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Red carpet event to showcase ‘Sandbars To Sanibel’

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

Sanibel is rolling out the red carpet, inviting the paparazzi and preparing to host a Hollywood-style world premiere complete with actors and actresses, tuxedos and gowns, glitter and glitz.

“Sandbars To Sanibel,” a film set on the island circa 1929, is scheduled to make its debut on the Island Cinema’s big screen on Sunday, Oct. 18. The curtain rises at 1 p.m.

Produced and directed by Rusty Farst of Video Biography, the film is an affectionate look at Sanibel history was conceived by Sam Bailey… though he now insists, “There’s not a word of truth in it.”

No matter, Farst replies. “It could have happened.”

“The idea started as a re-enactment of one of Sam’s stories as a boy that was going to be a play,” he said. “That evolved into making it part of a bigger story. Jody Brown took that idea to another level, and then I took over, bringing all of the buildings (at the Sanibel Historical Village & Museum) together. It follows a piece of mail going from one building to another and another.”

The plot of “Sandbars To Sanibel” involves the island’s mail girl, who drenches the mailbag and the whole town fondles a water soaked letter trying desperately to find the recipient, resisting the temptation to read its contents. A love affair ignites, a schoolhouse goes berserk and a small village eventually becomes reunited.

What did happen was the acting debut of dozens of islanders portraying real people from the 1920’s.

“Hazel Reed would never have allowed the mail to get wet,” Sam declared.

But in “Sandbars To Sanibel,” she did and started the story.

Using our own Sanibel Lighthouse and the Historical Museum’s grounds and buildings as settings, co-writers Farst and Brown have created a tale based on snippets of history – or legend.

Sam Bailey has his own version of people and places in “Pioneering An Island,” a bonus featurette as part of the red carpet event’s program.

“We found a bunch of old footage in the museum’s storage, clips from the early 1930’s that shows farming and swarms of fiddler crabs on the beach,” added Farst. “There’s also footage of the Bailey boys as youngsters at the Community House, and aerial footage from the 1950’s of the Sanibel Lighthouse, San-Cap Road and the schoolhouse. It’s really interesting stuff.”

Tickets for this inaugural film premiere are $25 each, which includes the pre-show activities, the two segments, conversations with cast members and an “after-glow” affair starting at 2:30 p.m. at Biddle’s Bucket.

Tickets may be purchased at Island Cinema in advance, which is strongly recommended as seating is limited. Reserve your tickets ahead of time and pick them up within a day or stop by after 3 p.m. Call the Island Cinema at 472-1701 for “Will Call” pickups or e-mail either JawsProductions@comcast.net or Salli@segwaysanibel.com.

“Tickets are going pretty fast… I just sold a dozen yesterday,” added Farst, who noted that there are only 118 seats available at the cinema. “It’s gonna sell out in the next week. We’re gonna have a full house!”

In addition, you may visit the film’s Web site at www.SandbarsToSanibel.com or see the movie trailer on www.YouTube.com using the keywords “Sandbars To Sanibel.”