at this year’s G.I. Film Festival in Washington, D.C. in May.

“‘Sandbars To Sanibel’ has all local actors, which are giving 100 percent to their performance,” added Farst. “I am thrilled to be editing such a well performed project. It makes my time in the editing room a joy. I can’t wait to shoot the next scene.”