Home > Filmfests > Fort Lauderdale International Film Fest Opens October 27th

Fort Lauderdale International Film Fest Opens October 27th




Announces Film Line-up and Lifetime Achievement Honorees


Fort  Lauderdale, FL  -    Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) announced its official program selections for the 32nd edition, taking place October 27-November 19, 2017.  Over 160 American Independent, World Cinema (representing 48 countries), and Florida feature, documentary and short films will premiere will during the 24 days of FLiFF.


“The years (count’em, 29 for me!) are beginning to blur, yet despite the frantic, no manic drive to stage FLIFF annually, I do believe this year rates right at the top.  And I know what you are saying, you said that last year and every year…but really, isn’t that the way it should be?  Confident your present product is better than your past.  And even if that’s the reason you buy into my hype, know this…it’s true.  No matter your walk of life, circumstance, malady or fortune, we have your ticket,” commented Gregory von Hausch, President and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.


This year, in celebration of The European Film Awards (EFA) 30th anniversary, FLIFF has been selected to present the 29 past winners of the EFA, and will present the 30th in 2018.  The screenings are presented Oct 27 – Nov 2 with several short film programs and Florida features interspersed.


The Official Opening Night Film, the bitter-sweet comedy Dog Years starring Burt Reynolds and Ariel Winter with cameo by Chevy Chase, will be hosted by Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Friday, Nov 3 and followed by a reception.  Special guest, Burt Reynolds, will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award (Part Deux) as the festival presented him with the award when he attended FLIFF in 1991.


The Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning actor and director is remembered for an uncountable number of films including: Deliverance, Sharkey’s Machine and of course Smokey and the Bandit.  Reynolds commitment to his profession and devotion to education has provided tremendous opportunities to thousands college students.  Burt is currently shooting the feature, Defining Moments.


Earlier on the evening of Nov 3, Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will also host a special screening of Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World, revealing the role of Native Americans in pop music history. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo and Link Wray’ whose power chord riffs on his smash hit instrumental RUMBLE later inspired Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend, and other rock, pop and heavy metal icons.  


FLiFF’s also presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to award-winning actress Karen Allen at the Florida premiere of her short film, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.  Based on the short story by groundbreaking southern American writer Carson McCullers, the film is Karen Allen’s debut as a film director.  A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud takes place at a roadside café in the early morning in the Spring of 1947.  A young boy and an older man meet by chance. The man relates a luminous tale of personal heartbreak and loss, and of his hard-won understanding of the nature of love.


Karen Allen is known for her work as an award-winning actor in over forty feature films including: Animal House, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Scrooged, The Perfect Storm, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and most recently, A Year by the Sea. Karen began directing in the theatre ten years ago at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the Berkshire Theatre Festival and in NYC with the Obie winning production of Lucy Thurber’s Ashville.


FLiFF’s Centerpiece Film on Friday, Nov 10, at Sunrise Civic Center Theater, is the madcap comic heist film, Serious Laundry. Attending their Southeast Premiere and post screening party are special guests director/composer/ cinematographer Ken Webb and stars Jason Zednick, Michele Richardson, Tatiana Grey, Michael Gentile, Jeffrey Alan Solomon and Malcolm Mills.


Also at the Sunrise location on Saturday, Nov 11 is the Veterans Day Film, Kelly’s Heroes, which will be followed by Caribbean Day featuring three films including:  Jeffrey from the Dominican Republic directed by Yanillys Perez, I AM BOLT from Jamaica directed by Gabe Turner & Benjamin Turner.  The day ends with a party featuring some of your favorite cuisine from the Islands.


Closing Night film, Sunday, Nov 19 at Bailey Hall, is the witty ballet satire, After You’re Gone  directed by Anna Matison with actor Sergey Bezrukov who will attend their North American Premiere.  The Festival Wrap Party follows the film at the same location.


Films will screen throughout the festival at Savor Cinema and Cinema Paradiso with gatherings, both before and after screenings, bringing together cinema enthusiasts for stimulating conversation.


Below is a sampling of the 160 films to screen during the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

A complete listing of films, special guests and parties will be available in the program guide available at theaters.



Dog Years – Burt Reynolds stars in this bittersweet comedy about a once Hollywood icon who has accepted life in the slow lane with his dog and his one friend, Sonny (Chevy Chase) … until he’s invited to receive a “Lifetime Achievement” award at the Nashville Film Festival.


Dog Years starring Burt Reynolds and Ariel Winter


Serious Laundry is a madcap comic heist film involving a young man who is seduced into helping with the removal of a dead body.  He must discover the truth behind the corpse before he loses his life or gains a fortune.



After You’re Gonethe witty satire directed by Anna Matison with actor Sergey Bezrukov delivering an award winning performance as the renowned and arrogant Russian ballet genius, Aleksey Temnikov.   After discovering he’ll soon lose the ability to walk, Aleksey sets out to choreograph a ballet to cement his legacy.   



The Earth is Flat – based on a true story and produced and directed by Sam Wickey, an Amish man with relatives in the community that still staunchly believe the Earth is flat. In this incredible story, one child discovers his astonishing artistic brilliance, creating a perfect storm for that child to enter into an unthinkable illusion.  Attending their World Premiere are director Sam Wickey and actress Kasha Fausett. 

Heaven’s Floor, a nail-biting biopic, follows a photographer as she chases adventure from Los Angeles to the Canadian Arctic.  Alone and ill-equipped, she finds herself on the line between life and death when she becomes stranded on sea ice in the frozen north with temperatures below minus 30 as darkness falls.  Writer/director, Lori Stoll will attend her Florida Premiere.


Intent to Destroy – In this emotional and thought-provoking documentary, Award-winning filmmaker, Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost) meets with historians and scholars to discuss the Armenian Genocide during WWI and the continuing denial by the Turkish government of it ever happening.


Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait chronicles the personal life and career of the celebrated artist and filmmaker.  Written and directed by Italy’s Pappi Corsicato, the film details the beginning of Schnabel’s professional career in New York City in the late Seventies; his Eighties rise to superstar status in Manhattan’s art scene as well as international acclaim as a leading figure in the Neo-Expressionism movement.  The film includes newly shot footage and commentary from friends, family, actors and artists including: Al Pacino, Mary Boone, Jeff Koons, Bono, Laurie Anderson and Schnabel, himself.


Larger Than Life: Kevyn Aucoin Story explores every corner of the renowned make-up artist’s rich, beautiful and complicated life; from his childhood to his meteoric rise to fame in the 80’s and 90’s, through his mysterious and untimely passing and his inspiring legacy. Featuring Cher, Christy Turlington-Burns, Brooke Shields, Isabella Rosselini, Naomi Campbell and more.

Director Tiffany Bartok and producer Jayce Bartok will attend their Florida Premiere.


The Midnighters tells the story of former expert safecracker Victor Lustig who has just been released from prison after a thirty-five-year stretch. When an old co-conspirator breaks bad news, Vic has a life-altering decision to make: accept his new life in a world he no longer understands… or risk his life by utilizing every bit of his old street skills.  Director Julian Fort will attend his Southeast Premiere.

Muse – In award-winning director John Burr’s psychological thriller, a lonely and frustrated painter’s life is forever changed when a mythical and deadly spirit from Celtic lore becomes his muse and lover.


Pinsky – In the wake of a bad breakup and the death of her grandfather, Sophia Pinsky moves back home under the martial law of her Russian grandmother and is forced to reevaluate the terms of her adult life.  A comedy about finding your chosen family and forgiving the one you’re born into.

Attending their Southeast Premiere is star Rebecca Karpovsky and director Amanda Lundquist , a Fort Lauderdale Native and daughter of the late Peter Lundquist.


Quest – Based on a true story, a humble teacher, who believes there is no such thing as a bad kid – only a bad situation, puts his reputation on the line to help an abused 12 year old who is incapable of trusting.  Director Santiago Rizzi, will attend the Florida Premiere of his film.  Rizzi wrote the script with his teacher, Tim Moellering. The making of Quest fulfills his promise to Tim.


The Story Teller –The love of an enchanted young girl brings wonder and healing to a broken family. On the run from her mysterious past and guided by a fairy that only she can see, Abby sparks a daisy chain of compassion, bringing joy and music back into the family

Director Joe Crump and co-producer Nancy Crump will attend their Southeast Premiere.


The Tree – Inspired by an actual friendship between the director’s mother and his mother’s best friend, ‘The Tree’ is a poignant, heart-warming story about an 88 year-old widow (Dorothy Thorp) who takes a road trip from Wamego, Kansas, back to Terre Haute, Indiana, to visit her oldest and dearest childhood friend.  Director and co-writer Stephen Wallace Pruitt will attend his Southeast Premiere.


Union Leader – Workers at Apollo Chemicals are dying of cancer caused by Chromium Sulfate exposure. Resigned to his fate as a worker in a notoriously toxic chemical plant, Jay Gohil realizes that he must not only find a way to support his family, but also overcome grave social and legal injustice in the system.

Director Sanjay Patel, will attend the Southeast Premiere.


Young and Innocent, directed by Jesse Robinson, is an atmospheric romance of past lives and loves, told through the lens of the Hitchcock classic Psycho. When a young girl, Marion, runs off and checks into a seedy motel, she meets a young man named Norman. They soon begin relationship based on the strange sensation that they have met before and Marion begins to have dreams of another young blonde girl who’s recently gone missing.    




At the end of the Tunnel – Argentinian director Rodrigo Grande crafts a tight, vicious crime thriller about a wheel-chair bound computer tech. When finances compel him to rent out the top floor of his house, he unearths a scheme by a gang of hoods next door to tunnel under his house and rob a local bank.

“At The End of the Tunnel” with Leonardo Sbaraglia

The Bird Was Not A Bird – Usef is a young bird seller struggling to survive alongside his secret love. When a terrorist agent offers him a better job far from the city, he eagerly accepts the offer without knowing he is going into a dark place where terrorists prepare him for a suicide attack.

Attending their U.S. Premiere, from Afghanistan, is Director Ahmad Zia Arash and star Faisal Jamalyar.


Breathe – For his directorial debut, Andy Serkis brings to life the inspiring true love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish (Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Written by two-time Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, and shot by three-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson, BREATHE is a heartwarming celebration of love and human possibility.


Cries From Syria is a harrowing exploration of the devastating civil war that has defined the country over the last five years. From Oscar nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky (2015’s “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”) the documentary film exposes viewers, many for the first time, to the real humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria and in refugee camps around the world.


The Cutlass– from Trinidad and Tobago, is inspired by true events.  A trip to a remote beach house turns to horror as a young woman finds herself in the grasp of an unpredictable and dangerous man. Taken from her friends at gunpoint and dragged deep into the island rainforest, she must quickly learn to navigate this unforgiving landscape and the tangled mind of her abductor.   Attending the U.S. Premiere is director Darisha J. Beresford.    


Dede is Georgian filmmaker Mariam Khatchvani’s testimonial to a people, a way of life and a region that is rapidly changing, and a culture that is in some ways disappearing. Khatchvani is a native of Ushguli, a community and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Svaneti, a region in northwestern Georgia, high in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. DEDE captures the old world traditions of the Svan people and their endangered language as well as the harsh climate and natural beauty that surrounds them.


A Hustler’s Diary – Swedish director Ivica Zubak blends humor and gravity in a story about seizing life’s opportunities. Metin is a young man living in a Stockholm suburb governed by unwritten rules. He is different, he writes a diary of everything he sees, names and places are documented in great detail. When the book disappears, his life is turned upside down.

This is the U.S. Premiere of A Hustler’s Diary.


I Am Bolt – In the highly scrutinized sport of 100 and 200 metre dash, legends continue to be born; new racers seek out new records while old barriers are burst through.  Few have done it as charismatically, as convincingly, as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.  His achievements are legendary – nine Golds over the past three Olympics – a feat that many feel will never be repeated.  Directed by Gabe Turner & Benjamin Turner.


If & When – A young divorced father falls in love with a skeptical single woman. They decide to break up due to the father’s commitment to his daughter who is still adapting to her parents’ divorce.  When they meet again, a year later, will their love be rekindled? From Israel, directed by Eran B.Y.


In Bed With Victoria – Victoria is a beautiful Parisian criminal lawyer in her late 30’s. Sex-addict, workalcoholic, totally self-centered… But everything is about the change!  A hilarious and tender rom-com from director Justine Triet.


King of Peking – When home entertainment enters the Beijing market, a former projectionist ropes his young son into starting their own pirate movie company.  But, easy money comes with its own price tag. An endearing relationship to the relationship between father and son that pays homage to cinema.

Director Sam Voutas will attend his Southeast Premiere.


Lovers – approaches four stories where the five main characters are all connected in a spiral driven by the reasons of love and creates a movie where love, comedy, doubt, suspicion and murder are constantly represented.  From Italy, director Matteo Vicino will attend his U.S. Premiere.

Mogli E Marito – Following an incredible experiment, Andrea, a brilliant neurosurgeon, and his wife Sofia, an ambitious TV host, suddenly find themselves in each other’s body in this Italian rom-com that forces their partners to see their relationship from a completely different perspective. Directed by Simone Gadano.  This is the U.S. Premiere.


Newton – From director Amit V Masurkar comes a delightful film from India brimming with comedy, suspense and humanity. As the world’s largest democracy, running a clean election in India is not a piece of Shahi Tukra. Newton, a young poll volunteer is thrust into a leadership role with a contingent of poll workers shows us the way.  This is the film’s U.S. Premiere.

A Quiet Dream– Zhang Lu’s whimsical film stars actor-directors Yang Ik-june (Breathless), Park Jung-bum (The Journals of Musan) and Yoon Jong-bin (The Unforgiven)  in a film about three men trying to charm a young woman who runs a small bar.


The Sense of Wonder (Le Gout des Merveilles) from French director Eric Besnard (Made In France), is a refreshing romantic comedy about a widow with two small children who takes in a stranger after she comes close to crushing him with her car.  A brilliant man with a unique sense of wonder and logic brings laughter back into her home and begins to rekindle her taste for life.


The Spy and the Poet (Luuraja ja luuletaja) – The off-beat comedy from Toomas Hussar (Mushrooming), is about a lonely secret service officer, Gustav, who meets a mysterious gypsy woman.  It soon becomes clear that it’s a trap set by the Russian intelligence.  Ordered to continue the relationship to get a better understanding of the enemy’s plans, Gustav finds himself struggling with the task, as he is falling in love with the enemy.


Sun Strokes (Las Insoladas) a comedy from Argentinian director Gustavo Tarreto, takes place in an age where getting the perfect tan was everything.   Almost everyday a group of girlfriends gather to sunbathe on the terrace of a building.   Their conversations range from relationships to forgotten dreams and capitalism to communism but, their obsession is a Caribbean vacation in Cuba and the big Salsa contest may be their ticket.


The Train Driver’s Diary –Inspired by filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, this Serbian dark comedy directed by Milos Radovic, tells the story of a train driver, about to retire with the infamous record of 28 kills committed during his career.    When his son goes into the family business, and hasn’t had a kill within his first week, the train-driver goes on search for suicidal people.  This is the film’s Southeast Premiere.


These Daughters of Mine (Moje Córki, Krowy) – Two completely different sisters who don’t get along must come together when their domineering father loses control of his family due to his wife’s sudden illness and his own health issues.  Written and directed by Kinga Debska, comes a touching story about the strength of family ties.


Waiting for You – Fanny Ardant stars as an elegant, imperious musician Madeleine in a game of cat and mouse with a grieving young Englishmen looking for something he thinks is owed to his dead father.. Both have dangerous secrets to reveal, and when all the painful truths seem to have been pulled into the light comes Madeleine’s final astonishing revelation.

Writer/director, Charles Garrad will attend the U.S. Premiere.


The Yellow Line (La Delgada Linea Amarilla) from award-winning Mexican director Celso Garcia, follows the journey of five men who are hired to paint the median line of a road that connects two villages in Mexico. During the 15 days under the burning sun, they acknowledge that there is a thin line between right and wrong; between laughter and crying; between life and death.


The Young Offenders – When a drug-trafficking boat capsizes off the coast of West Cork, teenagers Conor and Jock set their sights on finding one of the missing bales of cocaine, worth seven million euros. Inspired by the true story of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, director Peter Foott’s The Young Offenders is a charming and consistently funny movie.



The segment of the festival features Florida Films which include:

The winning films from the 2nd Annual Filmed in Broward competition.


Best Feature: Girlfriend Killer by Alyn Darnay

Barbie Castro in Girlfriend Killer

Best Documentary: Poseidon’s Adventure by Dean Robaina

Best Short Films:  Rankling by Lourdes Roche and Lorenzo M. Ponce de Leon,

and Road to Hope by Andrew Coons

PSA: Pick it Up by Claudia Borden Sherman


Below are additional Florida films selected to screen during the film festival.


Kahli Mah Tina directed by Tabatha Mudra

Racist Rights directed by Jerome-Anthony Larkin

Shadow Fighter directed by Alyn Darnay

Rotten Mangos directed by Michael Eldon Lobsinger


Short Films:

Motherhood directed by Ann Deborah Fishman

Rankling directed by Lourdes Roche and Lorenzo M. Ponce de Leon

Road To Hope directed by Andrew Coons

Pick It Up directed by Claudia Borden Sherman

Poseidon’s Journey directed by Dean Robaina

Chasing Titles Vol I directed by Ryan Egypt

District Quarantine directed by Damian K. Lahey

Carry That Weight directed by Brian J. Leitten

Tiger Sharks Fight for Survival directed by Angela Smith

Peace of Heart directed by Josh Hansborough

My Loyal Audience directed by Megan Seely




11 Short Film Programs will feature 58 films and documentaries from around the world.


COUNT ON ME includes: Prodigal, Proxy, My Hero, Motherhood, Mariella and Curtain Call


DO OVER includes: The Man with a Western Hat, New Boy, Damn Bro! , Rose’s Turn, Speak and We Could Have, Should Have, We Didn’t


GET BACK JACK includes:  Chasing Titles, District Quarantine, Scarlett-Angelina, The Pirate Captain Toledano, Asset Management, and The Finger


HICKORY DICKERY DOCS includes: Paul Chang Nature Quest, Tiger Sharks Fight For Survival, Tate’s, Tick Tock Clock, Peace of Heart, and Carry That Weight


INEXPLICABLE includes: Norman Pinsky Come Home, Zapp Galura Behemoth, I’m Free, Program, Quick Fix, and Triumph of Shill


KIDS includes: Final Decision, Assisted Living, Game, Lunch Time, Fingerprints, and 6:15


LIFE & DEATH includes: 16.03, Adnyat, Baggage, Helen of Troy, Limit, Our Ghosts


RELATIONSHIPS includes: Brainstorm, The Choice, Vera’s Tongue in Mouth, To Whom It May Concern, Numbness, and Jake and Julia


SUNSHINE TRIO includes: Falling South, My Loyal Audience, Rotten Mangos


THERE MUST BE SOME KINDA WAY OUTTA HERE includes: Vindicte-RETALIATION, The Luck Bird, Frankie Keeps Talking, Walled In, Rabbit Hole, and Get Bent


WHAT YOU SAY includes: Streetwrite, The Peculiar Qualities of Mr Mahler, and Serval and Chaumier: Masters of the Shadows




Bailey Hall: Nov 19

At Broward College Campus, 3501 SW Davie Rd, Davie, FL 33314


Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood:  Oct 27 – Nov 19

2008 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33020 / 954-342-9137


Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: Nov 3

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL 33014 / (954) 797-5531


Museum of Art: Nov 16

1 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 / (954) 525-5500


Savor Cinema: Oct 27 – Nov 19

503 SE 6 Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 / (954) 525-FILM (3456)


Sunrise Civic Center: Nov 10 – 12

10610 W Oakland Park Blvd, Sunrise, FL 33351 / (954) 747-4600


The Sun Dream Yacht – Chairman’s Cruise: Nov 5, 10:30AM (Tickets must be purchased in advance)

2950 NE 32 Ave, Ft Lauderdale 33308 / (954) 765-1450



Nov 3:    Opening Night Film & Party at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Nov 5:    Chairman’s Cruise & Brunch on-board the Sun Dream

Nov 10:  Centerpiece Film & Party at Sunrise Civic Center Theater

Nov 11:  Veterans Day Film & Caribbean Day Films & Party

Nov 18:  Toga Party

Nov 19:  Closing Night Film & Party at Bailey Hall



Regular screenings: $8 FLIFF Members, $9 for Military & Students, Seniors $10, General Admission $12

Special Screenings $15 – $30 depending upon the event; Many include pre or post receptions

Opening Night Party: $75 Members, $100 Non-member in advance

Chairman’s Cruise: $65 members $75 Non-member

Centerpiece Party: $20 Members, $25 General Admission

Toga Party:  $100 Members, $150 Non-member

Wrap Party: $25 Members, $30 General Admission

FAST Passes: $400 Members, $450 Non-Members includes all films October 27 – November 19

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