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Documentary to feature ‘Sanibel Before the Causeway’

By Staff | Feb 6, 2016

Old video clips, photographs and personal interviews with those who have vivid memories of Sanibel before the early 60s, will help depict the story of “Sanibel Before the Causeway,” a documentary to be featured next week.

“I’m a storyteller and I look for stories,” David Carter, seven-time Emmy Award winner, who created the documentary, said.

“Sanibel Before the Causeway,” a premiere that will take island residents back in time, will be shown at The Community House, at 7 p.m. March 28. The first showing of Feb. 10 was sold out as of Jan. 28. The experience will be complete with everyone in attendance receiving a free bag of popcorn.

Tickets, which are $7 a person, can be purchased at The Community House and Bailey’s General Store. All of the proceeds will benefit The Community House.

“If you are going to be showing Sanibel before the causeway, it only seemed like a natural thing to do it here (at The Community House),” Carter said. “We are going to do an event like nothing has been done before.”

The 1930s through 1960s vintage film clips from pre-causeway Sanibel will be accompanied with sound bites from Charles LeBuff, Mike Billheimer, Deb Gleason, Bella Kontinos, Jim Pickens and Bob Sabatino.

“I am letting them help me tell stories. They are just really great interviews,” Carter said.

He said when the project began he started looking for people who could look at the films and provide details about Sanibel during that time period. Carter said he sat down with each of them with his laptop computer in hand and began asking them to tell him what they saw while viewing a clip.

Their responses were pure “spontaneous” answers as they recalled a certain memory the clip triggered.

“This will never age . . . Sanibel history,” Carter said.

Those featured in the film will attend the special showing to answer any questions the attendees have. The DVD will also be available immediately following the premier.

Carter said he received more than 5,000 views of the short clip he posted on Facebook after boosting the video that morning.

The documentary is sponsored by Pfeifer Realty Group. “Growing Up on Sanibel” and “Seven Sanibel Arts,” both documentaries shown at BIG ARTS in a theater setting, generated more than $25,000 in community support donations.

“They are paying me to do this while giving back to the community,” Carter said smiling.

Individuals can find more information about the documentaries at www.SanibelStories.com.

The Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.