Since 2003, the Jacksonville Film Festival has annually served as one of the city's most anticipated cultural events, screening international and independent films and hosting some of Hollywood's most accomplished names. The first deal plunks cinephiles squarely on the red carpet with access to Saturday's special event, a screening of The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, starring Tim Allen, Elisha Cuthbert, and Andie MacDowell. Young film critics that already possess Roger Ebert's critical eye and Gene Shalit's bushy mustache can attend the kids' red-carpet event, which will screen the zany kid-friendly comedy Finn on the Fly. The third options gets you into the world premiere of Thespians, which documents the theater programs at two Duval County high schools as they prepare for the Florida State Thespians theater festival. Afterward, stay for a Q&A with the filmmakers and special guests.
Wooded areas filled with abandoned automobiles, empty houses, and overturned barrels might evoke the set of a gritty war movie, except for one detail: they’re all covered in colorful splotches. These are some of the sights on the six unique fields at GTF Paintball, which host colorful mock battles on their expansive outdoor property. Whether participants stage urban combat on The Houses, or take to The Village to engage in fast-paced rounds, they can lose themselves in settings that simulate both real-life battle and pranks played by expressionist painters. No matter what the scenario, GTF places an emphasis on safety by chronographing markers and requiring goggles in all playing areas.
Trike flying sounds like a sport from a toddler’s daydream, but it’s actually an alternate name for powered hang gliding, Hang Glide USA’s specialty. The company’s gliders are outfitted with engines but can also fly with their engines off, riding wind currents over Amelia Island’s scenic beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Wind ruffles passengers’ hair, thanks to the gliders’ open-air cockpits. And though they can try their hand at the controls, passengers are always accompanied by one of the company’s instructors. Every instructor has a perfect safety record and teaches passengers flying basics during airborne rides.
Named after its 2003 42-foot Manta catamaran, Now and Zen Charters whisks its guests on day cruises and sailing vacations at several scenic Florida sites. While cruising the waters around Miami and Biscayne Bay, clients take advantage of luxurious onboard amenities both inside and in the open air. Be they seated on the trampolines, bow seats, in the salon, or in the sling seat, they enjoy an easy ride thanks to a sturdy 21-foot beam while listening to tunes on a four-speaker stereo system.
Fitness Pursuits shapes malleable muscles into fully formed physiques through comprehensive one-hour training sessions. The four-week group training classes pair up to six workout warriors with a certified coach capable of helping them tap into their can-crushing potential. During the introductory classes, trainers acquaint themselves with each student’s eating habits and improvable areas through online and on-hand fitness and nutrition assessments. Participants set and work toward goals in subsequent sessions, improving overall fitness and making muscles burn with satisfaction, like an insult uttered from the lips of a sarcastic fire swallower. The classes meet once weekly for four consecutive weeks, helping exercisers establish regular routines.
The Amelia Island Museum of History is the fortuitous result of circumstance. In 1975, a committee from the Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society gathered to found a history museum for Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island. Meanwhile, local collector William Decker was studiously acquiring historical documents and artifacts from the area—a lot whose pieces numbered in the thousands. When Decker died, the collection passed on to his son, a noted altruist, and just like that the Amelia Island Museum had its bones.
Today, the museum's exhibits examine local culture of the Timucua Native American tribe, Spanish and French explorers, pirates, and Victorian-era residents. Curators have assembled the Women of the Port photography display to highlight women working in the local maritime industry.
Museum guides are not restricted to the grounds, and often helm tours of the island's haunted locales, historic Centre Street, and Fernandina Beach's north end—with a focus on history from the mid-18th to 19th centuries.