The full-length documentary “Dolphin Lover,” which details NCF alum Malcolm Brenner’s sexual relationship with a dolphin, was included in the 17th annual Sarasota Film Festival’s lineup, it was announced Monday.
Brenner’s affair with Dolly, a bottlenose dolphin, started in the 1970s when the pair met at the now defunct Floridaland theme park. It was definitely a summer fling to write home about, in fact, Brenner had already penned an autobiographical novel – “Wet Goddess” – before he was approached by filmmakers Kareem Tabsch and Joey Daoud.
“I sensed that they took me seriously. However, what really convinced me was when Kareem said, ‘I believe you were in love with her,’” Brenner told the Miami New Times.
Yolaf Minsen, one of the judges for this year’s festival, was immediately drawn to the visceral, if unconventional, romance. “We’re thrilled to be able to showcase a local story,” Minsen said, adding that the documentary fit perfectly with this year’s theme: “One festival, infinite possibilities.”
Although there is no explicit sexually-oriented nudity, the film was rated NC-17 after much deliberation. A heated faction of the judges prevailed, stating that the depiction of bestiality – albeit toned down in the film – was not only aberrational, but could also prove particularly disturbing for parents “not yet ready to have that conversation with their young children.”
For obvious reasons, Dolly was unavailable for comment.
The Sarasota Film Festival will run April 10-19. Student tickets are on sale for $10 at the Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 box office or online at www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.