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The Tampa Film Review

This is the official Tampa Bay Film section for The Tampa Film Review monthly film festival. As we add reviews and event coverage pages, they will be accessible from here. Eventually, all of the Coffeehouse Film Review, Tampa Film Review, and Coffeehouse Films film festival events will be reviewed and covered, indexed on Tampa Bay Film, and will be accessible from here. We will even have a sectioned-off area of the online film festival to show the independent films screened at each film festival event, when possible, to bring the past events back to life here on Tampa Bay Film. Ironically, the online film festival versions of these events will be more effective than the actual events were.
This will be the main site for these film festival events, although we will have more information about these events on TampaFilmReview.Com and on CoffeehouseFilmReview.Com.
Tampa Bay Film, as of January 1, 2015, is also considering bringing an upgraded version of the Coffeehouse Film Review and the Tampa Film Review to life to show how it could have been done right; this has nothing to do with, nor will it be affilaited with, the Guzzo brothers, or the earlier film festivals, as it will be an official Tampa Bay Film film festival. The only catch, however, is that this new film festival event series would have to be quarterly, if not monthly, as our monthly flagship monthly film festival and networking event series is the Tampa Bay Film Showcase, although we could use it to build support for the upcoming Tampa Bay Film Showcase, and before that launches, we could have a monthly film festival which is only a film festival.
We will have more about this later, as we could start this as soon as this year, which is 2015, especially as the Tampa Bay Film Showcase and its affiliated network of film festival and event properties is a few years off. Such a monthly film festival series would compliment our Sunburn underground film festival and peer review series quite well, as the underground film festivals are private, and the monthly film festival would be public.

The following review synopsis of The Tampa Film Review is the opinion of Tampa Bay Film and C. A. Passinault.

The Tampa Film Review was a monthly film festival by Paul Guzzo and Pete Guzzo (Guzzo Bros Films), formerly of 1 day films and TOO Productions, from January 2006 to January 2009. It was a rebrand and a continuation of the Coffeehouse Film Review of 2004 (actually, December 2003, but this is debatable) to October of 2005. All of The Tampa Film Reviews were held in various venues and shops in Ybor City. As a monthly film festival, The Tampa Film Review featured short films, with an occasional feature film shown, and most of the films were independent films; The emphasis on independent films was the best thing about The Tampa Film Review.
Of course, that reliance upon independent films, mainly indie films made in the Tampa Bay area, meant that beggars could not be choosers, especially at a time when there were few independent filmmakers. With few independent films to pick from, there were no quality controls, and the audience at each TFR had to take the bad films with the few good ones which played. This made some events an unbearable bore.
Another thing about The Tampa Film Review, and the largest drawback, were the technical problems that it was plagued by, especially audio problems. Although these were pointed out by more than one person, they were never fixed. This probably had to do with the organization of the film festivals, too. It was obvious that, while Paul Guzzo was a good writer, and his brother Pete was a good filmmaker, that they were not good event planners. The Tampa Film Review would have been much better if they had staffed the events with a core group of volunteers who were actually qualified, and good, at the areas that the Guzzo brothers were deficient in. Whether as a result of ego or simply poor management, the film festivals suffered because of their shortcomings.
Nolan Canova and his staff at Crazed Fanboy put the “review” in The Tampa Film Review, and they were not only extremely reliable, attending every event, but did a great job covering The Tampa Film Review and reviewing the films. Throughout the years, Nolan was joined by reviewers Terence Nuzum, Chris Woods, John Miller, and even C. A. Passinault for several events. Without the coverage and the reviews from Nolan and his team, The Tampa Film Review would have been a total loss, in our opinion.
Dan Brienza, of the 2nd generation Tampa Film Network and the Florida Film Network, which spun off of the 2nd generation Tampa Film Network, brought networking to The Tampa Film Review. These were successful, although lacking, and they were never as good as their potential suggested.
A controversial aspect of The Tampa Film Review was whether or not it existed to promote the independent films that it showed and intended to advance independent film in Tampa Bay. For simply screening independent films for an audience and reviewing those films, it succeeded. As a platform for promoting independent film and advancing the indie film scene, however, it failed, although its potential was exactly that. That is what is should have done.
Ultimately, The Tampa Film Review failed, and it had issues which could not be overcome (we will explain details which support this conclusion in the reviews). Despite being an over hyped failure, however, it had its moments. The Tampa Film Review had its fun events, and it will be missed. There were other film festivals which came after The Tampa Film Review, but which lost its passion and support for independent films; attention went from Tampa Bay independent filmmaking and indie films in general to promoting Hollywood movies, celebrities, and in marketing the Tampa Bay area as a production location for big budget Hollywood movies, which undermines independent film in Tampa Bay (The Guzzo Bros should have seen this coming, and fixed the TFR while fiercely fighting for independent film. Instead, they did the opposite, and both of them helped start the Gasparilla Film Festival; in our opinion, selling out independent filmmakers whom they claimed to support). With our opinion being that the Gasparilla Film Festival, which was eventually rebranded the Gasparilla International Film Festival, is more focused on movie premiers and celebrities from Hollywood using the Tampa Bay area as a location, and the Sunscreen Film Festival, while more independent film-friendly, is more about selling expensive filmmaking workshops, we lost something good with the loss of The Tampa Film Review. We lost our independent film support, which was important, despite the flaws of that support.
The Tampa Film Review, in our opinion, looked like a success in spite of itself, and not because of anything that it actually did, and it merely revealed an audience for independent film, and a need for what it was supposed to do. The final Tampa Film Review film festival event in January 2009 was celebrated as a success by its captive audience, but we disagree with that verdict. In our opinion, the Guzzo brothers grew frustrated with dwindling audiences, film submissions, shifting venues, the perception of the lack of support, and growing criticism, and instead of fixing what was wrong and forging on, they gave up. In our opinion, the declaration of “mission accomplished” was no more than spin, and it was not an honest assessment.
It was not over, however.
Paul Guzzo attempted to restart the original Coffeehouse Film Review in Davis Island in 2011, since he and his fiance Amy owned a Coffeehouse starting around that time (and it is our opinion that it made sense to use it to market their business and bring the people in), but it was never what The Tampa Film Review was. It lost its review element, with no films being reviewed, and it was flawed and poorly marketed. Guzzo soon changed the name to Coffeehouse Films for whatever reason, and the monthly event remained obscure. Eventually, Guzzo and Amy sold the Coffeehouse business, and with that, any chance of having the monthly film festival continue (although we think that Guzzo gave up on the new film festival long before they decided to sell the Coffeehouse, but we have no evidence to support that assumption). That said, Guzzo himself claims that his renewed film festival had a run of two years, so we will go with that. He's probably right. We just can't verify it because information on the new Coffeehouse Film Review/ Coffeehouse Films is so difficult to come by; it was not nearly as well documented, or covered, as it was when Nolan and his pop culture web site kept up with it.
In 2013, C. A. Passinault took the essence of what The Tampa Film Review was, which was a small film festival with a group reviewing the independent films that were screened, and used that as the premise of the Sunburn Film Festival, an underground, private film festival event with events several times a year, and where a peer group of entertainment industry professionals, models, and the target audience of independent films watched and reviewed the films. Being an underground film festival, the locations and the event dates of the Sunburn Film Festival are secrets, as they are not public film festivals and the guests are invitation-only, but the coverage of each Sunburn Film Festival event is equal to, and even exceeds, other film festivals in Florida on Tampa Bay Film. The Sunburn Film Festival events, although much smaller that most Tampa Film Review film festivals, are superior in every way, as we will find out. The first Sunburn Film Festival event is scheduled for Spring 2015, with an average of six events a year.

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