Celebs to Visit Orlando! More reasons to Attend this year!
The Florida Film Festival is excited and honored to welcome the following artists:
Susan Sarandon: The extremely versatile Susan Sarandon brings her own brand of sex appeal and intelligence to every role– from her fearless portrayal in Bull Durham to her Oscar®-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client, and Atlantic City to her Academy Award®-winning and SAG® Award- winning role in Dead Man Walking as Sister Helen, a nun consoling a death-row inmate.
An Evening with Susan Sarandon, featuring Dead Man Walking
Friday, April 11, 7:30-10:45PM, at Enzian
Directed by Tim Robbins
UK/USA, 1995, 122 minutes, Rated R
Inspired by the true story of a nun’s relationship with a condemned man, this brilliantly acted, gripping, and provocative examination of crime and capital punishment earned Susan Sarandon the 1995 Oscar® for Best Actress and Sean Penn an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Sister Helen Prejean (Sarandon), a compassionate New Orleans nun, is the spiritual advisor to Matthew Poncelet (Penn), a vicious, angry, and complex murderer awaiting execution. Her dedication is to help others, like Matthew, find salvation. But as she attempts to navigate his dark soul, she encounters a depth of evil that makes her question how far redemption can really go. Can she stave off the fateful day of execution long enough to save Matthew, or will she discover a truth that will rock the very foundation by which she lives her life? Ms. Sarandon will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.
Paul Sorvino: Paul Sorvino has appeared in more than 100 films, a variety of television shows, and as an accomplished stage actor won a Drama Desk Award in 1972 and was nominated for a Tony Award® in 1973 for his performance in the Broadway production of the dark comedy That Championship Season. On the big screen, he’s best known for his portrayal of tough guys and authority figures in such standout performances as “Paul Cicero” in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film Goodfellas and stressed-out police chief Capt. Edelson in William Friedkin’s 1980 drama Cruising.
An Afternoon with Paul Sorvino, featuring Goodfellas
Sat, April 12th 11AM-2:45PM at Enzian
Directed by Martin Scorsese
USA, 1990, 146 minutes, Rated R
Brilliantly adapted from Nicholas Pileggi’s true-life bestseller Wiseguy, GOODFELLAS is a colorful and superbly crafted look at the rise and fall of a mob insider. Directed and co-written (with the author) by Martin Scorsese, this modern masterpiece received six Academy Award® nominations (Joe Pesci won for Best Supporting Actor) and was voted “Best Picture of the Year” by the New York, Los Angeles, and National Societies of Film Critics. Filled with electrifying performances by a standout cast that includes Robert DeNiro, Paul Sorvino, Ray Liotta, and Lorraine Bracco, it stands as a modern American classic and one of the finest gangster films of all time. The late, great Roger Ebert himself called it “the best mob movie ever!” in the Chicago Sun-Times, and we are thrilled to be screening a terrific 35mm print, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Sorvino Asthma Foundation. Mr. Sorvino will be present for a Q&A following the film.
Mr. Sorvino will also be in attendance at the screening of the Narrative Competition Feature,Last I Heard on Friday, April 11, at 4:15PM at Enzian.
Giancarlo Esposito: Giancarlo Esposito is a celebrated television, film, and stage actor whose acting career spans several decades and includes over 60 films. He is known for his roles in such films asDo the Right Thing, Ali, and The Usual Suspects. Esposito currently co-stars in the hit NBC drama series Revolution. Television audiences know him best from his iconic portrayal of drug kingpin Gustavo “Gus” Fring in AMC’s Breaking Bad, for which he won the 2012 Critics Choice Award and earned a 2012 Emmy nomination.
An Evening with Giancarlo Esposito, featuring Do the Right Thing
Sun, April 6th 7:30-10:30PM Enzian
Directed by Spike Lee
USA, 1989, 120 minutes, Rated R
Has it really been 25 years? Nominated for two Academy Awards®, Spike Lee’s first great film, the highly acclaimed DO THE RIGHT THING, is as provocative and entertaining today as the day it was released. Spike’s third feature focuses on life in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, where a white-owned pizza parlor flourishes in the predominantly black neighborhood. But on this particular sweltering summer day, circumstances lead to an outbreak of hostilities. Boasting a sensational cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito (as “Buggin’ Out”), John Turturro, Richard Edson, Bill Nunn, John Savage, Rosie Perez, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, and of course, Spike himself as Mookie the delivery boy, this landmark and incendiary film about race relations marked the arrival of a major new American filmmaker. Mr. Esposito will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening of a beautiful new digital restoration in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary.
Shawn Christensen: Shawn Christensen is a filmmaker, musician, and painter. He formed indie rock band Stellastarr* in 2002, signing with RCA Records. In 2011, his short film “Brink” was an Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2013, he won the Oscar® for Best Live Action Short Film for his short film “Curfew.”
Pushing the “Curfew”: A Case Study from Short to Feature
A Festival Forum sponsored by Full Sail University
Friday, April 11, 11AM–12:30PM at Enzian
In 2012 the Florida Film Festival presented a short film called “Curfew” (which will be screened again at the start of this forum) by director/writer/actor/musician Shawn Christensen. In this dark comedy with a tender heart, a suicidal druggie gets a phone call from his estranged sister, who desperately needs him to look after his nine-year-old niece for a few hours. A huge hit at the Festival, months later it would go on to win an Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short. Now the multi-talented filmmaker has expanded the film into a terrific debut feature co-starring Emmy Rossum and Ron Perlman, Before I Disappear, screening as a Spotlight Film in this year’s Festival. Shawn and co-producer Damon Russell will talk about their Oscar®-winning journey from short to feature and take questions from the audience. Moderated by Dave Franko, VP of Academic Affairs at Full Sail University.
Mr. Christensen will also be in attendance at the East Coast Premiere screening of Before I Disappear on Friday, April 11th at 7:00PM at Regal Winter Park Village and Saturday, April 12th at 9:15PM at Enzian.
Florida Film Festival
Now in its 23rd year, the Florida Film Festival is an Oscar®-qualifying festival, premiering the best in current, independent, and international cinema. Through ten days of 170 films and first-class events, film lovers mingle with filmmakers and celebrities over hand-crafted cocktails and a locally-sourced menu.