Over 100 Films Shown at Four Venues
November 6-22, 2015

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) has grown over the past three decades to become one of the most prestigious film festivals in the country, welcoming celebrities and FLIFF2015_flyerfilms who went on to win Academy Awards for their stellar performances. Bigger is always better at FLIFF, and this year will be no exception, as a record number of films will be screened, and the festival itself received a branding makeover!

Zimmerman Advertising was in charge of the makeover, giving FLIFF a new website, a new logo, and lots of new advertising posters. There was also a 30th anniversary television advertisement created which further updated the festival’s image. It was produced by the late Peter Langone and edited by Brian Bayerl at Greendoor Productions.

Gregory von Hausch, who has been the executive director of the festival for 27 of the last 30 years, reflects on how American film has changed in that length of time, and therefore the festival as well. “Since I started on this journey in 1987, American Indies have come a long way; they’re better written, produced and realized and they’ve gained tremendous popularity. Our selections of Indies this year are certain to wow audiences.   My personal favorites are foreign language films, which tend to be overshadowed by the Indies,” he said. “To better showcase them, we’re bringing back a version of Around The World in 80 Nights, a program that we presented a few years ago, that pairs films from different countries with native cuisine, art and music. We’re looking forward to a great 30th anniversary year and we hope South Florida will experience these truly wonderful films.”

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival will begin on Friday, November 6 and will go on through to Sunday, November 22. Over 100 films will be screened from over 35 different countries. The festival begins with a screening of two films at Hard Rock Live Hollywood, the first time FLIFF has screened movies at this venue. There will also be a third opening night film which will be screened at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. Other films throughout the festival can be seen at Cinema Paradiso locations in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale as well as at the Sunrise Civic Center.

Opening night at Hard Rock Live Hollywood will begin with a screening of Michael Moore’s latest documentary fliffwheretoinvadenext at 7 p.m., and the documentary about the life of South Florida jazz legend Jaco Pastorius, “Jaco,” will be shown right after. In “Where to Invade Next,” Michael Moore visits countries around the world that outrank the United States in a number of important fields, such as public education and gender equality (Moore went to Finland and Iceland, respectively, for those segments). “Jaco” was produced by Robert Trujillo, bassist for Metallica. He chronicled the life of Pastorius, and interviewed a large roster of musicians who either knew him well or were inspired by him musically. Trujillo, who first saw Pastorius in concert in 1979 when Trujillo was just 14, took five flifftheboatbuilderyears to create this documentary and financed it with his own money. Michael Moore, Robert Trujillo, and members of Pastorius’s family will be walking the red carpet this evening before showtime.

Christopher Lloyd, known for his roles in the TV series Taxi and in the Back to the Future movie franchise, among others, stars in the film “The Boat Builder,” about the final years of a former Merchant Marine captain, which will be screened at 8 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. Lloyd will also be in attendance and will walk the red carpet at 6 p.m.

There will be quite a few parties that will be organized in conjunction with screenings of some films. That’s not to begin to mention other events such as the yearly Chairman’s Cruise, the Film Awards, and other parties. The Chairman’s Cruise will be held on November 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. Guest filmmakers and sponsors will be on the Sundream Yacht for a beautiful morning of photo-ops on the Intracoastal. Tickets are $65 for FLIFF members and $75 for general admission and can be purchased online at fliff.com.

flifflovethecoopersOther fun parties you should attend include the Italiano Paisano Festa (November 8, 6 p.m., Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale), which includes a ticket to the film Latin Lover, party admission, and a free buffet. ($12 members/$18 general admission.) The Cuba Libre Party, at 8:30 p.m. on the same night at the same venue, includes a ticket to the film 3 Days in Havana, a buffet, and a rum and Coke for $10 (FLIFF members) or $15 (general admission). The Christmas in November Party will be held at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale on November 9 at 8 p.m., which will include a ticket to see the comedy Love the Coopers, a buffet, Egg Nog, and Christmas-themed party.

The Centerpiece Party will be held on November 13 at 7:15 p.m. at Sunrise Civic Center. The party includes a buffet as well as a ticket to see the film Silver Skies, a dark comedy about economic uncertainty as a group of men grow older. Prices are $20 for FLIFF members and $25 for general admission. Film and television actress Estelle Parsons will be in attendance at the Sunset at Sunrise Party, which begins at 4:30 p.m. and features a screening of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The party costs $8 for members and $12 for general admission and will be held on November 14 at Sunrise Civic Center.

Two other fun parties have Asian themes. The Japanese-themed party revolves around the flifftokyofianceescreening of the film Tokyo Fiancee at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale on November 16 at 7:30 p.m. Sushi and sake tastings will follow the film. The other party will have an Indian theme and will follow the screening of the film A Tree Without Roots. It will be screened at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale on November 20 at 6 p.m. Prices are $10 for FLIFF members and $15 for general admission for each party/film.

The awards gala on November 21, the night before the wrap party, will feature the presentation of awards to local movers and shakers such as Nicki Grossman, who will receive the Visionary Award, as well as celebrities such as the husband-and-wife actor team of Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, who will both receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. This event will be held at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood Beach. For more information, visit fliff.com/event/awards-gala.

The closing night event begins at 5 p.m. with a screening of The Wannabe and a filmmaker awards ceremony. The wrap party will be held at the Ritz Hotel beginning at 8 p.m., featuring open bar and hors d’oeuvres. For pricing and ticket options, visit fliff.com.

Tickets can be purchased online via fliff.com or at the Cinema Paradiso box offices in Fort Lauderdale or Hollywood. For most films, prices are $6 for FLIFF members and $10 for general admission. Prices vary between $10 and $30 for special screenings that are in conjunction with parties, celebrity photo-ops, or other events. To buy tickets, visit fliff.com.

Cinema Paradiso will be giving up-to-the-minute updates on the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Follow them on Twitter by going to twitter.com/cinemaparadiso5.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.