Programs & Events
Mystic Luxury Cinemas is proud to present alternative content from byexperience.com featuring the NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE from London and THE BOLSHOI BALLET from Moscow. These events are transmitted live by satellite. Additionally, we shall feature special film features and classic films from time-to-time. Click here to download the brochure.
August 27 at 5:30 pm
Mystic Film Festival is thrilled to announce that THE MAMBONIKS, a feature documentary film directed by Lex Gillespie, will be the festival’s opening night film.
In the 1950s, when much of America was discovering Elvis and rock-n-roll, New York City swayed to a Latin beat. Manhattan fell for the mambo, the hot new dance from Havana. Like the beatniks of the era, the mambo’s fervent Jewish fans earned a hip Yiddish-inspired nickname: the mamboniks. They sparked a dance craze that swept the nation — and the world.
A type of Afro-Cuban music, as well as a form of dance, mambo had audiences moving their legs and shaking their hips to the rhythms of artists, such as Tito Puente at the Palladium Ballroom in Manhattan, while honing their skills at Catskills resorts in the summer, a la “Dirty Dancing”.
THE MAMBONIKS is the first documentary to trace the rise and fall of the mambo, which died down mostly due to the Cuban Revolution and the British invasion. The Palladium shuttered its doors. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 cut off all contact with the island. But today, the music and dance live on, and the film reunites the original mamboniks to tell this unlikely and little-known tale.
This fun, upbeat film features a lovable, animated, somewhat zany collection of dancers, musicians, disc jockeys, club owners and record company moguls. They’re retired in Florida yet still dancing — in their 70s, 80s and 90s! They reveal personal thoughts about the allure of the music, but also on love, friendship, adventure, coming-of-age, and, now in their autumn years, the meaning of a life well-lived. The film also tells the story of the power of music to bring together different people - Jews, African-Americans and Latinos - who met on the dance floor despite the segregation of their era.
Lex Gillespie of Niantic, Connecticut, is a Peabody and duPont Columbia Award-winning producer who has spent 25 years creating documentaries and feature stories on music, history and culture. Credits include "The Jazz Singers," "Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was," and "Let the Good Times Roll," a 26-hour series on the history of R&B music.
“Meeting the mamboniks changed me”, explains Gillespie. “Their enthusiasm is contagious, so you can’t help but be inspired by them. My film is about dance, but you don’t have to be a dancer to be charmed by them.”
View the THE MAMBONIKS trailer here: https://vimeo.com/267148924
The Connecticut premiere screening of THE MAMBONIKS will take place on October 2nd, 2019 at Mystic Luxury Cinemas, following an exciting red carpet cocktail event. Gillespie and two mamboniks from the film will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.
Tickets for the opening night event go on sale on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 and the event starts at 6:30 pm. Visit Mystic Luxury Cinemas website for tickets and more info: https://www.mysticluxurycinemas.com.
ABOUT MYSTIC FILM FESTIVAL
Mystic Film Festival is an annual event that showcases independent feature length and short form narrative films and documentaries from Connecticut and all over the world.
The 2nd Annual Mystic Film Festival will take place from October 2nd to October 6th, 2019 in the beautiful New England coastal town of Mystic, Connecticut, located midway between New York and Boston. Screenings and events will also take place in Niantic, New London, and Stonington, Connecticut. Mystic Film Festival will screen a variety of films over the course of 4 days and 5 nights, including Q&A’s with filmmakers in attendance, panels discussions, networking events, and workshops.
The full festival schedule will be announced on August 26, 2019. Tickets will go on sale soon after.
Mystic Film Festival would like to extend a huge thanks to our main sponsors and partners that have come on board to support this event: Mystic Luxury Cinemas, Connecticut Office of the Arts, Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media, Jonathan Edwards Winery, the Garde Arts Center, and Wilkidoos Productions.
In addition, we would like to thank Mystic Noank Library, Niantic Cinemas, La Grua Center, Green Planet Films, Nutmeg Institute, Women in Film & Video of New England, International Screenwriters Association, Jessica S. Hinds of Meditative Writing, and Innovast Digital Marketing for their support. Last, but not least, many thanks to our programmers, judges, and volunteers.
Mystic Disc Presents
Rush: Cinema Strangieto
The Grateful Dead Movie
October 2 & 6
The San Francisco Symphony
The Talking Heads
35th Anniversary Screening
”Stop Making Sense”
That Little Ol’ Band