Stars to Shine at Film Fest

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Ed Asner will be appearing at the Film Fest in Lauderdale

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) announces a star-powered line-up for their 28th Annual event held October 18-November 11. Throughout the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to meet the celebrities at their films, tributes, parties, galas or aboard the Chairman’s Cruise.


Gregory von Hausch, President and CEO commented, “What an exciting 28th Annual event we have this year. There are so many wonderful special guests. Our opening night film, Free Ride, takes place in Florida. The star, Anna Paquin, delivers a brilliant performance and the movie will have the audience gripping their seats.”


Launching the Opening Night festivities, October 18, 7:00pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, is the World Premiere of Free Ride. Actress, Anna Paquin, who won the Oscar for her role in the acclaimed film The Piano and writer/director, Shana Betz, will be in attendance. Free Ride is Betz directorial debut and is based on her childhood in Fort Lauderdale. October 18 also happens to be Betz Birthday. In Free Ride, Paquin stars as a single mom caught up in the Florida drug trade during the late 1970s while trying to make a better life for her two girls. FLiFF will present Paquinwith a Career Achievement Award prior to the film.


After the film, Paquin and Betz will also attend the Opening Night Party hosted by philanthropist, Steve Savor at his 18,000 square foot waterfront home, Villa de Palma. The event includes a buffet, open bar, live entertainment. Paquin will be joined by other special guests in town for the weekend.


Paquin, who starred as Rogue/Marie in the film X-MEN will also attend a free outdoor screening of the movie at 9:15pm, Saturday, October 19 at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale.


Actress Lea Thompson will also be on the scene opening weekend. Thompson is in town to support the Florida premiere of her new film, The Trouble With Truth. The premiere takes place Saturday, October 19 starting at 6:30pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale. Thompson will also make an appearance at a free outdoor screening of Back to the Future at 7:00pm that night at the same location. In addition, Thompson is expected to attend her second screening of The Trouble With Truth at Muvico Pompano on October 20 at 12:30pm.


Sunday, October 20 at 10:00am, join FLiFF and film talent for the Chairman's Brunch & Cruise aboard Sun Dream Yacht Charter’s, Caprice. The 2 hour cruise on Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway includes a buffet and open bar.


Tuesday, October 22, 7:00pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, best-selling author, investigative journalist and host of the TV hit series, True Crimes, Aphrodite Jones, will introduce Boys Don’t Cry. The film was adapted from Jones best-selling novel All She Wanted, which investigated the true story of Teena Brandon,a woman who passed herself off as a man and had passionate affairs with young women--until she was murdered. Hillary Swank won an Oscar and Chloe Sevigny received a nomination for their roles in the film.


Wednesday, October 23, 7:00pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, FLiFF honors Emmy Award Winning actor Ed Asner with a Lifetime Achievement presentation. Asner plans to perform a scene from his one-man show, FDR during the event.  


A legend of both comedy and drama in both film and television, Ed Asner had the distinction of being the only actor to win an Emmy in both genres for playing the same character, Lou Grant. He also portrayed Guy Banister in Oliver Stone's conspiracy classic "JFK" (1991), Santa Claus in "Elf" (2003), as well as guesting on shows like "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). Politically motivatedAsner assisted in the funding for a then unknown filmmaker Michael Moore's first feature documentary, "Roger & Me" (1989). Asner’s most recent endeavors include voicing the curmudgeonly Carl Fredrickson of the animated hit "Up" and has six new film and television projects in production.


Actress Finola Hughes of General Hospital and Stayin’ Alive fame, joins FLiFF on Friday, October 25, 7:00pm at Cinema Paradiso, for the South Florida premiere of her directorial debut film, The Bet. Hughes will also attend additional screenings on Saturday, October 26, 3:30pm at the new Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and 6:00pm at Muvico Pompano.


Pauly Cohen, big band era trumpeter for Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey and others attends the premiere of his music documentary, Taking Charge on Saturday, October 26, 4:30pm at Sunrise Civic Center. Now 90 years young, Cohen leads his own big band in South Florida.


Tuesday, October 29, FLiFF honors one of the hottest stars of Hollywood’s golden age, Tab Hunter, with aLifetime Achievement Award presentation at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale. The evening begins with a 5:30pm reception, followed by a 6:45pm montage of Hunter’s career and a Q&A moderated by film historian, Foster Hirsch. At 8:15pm, Hunter will introduce a retrospective screening of the Oscar-nominated 1958 classic film, Damn Yankees, in which he starred with Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, and Jean Stapleton.


Wednesday, October 30, 7:00pm at Bailey Hall on Broward College Campus, renownedmarine wildlife artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey, will introduce and discuss his latest documentary Tiger Shark Express. The remarkable adventure story represents five years of expeditions as Harvey teams up with researchers across the Atlantic for a breakthrough, multi-year study involving tiger sharks. Three new facts they uncover will not only change the way you look at sharks, but will change the way you look at the ocean as well.


Monday, November 4 & Tuesday, November 5 at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, Jonathan Bird, an Emmy award-winning cinematographer specializing in underwater production, will attend screenings of his educational, family-friendly underwater adventure series, Blue World, which has aired on public television in the U.S. since 2008. The screenings from the 4th year of the series will be held at 10:00am, 11:00am, and 1:00pm will be followed by a Q&A with Bird. Screenings are free for schools and others who wish to attend at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale.


Friday, November 8, 9:15pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, Stand-up comedian Ian Harvey, has been the opening act for Margaret Cho for years. He’ll attend the Florida Premiere of his concert film Ian Harvey Superhero. Born a girl and later becoming a self-made man, its Ian’s facile sense of ease, not just his gender-bending presence that makes his humor groundbreaking. Harvey will also attend screenings of the film on November 9, 9:30pm at Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and November 10, 8:00pm at Sunrise Civic Center Theater.


Saturday, November 9, during the splashiest Gala in the festival’s history, FLiFF will honor one of the greatest actresses and entertainers of all time, Ann-Margret. FLiFF will feature a montage of her career and present with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Gala begins at 6:00pm and includes an open bar and sit-down dinner at Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood.


As a young girl, Ann-Margret was discovered by the legendary George Burns, and since her film debut playing Bette Davis’ daughter in “A Pocketful of Miracles,” Ann-Margret has made over fifty-two films, including such hits as: Cincinnati Kid, State Fair, Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, Stagecoach, Any Given Sunday, Grumpy Old Men and its sequel, Grumpier Old Men, Taxi, and Old Dogs. She earned two Academy Award nominations for her roles in Mike Nichols’ film Carnal Knowledge and the classic Ken Russell rock film Tommy. She has co-starred with such luminaries as John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kirk Douglas, Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, and Walter Matthau, among others.


Performing at the FLiFF Gala is multiple Grammy Award-winning Singer, Songwriter - Michael Bolton, whose soft rock ballads include: How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, How Can We Be Lovers, Time, Love and Tenderness, and Georgia on My Mind among many other hits. Bolton’s achievements include selling 53 million albums worldwide, eight top ten albums, and two number one singles on the Billboard charts.

Each event and film is priced separately. Advance tickets are available to purchase in advance online at or by calling 954-760-9898.




Clifford Cunningham

Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist currently affiliated with the National Astronomical Research Institute. He did his PhD work in the history of astronomy at James Cook University, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. He is the author of 12 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honour by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 1990.

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