The 2019 Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla Int’l Film Festival taking place from March 19th – 24th in Tampa Bay, Florida, announced the 31 films on the Feature Film Competition Lineup. The festival will kick-off its 13th year with The Hummingbird Project starring Alexander Skarsgård, Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek; and close with Family starring Taylor Schilling, Bryn Vale, Brian Tyree Henry.
Additionally, SCU-GIFF’s partnership with the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival, screening Jewish-themed featured films, adds to the diversity of GIFF’s slate.
“Going into last year’s program, we felt that we had put together our strongest line up ever,” said Joseph Alexander, President of Tampa Film Institute, Inc. & Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival. “After programming the 2019 schedule, we are convinced that this lineup surpasses 2018. It is stellar. We are excited to share these films with our audiences.”
2019 Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla Int’l Film Festival – Feature Film Competition Lineup
Opening Night Film & Gala
THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT – (USA) Director: Kim Nguyen
In the hopes of striking it rich, two scheming cousins (Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård) try to build a thousand-mile-long, four-inch-wide tunnel from Kansas to New Jersey that will give them a one-millisecond edge on transactions at the New York Stock Exchange.
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek, Michael Mando
Closing Night Film & Gala
FAMILY – (USA) Director: Laura Steinel
When an emotionally stunted 30-year-old woman is tasked with watching her awkward and bullied 12-year-old niece for the week, she finds her life unfurling when the girl runs away to be a juggalo.
Cast: Taylor Schilling, Bryn Vale, Brian Tyree Henry, Jessie Ennis, Matt Walsh, Allison Tolman, and Kate McKinnon
ABOVE THE BEST – (USA) Dirs. David Salzberg, Christian Tureaud
Army Aviators say they fly “above the best” see the lengths these heroes will go to, to protect the soldiers on the ground, and each other during intense combat in the most dangerous places on Earth.
AMAZING GRACE – (USA) Dirs. Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
Concert footage from 1972 of Aretha Franklin performing songs from the best-selling gospel album at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
DOGMAN – (Italy/France) Dir. Matteo Garrone
In a seaside village on the outskirts of an Italian city, where the only law seems to be survival of the fittest, Marcello is a slight, mild-mannered man who divides his days between working at his modest dog grooming salon, caring for his daughter Alida, and being coerced into the petty criminal schemes of the local bully Simoncino, an ex-boxer who terrorizes the neighborhood. When Simoncino’s abuse finally brings Marcello to a breaking point, he decides to stand up for his own dignity through an act of vengeance, with unintended consequences.
Cast: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce
GUEST ARTIST – (USA) Dir. Timothy Busfield
The story of a young man coming face to face with his hero (Jeff Daniels) and exploring the tangled relationship between the dreams of youth and the wisdom of age.
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Thomas Macias
HOTEL MUMBAI – (India/Australia/USA) Dir. Anthony Maras
A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, Hotel Mumbai recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists. Refusing to leave their guests, renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-Nominee Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire) risk their lives to keep everyone safe.
Cast: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Jason Issacs
STOCKHOLM – (USA) Dir. Robert Budreau
Ethan Hawke stars as Lars, a charming, bumbling, Bob Dylan-loving crook who storms into the Swedish capital’s mightiest money lender and confuses hostages and police alike with his bizarre demands-like requesting an accomplice and friend (Mark Strong) be released from prison to join him in his delinquency. As the hostages come to realize that Lars couldn’t hurt a fly, bank clerk Bianca (a revelatory Noomi Rapace) and her fellow captives help him hatch a plan to prolong the standoff and escape with millions..
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong
STORM BOY – (Australia/USA) Dir. Shawn Seet
A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. ‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather.
Cast: Jai Courtney, Geoffrey Rush, David Gulpilil, Finn Little, Erik Thomson
TEEN SPIRIT – (USA/UK) Dir. Max Minghella
A shy teenager dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a spin on the Cinderella story.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall, Zlatko Buric, and Agnieszka Grochowska
TELL IT TO THE BEES – (UK) Dir. Annabel Jankel
In 1950s small town Britain, a doctor develops a relationship with her young patient’s mother.
Cast: Anna Paquin, Holiday Grainger, Gregor Selkirk, Kate Dickie
YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY – (USA) Dir. Miranda Bailey
A seventeen-year-old boy blackmails his father after discovering his secret second family.
Cast: Jim Gaffigan, Logan Miller, Anna Gunn, Samantha Mathis, Alex Karpovsky, Hayes MacArthur, Michelle Hurd
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
COLD BROOK – (USA) Dir. William Fichtner
Ted and Hilde – best friends and maintenance workers at a college in Upstate New York – pursue an intruder at a Museum Exhibition on the college campus. They become local heroes. Learning that the intruder is lost, they finding themselves torn between helping him find his home, and taking care of their own.
Cast: William Fichtner, Kim Coates, Harold Perrineau, Brad Henke, Robin Weigert, Mary Lynn Rajskub
FIRECRACKERS – (Canada) Dir. Jasmin Mozaffari
Lou and her best friend Chantal plan to get out of their isolated, run-down town and move to a city far, far away. When Chantal’s unstable and possessive ex violates her during a night of partying, the girls decide to exact their revenge on him through a night of vandalism and debauchery.
Cast: Michaela Kurimsky, Karena Evans, Callum Thompson, David Kingston
LITTLE WOODS – (USA) Dir. Nia DaCosta
Ollie (Thompson) and Deb (James), are driven to work outside the law to better their lives, but when the authorities catch on, she plans to abandon her crusade, only to be dragged in even deeper.
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale, Lance Reddick
THE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPER – (Ireland) Dir. Nick Kelly
An unlikely friendship develops between the bipolar drummer of a rock band and an institutionalized teen suffering from Asperger’s syndrome.
Cast: Dermot Murphy, Jacob McCarthy
THE PARTING GLASS – (USA) Dir. Stephen Moyer
A story of suicide and how it ripples and tears through a family – testing their bonds to each other and their memories. The family gathers in Missouri, where Colleen (Anna Paquin), now dead, was last living. Her brother, Danny (Denis O’Hare) and his two sisters, Mare (Cynthia Nixon) and Al (Melissa Leo) meet up with their father, Tommy (Ed Asner), and their sister’s estranged husband, Karl (Rhys Ifans), and they set out on an odyssey. Together, they attempt to piece together Colleen’s last moments and to make sense of her death.
Cast: Olunike Adeliyi, Edward Asner, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin
THE TOMORROW MAN – (USA) Dir. Noble Jones
Retiree Ed Hemsler (John Lithgow) spends his quiet days watching the news, checking internet forums, and preparing for the end of the world. As a self-proclaimed “prepper,” Ed is constantly making arrangements for the future, often at the expense of things in the here and now-such as his waning health and his strained relationship with his adult son. But then he spots Ronnie Meisner (Blythe Danner) and knows there is something different about her. The two form an unlikely bond and are happy together despite their combined emotional baggage-until, one day, it all spills out before them.
Cast: John Lithgow, Blythe Danner, Derek Cecil, Katie Asellton, Sophoe Thatcher, Eve Harlow
TOMORROW – (UK/USA) Dir. Martha Pinson
An unlikely friendship will bring a man who feels he has nothing left to live for, face to face with someone living everyday as though it’s his last. Uplifting, powerful, funny and moving. The directorial debut of Martha Pinson, Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese.
Cast: Sebastian Street, Stuart Brennan, Stephanie Leonidas, Stephen Fry, James Cosmo, Sophie Kennedy-Clark, Joss Stone
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
HAIL SATAN? – (USA) Dir. Penny Lane
Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.
PARALLEL LOVE: THE STORY OF A BAND CALLED LUXURY – (USA) Dir. Matt Hinton
The 1990s, alt rock band, Luxury is skyrocketing toward national fame, until a life-threatening tour bus wreck shakes each band member to his core. Today, Luxury is led by three orthodox priests, and they’re still rocking.
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM – (USA) Dir: John Chester
Two dreamers and a dog embark on an odyssey to bring harmony to their lives and to the land. As their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the intricacies and wisdom of nature, and of life itself.
THE BRINK – (USA) Dir. Alison Klayman
When Steve Bannon left his position as White House chief strategist less than a week after the Charlottesville Unite the Right; rally in August 2017, he was already a notorious figure in Trump’s inner circle, and for bringing a far-right ideology into the highest echelons of American politics. Unconstrained by an official post – though some say he still has a direct line to the White House – he became free to peddle influence as a perceived kingmaker, turning his controversial brand of nationalism into a global movement. The Brink follows Bannon through the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States, shedding light on his efforts to mobilize and unify far-right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections. To maintain his power and influence, the former Goldman Sachs banker and media investor reinvents himself – as he has many times before – this time as the self-appointed leader of a global populist movement. Keen manipulator of the press and gifted self-promoter, Bannon continues to draw headlines and protests wherever he goes, feeding the powerful myth on which his survival relies.
WALKING ON WATER – (Netherlands) Dir. Andrey Paunov
An uncensored look into the artistic process and personal relationships of Christo, an artist known for his large-scale installations. For the first time since the passing of his wife and partner, Jeanne-Claude, Christo sets out to realize, The Floating Piers, a project they conceived together many years before
WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL – (USA) Dir: Bobby Campbell
Controversial, pioneering American film critic Pauline Kael battled to make a name for herself, wielded influence on everyone from Orson Welles to Steven Spielberg, and inspired filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino today. New interviews, and never-before-seen archival reveal what made the New Yorker critic both loved and despised. Voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker.
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, David O. Russell, Paul Schrader, David Edelstein, Molly Haskell, Greil Marcus
WRESTLE – (USA) Dirs. Suzannah Herbert, Lauren Belfer
A coming-of-age documentary follows a year in the life of Jailen, Jamario, Jaquan, and Teague, four disadvantaged young men from broken families who struggle to succeed on their underdog wrestling team at a failing high school in Alabama.
FREAKS, FRIGHTS, & F(R)IENDS
BEST F(R)IENDS 2 – (USA) Dir. Justin MacGregor
This comedy-thriller continues the bizarre saga of a dangerous drifter and a creepy mortician. With his friend Harvey out of the way, Jon and his girlfriend escape into the Arizona desert. But their quest to open a safe full of loot leads them to a gang of desperate, deadly characters. As he fights to survive, Jon is haunted by freakish memories of the long-lost Harvey.
Cast: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Rick Edwards, Kristen Stephenson Pino, R.J Cantu, George Killingsworth, Scott Barker, Patrick Greene
FREAKS – (Canada/USA) Dirs. Zach Lipovsky & Adam B. Stein
In this Science-Fiction Thriller, a disturbed father (Emilie Hirsch) locks his bold 7-year-old daughter (Lexy Kolker) in a house, warning her of grave dangers outside. But the mysterious Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern) convinces the girl to escape and join him on a quest for family, freedom, and revenge.
Cast: Emile Hersch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, Lexy Kolker
ONE CUT OF THE DEAD – (Japan) Dir. Shinichiro Ueda
The film opens in a run-down, abandoned warehouse where a film crew are making a zombie film…Yet, this is no ordinary warehouse. It’s been said that it’s the site of where military experiments took place…Out of nowhere, real zombies arrive and terrorize the crew!This may sound like a the plot of a clichéd zombie film, but One Cut of the Dead is something completely different! Starting off with a non-stop one-take 37 minute shot, the film then completely switches direction and turns the zombie genre completely upside down into a charming, audience-friendly comedy!
Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki NagayaManabu Hosoi, Hiroshi Ichihara, Syuntaro Yamazaki, Shinichiro Osawa, Yoshiko Takehara, Miki Yoshida, Sakina Asamori, Ayana Goda, Yuzuki Akiyama
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND – (Ireland/Belgium/Finland) Dir. Lee Cronin
Sarah moves her precocious son, Chris, to a secluded new home in a rural town, trying to ease his apprehensions as they hope for a fresh start after a difficult past. But after a startling encounter with a mysterious new neighbor, Sarah’s nerves are set on edge. Chris disappears in the night into the forest behind their house, and Sarah discovers an ominous, gaping sinkhole while searching for him. Though he returns, some disturbing behavioral changes emerge, and Sarah begins to worry that the boy who came back is not her son.
Cast: Seána Kerslake, James Cosmo, Kati Outinen, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall, James Quinn Markey
MADE IN FL
LIFE AND NOTHING MORE – Dir. Antonio Méndez Esparza
Stressed by the mounting pressures of raising two children and fighting to get by on minimum wage, single mother Regina longs to find more to her life than constant work, while attempting to instill in 14-year-old Andrew the values that she hopes will prevent him from winding up in prison like his father.
Cast: Andrew Bleechington, Regina Williams, Robert Williams, Ry’Nesia Chambers
WE ARE MERMAIDS – Dir: David Lee Morea
Discover what it takes to become a world-famous Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid and the lasting effect that remains long after they’ve hung up their tails.
Cast: Rita King, Susan Pennoyer, Becky Young, Crystal Burchhardt, Justin DeAmelia, Tanner Glaves, John Athanason