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Francesco directed by Evgeny Afineevsky
Francesco directed by Evgeny Afineevsky

The 35th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) kicks-off with the premiere director George Gallo’s The Comeback Trail featuring an all-star cast including Academy Award winning actors Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, Golden Globe nominated actor Zach Braff (Scrubs) with co-stars Emile Hirsch, Eddie Griffin and South Florida actress Kate Katzman.

The Comeback Trail takes us back to 1974 Hollywood, where two down-on-their-luck movie producers (DeNiro and Braff) find themselves indebted to a crime boss (Freeman). In need of some fast cash, they set-up an aging movie star (Jones) for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. However, they wind up getting more than they bargained for.

Director George Gallo, known for Midnight Run and the Bad Boys films, co-wrote The Comeback Trail with Josh Posner. He also attended FLIFF in 2006 with his semi-autobiographical tale Local Color, for which he received the Jury award for Best Screenplay.

Actress Kate Katzman, a Palm Beach County resident and former Miami model, studied with Burt Reynolds at his prestigious master acting class, and made her debut in Walt Before Mickey in 2015. In The Comeback Trail, Kate portrays Megan Albert, a young female director who convinces the producers that she can do the job. Up next for Kate is the neo-noir drama Adverse, opposite Mickey Rourke, Sean Austin, Penelope Ann Miller and Lou Diamond Phillips, to be released in 2021.

The Comeback Trail, from Cloudburst Entertainment, will be released in theaters nationally on November 13. #TheComebackTrail.

FLIFF’s Centerpiece film is the Florida premiere of the extraordinary documentary film Francesco. With unprecedented access to Pope Francis, Oscar and Emmy-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky delivers a remarkable look into a leader who provides hope and inspiration during one of the most challenging times of our lives.

With Pope Francis as our guide, Francesco takes an unsparing look at the most pressing issues of the 21st Century: Economic disparity, race and gender inequality, the climate crisis, COVID-19, immigration, and peace and religious tolerance, shining a light on the challenges and consequences that have led us to this moment in time. As we embark on this journey, we discover a leader who demonstrates humility, wisdom and generosity towards all, and whose ideals can help us build a bridge to a better future and thrive as a global community.

FLIFF’S Closing Day film is the World Premiere of Ancient Caves, narrated by Bryan Cranston (The Upside). Made for IMAX and giant screens, director and Emmy-Award winning cinematographer Jonathan Bird (Public Television’s Jonathan Bird’s Blue World) will attend his East Coast Premiere of Ancient Caves.

Ancient Caves brings science and adventure together as the film follows Dr. Gina Moseley, a young paleoclimatologist from the United Kingdom, on a mission to unlock the secrets of the earth’s climate in the most unlikely of places: caves.

Moseley and her team of cave explorers travel the world exploring vast underground worlds in search of stalagmite samples—geologic “fingerprints”—that reveal clues about the planet’s climate history over the last 500,000 years. Their quest leads them to some of the world’s most remote caves, both above and below the water, in France, Iceland, the Bahamas, the U.S. and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where they study how rapidly Earth’s climate can change, and how it has affected human civilization.

Together, they go where very few humans have ever gone before, revealing the incredible lengths scientists will go to study the unknown. During the past billion years, the Earth’s climate has experienced great fluctuations between warm and cold periods. Ice Ages have caused giant glaciers to cover much of the Earth, only to recede, and then come back again.

The 35th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) takes place Nov. 5 – Nov. 22, 2020. More than 170 American Indie and international narrative feature, documentary and short films, representing 37 countries, will be premiered during the 18-day event. Films will be presented at Savor Cinema and Cinema Paradiso, Outdoors, and can be streamed via Virtual Cinema.

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