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walking with the enemyMark Schmidt’s WALKING WITH THE ENEMY 

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) revealed the official line-up of over 175 American Independent films and World Cinema for the 28th annual event, October 18 to November 11, 2013. The festival opens on October 18 with the Southeast Premiere of FREE RIDE.   Actress, Anna Paquin, who won the Oscar® for her role in The Piano and writer/director, Shana Betz, will be in attendance.  Free Ride is Betz directorial debut and is based on her childhood in Fort Lauderdale. October 18 also happens to be her birthday.  In Free Ride, Paquin stars as a single mom caught up in the Florida drug trade during the late 1970s while trying to make a better life for her two girls.

FLiFF’s Centerpiece Film (on November 5) is the Florida Premiere of the sophisticated comedy GARIBALDI’S LOVERS, an entry from Italy-Switzerland.  The contemporary love story is a vibrant ride through a magical vision of metropolitan Italy, while at the same time casting a critical eye on modern life in the city. Widowed plumber Leo is struggling to deal with the growing pains of his two adolescent children, when his life intersects with penniless artist Diana and her eccentric landlord Amanzio. Through a hilarious series of coincidences, they give each other new hope for their futures – and for the city itself, so emblematic of our times.

FLiFF’s Closing Night Film on November 10 is the Southeast Premiere of Mark Schmidt’s WALKING WITH THE ENEMY, an unforgettable film of love, war, and sacrifice, which is sure to inspire and touch audiences.  Starring Hannah Tointon and Jonas Armstrong, who are expected to attend, Walking with the Enemy is based on a true story and heroic life of a young man swept up in the horrors of WWII.  Separated from his family during the German invasion and occupation of Hungary, he is determined to find them and be reunited. Aided by the woman he loves, he disguises himself as a Nazi SS Officer and uncovers the truth of Hitler’s ‘final solution.’  In a race against time to save his family and thousands of others, he embarks on a journey filled with suspense and danger.

FLiFF will honor  Anna Paquin, star of Free Ride, and Lea Thompson,star of The Trouble with the Truth, with Career Achievement Awards at the screening of their films.  Tab Hunter, Ed Asner and Ann-Margret will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at special events paying tribute to their luminary careers in film.  This year the Star on the Horizon Award will be presented to two incredibly talented actors, Hannah Tointon and Jonas Armstrong, who star in FLiFF’s closing night film.  The FLiFF 2013 Vision Award will be presented to Ben Stassen, director ofAfrican Safari 3-D. 

Some of  the highlighted features this year include:  John Well’s  August: Osage County  featuring an all-star cast including:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham.  From the director of The Devil Wears Prada, Dave Frankel’s British comedy One Chance; The Florida Premieres of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations starring Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter; From the director of Don Juan De Marco, Jeremy Levin, and the producers of the Academy Award winning movie, The Lives of Others, comes this charming and fun-filled romantic comedy Girl On A Bicycle.  John Turteltaub’s Last Vegas starring four legends like you’ve never seen them before. Academy Award®-winners Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline portray childhood friends who relive their glory days when they throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single.  Justin Chadwick’s Mandela:  A Long Walk to Freedom based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography; Alexander Payne’s adventure of a father and son traveling Nebraska stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk and June Squibb;  and Jim Hemphill’s feature The Trouble With Truth starring Lea Thompson.  

World Premieres include (30): Arthur Luhn’s feature House Across The Street starring Eric Roberts (USA), Matthew White’s documentary The Upside Down Book(U.S./Germany/France), Jon Sumple’s fascinating extraterrestrial doc extraordinary:the stan romanek story, Kenneth Shapiro’s The Making of Great Voices Sing John Denver(USA)Gus Cantavero’s documentary A Drop of Water (Cambodia), Juana M. Frias’ short film 9 Birthdays (USA), Lisa Resnik’s short film 95 Decibels (USA),  Marcus Wolf ‘s short film Abduction: A Love Story (USA),  Scott Ross’ and Karl Beyer’s short film The Burning House (USA), Brian Bayerl’s short film The Case (USA-Japan),  Aneel Ahmad Checkpost (Pakistan), Samuel and Luke Willis’ short film Freefall (USA), Rick Santese’ short film Forever (USA), Larelle Bossi’s short film The Game(Australia), Joe Pisciotta’s short film Human Nature (USA), H.W. Moss’ short film The Injuries to Tim Dale (USA), Maritza De Quesada’s short film I’d Rather Be Crazy Than Boring  South Florida director,  Jayce Bartok’s short film Jack and Paul (USA), Alyn Darnay’s feature Krissy Belle (USA-Florida), Mike Glier’s thriller The Last Hit(USA-Snshine Celluloid), John Rhee’s short film Letters (USA), Jon Bougher’s short documentary Mozayik (Haiti), Kareem Mortimer’s short film Passage (Bahamas), Thierry de Coster’s short film Prrreüte (Belgium), Chris Shimojima’s short film Pura Vida (Costa Rica), Neil Golin’s feature Run, Stinky, Run (USA-Florida), Amy French’s short film Side Effects of Barry (USA),  Keary T. Cunningham’s short film Sleep: The Movie (Florida), Marcus Wolf’s short film Sock Monkey Stories (USA), Stéphane Everaert’s and Frédéric Mosbeux’s short film Stock Exchange (Belgium).

U.S. Premieres include (18):  Ben Stassen’s ride of your life African Safari 3-D, ThierryGaytan’s documentary The Cocaine Route (Columbia/France), Darisha Beresford’s short film The Cutlass (Trinidad and Tobago), Pourya Azarbaijany’s feature Everything is Fine (Iran),  Nathaniel Prince Lewis’ short film Frapper Avec Amour (The Bahamas), Andrzej  Jakimowski’s feature The Geographer Drank His Globe Away (Poland), Sherese Robinson Lee’s short film If I Were A Bell (USA),  Andrzej Jakimowski’sImagine (Poland), Natasha Merkulova’s and Alexey Chupov’s feature Intimate Parts(Russia),  Agnes Obadia’s feature Josephine, Single & Fabulous (France), Josh Tanner’s short film The Landing (Australia), Christopher Payne’s feature Love Tomorrow starring English National Ballet Principal Cuban born Arionel Vargas (UK), Momcilo Mrdakovic’s comedy Mamarosh (Serbia/Germany/Hungary), Johnny Vong’s short film The Marvelous Girl (Canada),  Charles Wilkinson’s documentary Oil Sands Karaoke (Canada), Mark Lobatto’s short film Silent Treatment (UK), Antonin Svoboda’s docu-drama The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (Austria), Laurent Tuel’s feature Tour de Force (France).

East Coast Premieres include (21):  Richard E. Stark’s short film 30-Love,   Miranda Bailey’s short film Another Happy Anniversary , Stephen Cone’s feature Black Box(Russia), Alexey Fedorchenko’s feature Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari(Russia),  Norry Niven’s enchanting love store Chasing Shakespeare starring Danny Glover (USA) , Zak Forsman ‘s crime-thriller Down and Dangerous  starring Judd Nelson (USA-Mexico), Gabriel Ochoa’s comedy El Amor No Es Lo Que Era (Love’s Not What it Used to Be/Spain), Mary Lambert’s documentary Fishing Pono: Living In Harmony with the Sea (Moloka’i Kaua’i, Hawai’i), Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield, short film,Goodfriends (USA), Kim Noonan’s short film Heavy,  Monty Miranda’s  crime mysteryThe Insomniac  starring John Heard, and Danny Trejo (USA), Matteo Pellegrini’s comedy Italian Movies (Italy), de la Vega’s short film Left (USA), Ronnie Cramer’s short film Living Legend, Alexandre Castagnetti’s romance feature Love is in The Air(Amour & Turbulences/France), Christina Hadjicharalambous’ & Radoslav Pavkovic’s  comedy Loveless Zoritsa (Serbia-Poland-Cyprus-Greece), Ashley Pegg’s short film,Reflections (UK), Caddie Hastings’ & Ben Kopke’s short film Reunion, Akil DuPont’s short film Silhouettes (Florida), Staten Cousins-Roe’s  short film, This Way Out (UK),  Lydia B. Smith’s documentary Walking The CaminoSix Ways to Santiago (USA-Spain-France).

With Free Ride and Walking With the Enemy, Southeast Premieres include (7): Jerome Bonnell’s feature Just a Sigh starring Emanuelle Devos and Gabriel Byrn (France),  Antonio Piazza’s feature Salvo (Italy), Paolo Virzì’s feature Tutti Santi Giorni (Every Blessed Day/Italy), Anne-Marie Etienne’s feature Under The Fig Tree(Sous le figuier/France), Richard Trank’s docu-drama The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers with voice overs Sandra Bullock as Golda Meir, Michael Douglas as Yitzhak Rabin, Leonard Nimoy as Levi Eshkol, Christoph Waltz as Menachem Begin (Israel).

Documentaries include:  Emmy winning Producer/Director, Robyn Symon’s Behind the Blue Veil, is the first exclusive look behind the crisis in the Sahara and exposes the government corruption and neglect of an indigenous people who may be the best hope for defeating Islamic radicals in the region.  Tim Phillips’ Lion Ark is a vivid behind the scenes account of the world’s ambitious animal rescue ever undertaken.  Matthew VanDyke’s Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution features the story of the Syrian struggle for freedom.  Danny Holguin & Juan Carlos Echeverria’s Interrupted Destinies (Destinos Interrumpidos) after 26 years, two men discover they were switched at birth.  Samantha Grant’s A Fragile Trust tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time.  Liam K. Smith’s Ian Harvie Superhero showcases the gender-bending comedian in his first stand-up comedy concert film.   

Returning feature filmmakers include:  Isaak James with his feature By Way of Homeabout family, friendship, love and the elusive American dream and Paul Osborne with his thriller Favor.

Films with local color include:  Brit Primask’s documentary Taking Charge: The Pauly Cohen Story about big band era trumpeter who, at 91, has his own big band in South Florida; Daniel Griffith’s film They Came From The SwampThe Films Of William Grefé relives the classic drive-in flicks, like Stanley and Mako: The Jaws of Death, by the Miami-born writer/director/producer; George Schellenger’s and marine wildlife artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey’s remarkable adventure documentary Tiger Shark Express.   

FLiFF’s last day, November 11, salutes our veterans and active duty service men and women with free admission to screenings, including the Florida Premiere of theUnclaimed.  This documentary, about a missing U.S. Serviceman who was discovered living in Vietnam decades after the war, will be preceded by two veteran themed short films, The Case and The Letter.

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