Susan Sarandon, Paul Sorvino headline Florida Film Festival with more than 170 films from 26 countries
By Peter Covino
Here comes the Florida Film Festival.
The 23rd annual festival kicks off this weekend and continues through April 13 with more than 170 feature and short films from 26 countries, along with celebrity guest appearances, forums and parties.
Festival films feature familiar talent, both in front of and behind the camera, including Steve Coogan, Bill Plympton, Jude Law, Demian Bichir, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy Moriarty, Johnny Depp, Ralph Steadman, Nicolas Cage, Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Mercedes Ruehl, Alan Cumming, Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Michael Cera, Martin Starr, Rachel Korine, Paul Sorvino, Michael Rapaport, Chazz Palminteri, David Morse, Michael O’Keefe, Annie Potts, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, Sienna Miller, Nick Cassavetes, Emmy Rossum and Ron Perlman.
The festival’s special guests this year include Susan Sarandon, Paul Sorvino, Giancarlo Esposito and Shawn Christiansen.
First up is An Evening with Susan Sarandon, featuring Dead Man Walking, the film that earned Sarandon the 1995 Oscar for Best Actress. Sean Penn received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Dead Man Walking will be screened Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Enzian. The screening includes a discussion and question and answer session about the film with Sarandon.
The R rated film was inspired by the true story of a nun’s relationship with a condemned man.
An Afternoon with Paul Sorvino, featuring Goodfellas, will be Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m. at the Enzian.
Sorvino has appeared in more than 100 films, and a variety of television shows, but he is best known for his role of “Paul Cicero” in Goodfellas. Sorvino will also be in attendance at the screening of the Narrative Competition Feature, Last I Heard on Friday, April 11, at 4:15 p.m. at the Enzian.
An Evening with Giancarlo Esposito will be held Sunday at the Enzian at 7:30 p.m. and will feature the film Do the Right Thing, which he starred in. Esposito also appeared in Ali and The Usual Suspects and currently stars in the NBC drama series, Revolution.
Shawn Christensen, who won the Best Live Action Short film Oscar this year for his short film Curfew, will be the special guest in the festival forum, Pushing the “Curfew,” a case study from short to feature . The forum will be held at the Enzian at 11 a.m. In addition to being a filmmaker, Christensen is a musician and painter.
For a complete guide to all films at the festival, as well as all other events and various ticket options go to Floridafilmfestival.com.