Thursday, March 29, 2012

A film fest in Tampa, as in Florida

During an extended stay in south Florida I discovered the Gasparilla International Film Festival, kicking off tonight in Tampa. It is remarkably like the Windsor International Film Festival. For one thing the festival has been in existence about the same amount of time, Gasparilla a bit younger in it sixth year. But it lasts about the same number of days (Thursday - Sunday), is limited to a few venues, but screens more than double the films at more than 120.....Like the Windsor film fest the main venue is an historic old theatre downtown, in this case the Tampa Theatre, where the opening night film and closing film Sunday afternoon will be shown. But there is a wider selection of categories: features, docs, animation, horror, shorts with films focussed on Cuba and Florida.....The opening night film will be Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (Bruce Beresford), a film I've been wanting to see, starring Catherine Keener and Jane Fonda and an official selection at last year's Toronto fest. Storyline: a clash of conservative versus liberal values among, shall we say, old Hippies (okay, Woodstock 40 years on!).....Closing film is The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim, Australia) starring Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill in a clash between civilization and the wilderness.....A special tribute will honour Chazz Palminteri, the well known actor of films such as The Usual Suspects, Analyze This, and Bullets Over Broadway. His childhood story, A Bronx Tale (1993), written by Palminteri and directed by oft-collaborator Robert De Niro, who also stars, will have a special screening. Palminteri will receive get a career achievement award tonight.

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