The festivities of the 28th annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) commence tonight with the world premiere of “Free Ride” at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale. Starring Anna Paquin (“Margaret”), Cam Gigadent (“Twilight”) and Drea De Matteo (“The Sopranos”), the film is set in the late 1970s as a single mother (Paquin) who finds herself entangled in the Florida drug trade in order to make life better for her young daughters. The movie’s director-writer Shana Betz and executive producer Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) will be in attendance at tonight’s screening.
Actress Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future”) will make an appearance on opening night as she prepares to debut her latest project, “The Trouble with the Truth,” in South Florida. Thompson, an executive producer of the movie, plays a bestselling novelist who gets the chance to have an earnest conversation with her ex-husband (John Shea) after their daughter gets engaged. Thompson will also be on hand to receive the Career Achievement Award and to introduce an outdoor screening of “Back to the Future” at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale tomorrow night.
Throughout the month, the FLIFF will be hosting red-carpet galas and parties where guests will get a chance to rub elbows with their favorite filmmakers. Tonight, the festival is hosting a “Great Gatsby”-themed party at 8:30pm at Villa De Palma where black tie and 1920s attire is mandatory.
Each year, the FLIFF honor and pay tribute to talented filmmakers and their achievement in the film industry. Ann-Margret, Ed Asner and Tab Hunter will be the latest recipients of the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The festival will be screening their films in different venues throughout Broward Count including Muvico Pompano and Sunrise Civic Center. For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, visit fliff.com or call 954-525-3456.