By Leslie C. Halpern
The 27th Annual Florida Film Festival, produced by Enzian Theater and held this year from April 6 – 15 throughout Central Florida, offers 183 feature and short films from 38 countries. The Festival includes the American Independent Competition with narrative features and documentaries, 23 world premieres, 82 women filmmakers, and a new experimental shorts program titled “Sunspots: New Visions in the Avant-Garde.”
As always, Festival goers also can choose from a variety of additional programming, such as celebrity guest events, special screenings, film sidebars, midnight movies, family films, international showcase, Florida films, parties, and the popular film forums offered free to the community.
Some upcoming highlights from this year’s Festival:
- Opening Night Film and Party. American Animals in its East Coast premiere, starring Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, and Barry Keoghan in a heist film directed by Bart Layton. Blake Jenner will be in attendance for the film and party, and will participate in a post-film Q&A. The party includes food samples and cocktails from local restaurants.
- Food Film Sidebar with the narrative feature Back to Burgundy (directed bv Cedric Klapisch) and the documentary Ramen Heads (directed by Koki Shigeno).
- Family Film Sidebar with two animated features for children making their Southeast premieres. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales… directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert, and Lu Over the Wall directed by Masaaki Yuasa.
- Music Film Sidebar features three documentaries: 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie (directed by Lee Aronsohn); The Godfathers of Hardcore (directed by Ian McFarland); and Grace Jones: Blood and Bami (directed by Sophie Fiennes).
- Festival Block Party sponsored by Winter Park Village. Saturday, April 7 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Regal Winter Park Village in Winter Park. Free for all Festival ticket and pass holders. Meet at the Winter Park Village fountain for live entertainment and free drinks and appetizers from participating restaurants.
- Sunday, April 8 from 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Enzian Theater will host “An Evening with Pam Grier,” featuring director Quentin Tarantino’s third film, Jackie Brown, which stars Grier as the title character along with Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Michael Keaton, and Robert Forster. A screening of the crime caper action movie, based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, precedes the interactive event with Grier.
- The Spotlight Films program includes 11 non-competing movies with especially intriguing premises, riveting subjects, and well-known stars. Included in this year’s lineup: Borg McEnroe (starring Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, respectively, in a fact-based sports film by director Janus Metz); Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (a documentary directed by Morgan Neville about Rollins College graduate Fred Rogers); and RBG (a documentary directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West about 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg).
- Enzian Theater hosts three filmmaker forums: “Write Now! A Screenwriter’s Road from Keyboard to Storyboard” on Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; “Indie Women: Grab ‘em by the Movies” on Thursday, April 12, 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; and “Filmmaker Forum” on Friday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
For a complete list of films, parties, events, and ticket information, visit the Florida Film Festival website.