The 36th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) will be a hybrid experience offering both in-theater and virtual film screenings of more than 100 film from November 4-21, 2021.
“This year’s festival promises to be our most diverse to date, with a slate of 154 films from more than 40 countries,” commented Gregory von Hausch, President and CEO of FLIFF. “Opening Night at The IMAX will kick off 18 days of great film and events, with talent coming in from across the globe. And, we are thrilled to have Gateway Cinema in the FLIFF family this year, joining Savor Cinema and Cinema Paradiso with daily screenings.”
FLIFF kicks off with the official Opening Night on November 5 at the Museum of Discovery & Science AutoNation® IMAX 3D theater with screenings of Marvel Studios’ saga of the Eternals, starring Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kit Harrington and more.
Nov. 4, 6, and 7, each of FLIFF’s year-round theaters will have an opening film, party, and special guests as follows:
Director Hilary Shakespeare’s and co-writer sister, Anna-Elizabeth Shakespeare’s British coming of age comedy about first romance, Soundtrack to Sixteen, will travel all the way from London to attend their screening are the Shakespeare sisters, and leads Scarlett Marshall and Gino Wilson.
Vasy’s Odyssey, directed by Vasileios Papatheocharis, is a bittersweet, road trip comedy that takes us from Spain to Greece via France, Italy and Albania, along with two strangers searching for happiness. Lead actress Maria Gregorio will attend.
Award-winning director Iman Zawahry’s first feature-length film American-ish, is also the first American Muslim romantic comedy. The hilarious, relatable and endearing storyline offers a fresh perspective on the classic rom-com tropes. The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications lecturer, Zawahry, will attend screenings with co-writer and actress Aizzah Fatima, actress Salena Qureshi, and producers Paul Seetachitt and Roy Wol.
FLIFF DRIVE-IN MOVIE
One of the most popular events of 2020 was FLIFF Drive-In movies. By popular demand, FLIFF, Twilight Features and Epic have scheduled another great outdoor event for Sunday, Nov 14th. Stay tuned for the location and movie.
FLIFF will put some laughter in your life with more than 20 great comedies. Here are just a few.
Gerard Depardieu stars as a disenchanted renowned actor opposite Deborah Lukumuena’s pragmatic young bodyguard in director Constance Meyer’s charming odd couple dramedy, Robust.
The Unknown Saint is director Aljem Alaa Eddine’s exceptionally clever comedy about a thief, fresh out of prison, who finds a shrine to an Unknown Saint built on top of his buried loot with a new city surrounding it. Peruvian filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León satirizes class relations in the dark comedy
Peruvian filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León satirizes class relations in the dark comedy The Best Families. Director Laurent Tirard’s smart comedy The Speech, hits all the funny bones as it charts a neurotic Adrien’s (Benjamin Lavernhe) unravelling during an excruciating family dinner. Vicky Luengo stars in the bittersweet comedy, Girlfriends by director Carol Rodriguez Colas, about four women who were friends as teenagers reunite and help each other make some serious life decisions. In the warm-hearted Gay romantic dramedy, Mascarpone directed by Matteo Pilati, after being dumped by his husband Antonio (Giancarlo Commare) discovers a new purpose in life and the value of independence. In Pierre Pinaud’s delightful, heartwarming comedy, The Rose Maker Catherine Frot stars as a rose creator desperately trying to rescue her business with three employees who have no gardening skills. In the bittersweet comedy-drama My Best Part, directed by and starring Nicolas Maury as a mercurial man-child who returns home to reset in the country with his invasive mother after an existential crisis. Eric Lavaine’s Knock, Knock, It’s Mom, stars Josiane Balasko as a mom who moves in with her daughter Carol (Mathilde Seigner) and her son-in-law (Jérôme Commandeur) who are in couples therapy. A few days turn into a few months. She’s there and no one knows for how long. Forgiveness, the latest movie by Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon, is a light hearted Israeli comedy. When Shaul and Nissan mismanage a bank heist Shaul is collared and sent to prison. Years later upon release a week before Yom Kippur, Shaul is less than pleased to be greeted by the newly religious Nissan. Writer/director Panah Panahi delivers a bittersweet comedy about a chaotic, tender family of four on a road trip across a rugged landscape in Hit the Road. Scene stealer, is Rayan Sarlak, portraying the youngest brother who explodes into choreographed car karaoke and has a precocious way with words.
DRAMAS & SUSPENSE THRILLERS
Star of the film Tamás Szabo Kimmel (Jupiter’s Moon) flies in from Hungary to attend an audience Q&A after screenings of his edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller Tall Tales. When a con man on the run finds himself in a passionate love affair, it may well cost him his life.
Also attending his film is director, Niccolò Castelli, whose suspense thriller Atlas, stars Matilda De Angelis (HBO mini-series The Undoing alongside Nicole Kidman) as Allegra, an avid climber in Morocco. After she survives a terrorist attack that takes the lives of her 3 friends, she must find a way to overcome the trauma.
In this year’s Cannes Film Festival hit, France, Lea Seydoux (Midnight in Paris, and the new Bond film No Time to Kill) stars as a celebrity journalist in Bruno Dumont’s satire of sensationalist news, social media, and the perils of fame. Betrayed, Eirick Svensson’s Norwegian WWII drama based on the true story of the Braude family; an ordinary Norwegian family whose fate was sealed by the fact that they were Jews. A Chiara, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Best European Film Award, concludes Jonas Carpignano’s Calabrian Trilogy with the riveting drama of a teenage girl who searches for the truth behind her father’s sudden disappearance. In director Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Mica, a young Moroccan boy, torn from his family to work at an elite tennis club, meets a former champion, who helps change his life. Director Eric Barbier’s Petit Pays, adapted from the book by Gaël Faye, is a touching childhood story set during the conflict in Rwanda between ethnicities Hutu and Tutsi. David Albala’s Pacto de Fuga brings one of the most surprising and spectacular jailbreaks in Chilean criminal history to the screen. Karin Viard (Paris) portrays a French bank executive torn between following the company’s directions and protecting her relatives as a tsunami threatens Fukushima’s power plant in Olivier Peyon’s Tokyo Shaking. In Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s bright, brooding debut Murina (winner of the Golden Camera award at Cannes Film Festival) tensions rise between a restless teenager and her oppressive father when an old family friend arrives at their Croatian island home.
This year, FLIFF offers an eclectic selection of topics ranging from music and dance, to human rights and politics, from craft beer to a bizarre tourist attraction, marine ecosystems to Space, and rescue dogs. Below is a sampling. Many of the documentaries will benefit local charities, by donating 30% of the box-offices sale of that film. The program guide will specify which films and Beneficiaries.
Filmmaker and actor Daniel Baldwin will attend screenings of his first documentary, My Promise to P.J. PJ Raynor was promised that if he stayed sober for 2 years from heroin he would be taken to run with the bulls in Pamplona Spain. He did but then relapsed and died, leaving family and friends to pick-up the pieces. Baldwin then took his ashes and ran with the bulls fulfilling his promise. The film marks the first time the four Baldwin brothers appear together on screen.
Join director and animal advocate Christina Georgiou, from Cyprus, at the screening of The Stray Story: A Dogumentary. The film is about everyday people who aid stray dogs. Through their experiences, successes, difficulties and dilemmas, the documentary exposes the problem and its solutions, while tackling the human condition.
Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated director and producer Chris Gero unites us through music during this critical time in history in the uplifting documentary, The Sound of Us. Gero is to attend his screening.
The New Abolitionists, filmmaker Christina Zorich follows four NGOs throughout Southeast Asia as they fight to affect change and end human sex trafficking. The senses place every individual in relation to the world around them. Leonardo Sergiani’s Underwater Senses is a beautiful underwater journey. Two incredibly different yet amazing dance films, Andrea Schermoly’s Rite of Spring, an ode to the fight for humanity, and Khadifa Wong’s Uprooted– The Journey of Jazz Dance featuring Mishay Petronelli (The Greatest Show on Earth), actress Debbie Allen (Fame) among others. Director Nadia Szoldz Larry Flynt for President, the untold story of one of America’s most notorious outcasts who in 1983 challenged Ronald Reagan for the presidency.
FILMED IN BROWARD
FLIFF presents a showcase of shorts, narrative features, and documentaries that were all filmed in Broward County by South Florida filmmakers. Out of the large number of submissions received, FLIFF selected 14 films creating a two-part program. Here are just five.
Senior Moments, Hurricane Season, and Telekinesis for Beginners are short films by Marcus Wolf of Coconut Creek, Pompano Boy, a feature directed by Anthony Paul Davis, and produced by Timothy Mark Davis (Founding member & producing consultant of New City Players, Fort Lauderdale), Black Canvas directed by Clint Horvath of Wilton Manors, Beer Kings a short comedy by Audrey Lynn of W. Palm Beach. Questions and Comments, a feature film directed by Alexandra Alvarez of Boynton Beach, and producer and cinematographer Matthew Rubino of Coral Springs. And, I ELECT: Power Every Four Years directed by Ricky J. Martinez, written by Bill Spring, produced by Jose Lima, camera by Denise Perez and starring Carey Brianna Hart in an electrifying monologue performance.
SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
FLIFF has designed 15 Short Film programs totaling more than 90 engaging little films from around the globe including France, Sweden, Iran, Cypress, among others.
Filmmaker Jenny Gold who was a FLIFF several years ago with her film CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion brings to FLIFF The Corona Files a fun, clever compilation of 16 short films made during the 2020 pandemic by filmmakers from around the globe who showcase that nothing can stop creativity.
Several of the short films from the USA are from Florida filmmakers including: Inside The Covid Unit: Battling the Coronavirus Pandemic in Miami, the first episode of a five-part Miami Herald/McClatchy documentary directed by Reshma Kirpalani who attended University of Miami (in short film program Covid). From directors Dani Adaliz & Roxana Baldovin, and produced by Kevin Bosch (from Fort Lauderdale) Piña Coladas, a 1970s set Afro-Latinx retelling of the well-known cautionary tale ends a bit different then the beloved hit song that inspired it (in short film program When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie).
Wade in the Water: Drowning in Racism by Miami filmmaker Cathleen Deen (In short film program Walk A Mile in My Shoes), dives deep into Black Florida’s fight for the right to swim, and brings to life the 1960s Civil Rights protests that desegregated the state’s beaches and swimming pools. Boxed, the first filmed in Florida Holocaust story by Alyn Darnay of Wilton Manors starring Laurel Levey, Avi Hoffman (In short film program Jewish Journeys: The Pages of Our Lives Shorts Program).
FLIFF will also be on location at Pompano Beach Cultural Center with FREE screenings that include a Short Film Program and a Feature film on Nov. 6 and Nov. 20.