Documentary directors Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s ongoing fascination with sweltering South Florida finds them capturing pre-pandemic life in a nudist resort in their latest exercise in cinéma vérité, Naked Gardens. The married filmmakers’ follow-up to 2019's Pahokee, which focused on four South Florida high-school students enjoying their prom year, takes them to the Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee in Palm Beach County. Lucas and Bresnan offers an intimate portrait of several individuals and families at Sunsport who have long practiced or are struggling to embrace the naturist lifestyle. Shot in 2019, as well in 2020 on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, Naked Gardens unfolds as residents prepare for Sunsport’s annual Mid-Winter Naturist Festival while they assess the need to diversify a close-knit community beyond its population of mostly elderly white men. Naked Gardens will screen at 8:45 p.m. May 26 at the AFS Cinema during the Austin Film Society’s Doc Days 2023 festival with directors Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan in attendance. Former Austin-based filmmakers Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan previously directed the documentary Pahokee and One Big Misunderstanding as well as the shorts Happiness is a Journey, Skip Day, Roadside Attraction, and The Send-Off. They will soon release a new short film, The Passing, about Austin veterinarian Dr. Michael Mullins, and are collaborating on a scripted version of this short with Kirk Lynn of the Austin-based Rude Mechanicals theater collective. They also are currently working on a project about the Ron DeSantis-ization of the New College of Florida, the public liberal arts college in Sarasota.
Aired: May 23, 2023.