Cinematic fever is taking Palm Beach by storm for seven days of silver-screen magic. The Palm Beach International Film Festival returns for its nineteenth screening, giving movie buffs the opportunity to catch exciting new works by filmmakers from all over the world.
This year, PBIFF has outdone itself with the collection of 165 narrative features, feature-length documentaries, featurette documentaries, shorts and music videos from filmmakers from 37 countries, equating to 14 world, eight North American and eight U.S. premieres. With 55 narrative features, 28 documentary features and 54 short films—plus the festival’s latest program, the Jewish Experience, a selection of films dedicated to a Jewish/Israeli-centric point of view—PBIFF has earned a strong foothold as one of the top 25 dndependent festivals in the world.
The lion's share of films will be screened at Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton, while the majority of the short films will once again return to Lake Worth Playhouse’s Stonezek Theatre. Cobb Downtown at the Gardens, South Shore Taverns and Muvico Parisian 20 at CityPlace will also screen flicks throughout the festival. (For a complete listing of films and the schedule, click here.)
Festivities begin April 3 with the screening of Belle at Cinemark in Boca Raton. Based on a true story and staring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson, this film explores the story behind a Royal Navy Admiral’s illegitimate daughter Dido Elizabeth Belle, and her role in ending slavery in England.
From April 4-10, screenings of all the films will take place at locations throughout Palm Beach County, with special presentations, screenings and film seminars dotting the events calendar. Here’s a few to mark your calendar:
For those who dig shorts, the Stonezek Theatre at Lake Worth Playhouse will run Short Blocks from April 4-10, giving audiences a chance to catch multiple films in one viewing.
- Tickets cost $10.50 per sitting.
- Click here for a full schedule.
For a look at the Student Showcase of FIlms, click here.
On April 5, Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa will host PBIFF’s VIP soiree, Toast of the Town: A Tribute to Classic Hollywood. Join filmmakers, producers and other film aficionados for an evening of sips and a celebration of film.
- The party begins at 9 p.m.
- Tickets cost $75 per person; click here to purchase.
On April 7 at 7 p.m., PBIFF will honor actor Robert Morse with the Lifetime Achievement Award and director Rick McKay with the Visionary Award.
Morse is known to modern audiences as Bertram Cooper, figurehead of the fictional ad agency Sterling Cooper & Partners from AMC’s Mad Men. He is also the Tony Award-winning actor for his roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Tru.
McKay is best known for his documentaries surrounding Broadway, recording the history of the stage. Broadway: The Golden Age, which won best documentary at PBIFF in 2004, employs interviews with legends of the stage along with rare archival performance footage, home videos and personal photos. On top of taking home PBIFF’s Visionary Award, McKay will screen a sneak peek of his latest work, Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, followed by a Q&A hosted by film historian and author Rob Davis.
Celebrate another successful festival at the wrap party April 10 at 7 p.m. at Cinemark, featuring a screening of the Canadian comedy/drama Cas & Dylan. Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Tatiana Maslany and Jayne Eastwood, the film follows an ailing doctor whose detour with a free-spirited 22-year-old has the two discovering more about themselves. Directed by Jason Priestly, the film kickstarts the closing ceremonies, which will move on to Bogart’s after the viewing—with Priestly in attendance.
- Tickets cost $75 and include two cocktails.
- For more information, click here.