The Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) film line-up for the 17th edition, April 12-19, 2012, featuring 25 World Premieres, 14 U.S. Premieres and 2 North American Premieres, is complete.
Opening Night kicks off with Robot & Frank, directed by Jake Schreier. Set in the near future, Frank, a retired cat burglar, has two grown kids who are concerned he can no longer live alone. They are tempted to place him in a nursing home until Frank’s son chooses a different option: against the old man’s wishes, he buys Frank a walking, talking humanoid robot programmed to improve his physical and mental health. What follows is an often hilarious and somewhat heartbreaking story about finding friends and family in the most unexpected places. Robot & Frank features an award-winning cast including Academy Award® nominee Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon.
The fest will close with “Sassy Pants,” directed by Coley Sohn and starring Anna Gunn, Ashley Rickards, Diedrich Bader and Haley Joel Osment. Bethany Pruitt (Ashley Rickards) is valedictorian of her one-student home-school class. Stuck with younger brother Shayne (Martin Spanjers) under their perky but oppressive mother June’s (Anna Gunn) thumb, Bethany’s only escape is a teen fashion ‘zine courtesy of her absentee gay dad. Life at dad Dale’s (Diedrich Bader) mobile home is no picnic either. Despite the close bond she forms with his fun, younger boyfriend, Chip (Haley Joel Osment), Dad’s self-loathing, alcoholic outbursts weigh heavy on Bethany. She finds solace selling clothes at a cheap, trendy retail chain Jail Bait, but her petty, cutthroat coworkers cause a new set of “real world” navigation problems. When Bethany learns about Fashion Art Technology Institute, aka F.A.T.I., she sees a chance to break free once and for all and forge her own brighter future. How she gets there will redefine her and her family and maybe even update her wardrobe.
Screenings of this year’s films will be held at Muvico Parisian 20 at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Cobb Theatres in Downtown At The Gardens, Lake Worth Playhouse in Lake Worth, Debilzan Gallery in Delray Beach and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Centre in Boca Raton.