Florida Film Festival is almost here

Paul Sorvino to headline 23rd Festival

From The Orlando Weekly, March 2014

When Goodfellas was released in 1990, Paul Sorvino was asked what he thought of it. “I thought it was boring, excessively violent and not a good movie,” he said. “I thought I was boring. I thought that I had hurt my career. I thought that this movie should not have been made and it’s not a good movie.”

After thinking about it some more, he revisited that opinion, according to WhosDatedWho.com. “I’m kind of coming through a clearing here, and I’m thinking that’s not a boring movie; that’s a good movie; that’s a great movie maybe,” he reflected. “And I’m really good in it!”

Most people would agree with Sorvino’s second take on the Martin Scorsese classic, but you may want to resume the debate with the actor himself when he appears at next month’s Florida Film Festival, which runs April 4-15. Sorvino’s appearance at the screening of his new film, Last I Heard, is probably the biggest festival news so far, although, as of press time, we were still awaiting confirmation of perhaps an even bigger celebrity, since Sorvino isn’t as big a draw as recent attendees Cary Elwes, Cloris Leachman and Barry Levinson.

Still, even if bigger names aren’t confirmed, the festival can also boast Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame, who will be there for a 25th-anniversary showing of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, and animator Bill Plympton, whose first feature in five years, Cheatin’, will play on April 7. (He’ll also be at the Enzian on March 22 to screen his Hair High. That costs just $5 but is open only to Enzian members.)

On April 3, expect a full Orlando Weekly spread on the festival, with reviews and informational tidbits, but what you should know now is that some of the more popular events may sell out, so start planning now by visiting the new, interactive www.floridafilmfestival.com. There you can see all ticket options and peruse the schedule. Most importantly, you can reserve a seat for “An Evening with Giancarlo Esposito” on April 6 and Paul Sorvino’s screening of Last I Heard on April 11. (Sorvino may also be booked for an “Afternoon With” event.) However, keep in mind that even if an event is “on standby,” you often have a decent chance of getting in if you show up an hour early, as not all platinum members claim their seats.

Other items of note include the retro films, such as the Italian classic Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion on April 7, The Big Lebowski on April 9 outdoors at Eden Bar and Murder on the Orient Express on April 8 in Winter Park’s Central Park. Add all the parties, filmmaker forums, midnight movies and multiple shorts programs (which are often the highlight of the festival), and it’s enough to make your head swim, though, as always, there will be plenty of clunkers mixed in with classics.

The festival will offer 170 films (roughly 50 features and 120 shorts) from 26 countries, at three theaters (Enzian and two theaters at Regal Winter Park Village). It gets underway on April 4 with The Trip to Italy, the follow-up to The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and ends with the James Bond classic Goldfinger on April 13. By the end of the 10-day extravaganza, let’s hope you’re both shaken and stirred.

Click here for my interview with Paul Sorvino.

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