10 films to see, par­ties to do

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - SPOTLIGHT - By Ben Cran­dell

There weren’t many peo­ple on the band­wagon for “The Artist” in 2011, when Gregory von Hausch de­cided to open his Fort Lauderdale In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val with the for­eign re­lease. Part screw­ball com­edy, part sen­ti­men­tal melo­drama and shot in black and white, it also was a silent movie with sub­ti­tles. In French.

Soon, it would make its way to the­aters across the coun­try and go on to win the Best Pic­ture Academy Award.

FLIFF and Von Hausch will of­fer a re­minder of his mag­i­cal mo­ment of pre­science when the 2018 edi­tion of the fes­ti­val opens Fri­day, Nov. 2, with a red-car­pet gath­er­ing at the Hard Rock Event Cen­ter in Hol­ly­wood for a 7:30 p.m. screen­ing of “The Re­turn of the Hero,” star­ring Jean Du­jardin, who won a Best Ac­tor Os­car for “The Artist.”

The 33rd an­nual fes­ti­val, run­ning through Nov. 18, will of­fer more than 200 in­die and for­eign­lan­guage films, shorts and doc­u­men­taries, all bal­anced with its trade­mark ir­rev­er­ence, found in screen­ings of lo­cally filmed fa­vorites “Where the Boys Are” at the beach and “Cad­dyshack” on a golf course.

Most screen­ings will take place in fa­mil­iar FLIFF screen­ing spa­ces at Sa­vor Cinema in down­town Fort Lauderdale, Cinema Par­adiso and the Hard Rock Event Cen­ter in Hol­ly­wood, Bai­ley Hall at Broward Col­lege in Davie and the Sun­rise Civic Cen­ter The­ater. Ticket prices for in­di­vid­ual screen­ings and par­ties vary. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to FLIFF.com.

Be­low are 10 high­lights to look for­ward to af­ter FLIFF open­ing night:

Nov. 7, 7 p.m.: The sug­gested at­tire is swim­suits and flip-flops for the Dive-In Movie and Pool Deck Party at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Re­sort, fea­tur­ing trop­i­cal drinks, mer­maids and a float­ing screen in the pool show­ing “Where the Boys Are,” near the beach where it was shot. A star of the film, singer-ac­tress Tobey Maguire in­tro­duces Joan Allen to color in "Pleas­antville." Con­nie Francis, will ap­pear at the screen­ing, along with South Florida com­edy icon Woody Woodbury and vet­eran en­ter­tainer and TV host Frank Lo­conto.

Nov. 7, 8 p.m.: Fort Lauderdale na­tive Eric Sheffield, nephew of late South Florida en­ter­tain­ment no­table Skip Sheffield, makes his di­rec­to­rial de­but with the in­fec­tiously en­gag­ing low-bud­get com­edy “Hatch­back,” about a mys­te­ri­ous girl who lives in her car in Los An­ge­les and the cyn­i­cal nar­colep­tic who falls for her. A 7 p.m. party in the Sa­vor Cinema court­yard, with Sheffield in at­ten­dance, pre­cedes the 8 p.m. screen­ing. “Hatch­back” also will be shown 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Cinema Par­adiso in Hol­ly­wood.

Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.: Dan­ish film­maker Mads Brüg­ger will at­tend a red-car­pet screen­ing at the Sun­rise Civic Cen­ter The­ater of his clever dark com­edy “The Saint Bernard Syn­di­cate,” which some­how ex­tracts laughs from a story with a pro­tag­o­nist di­ag­nosed with ALS. Per­haps it’s all the large dogs. Ras­mus Bruun won the award for best ac­tor in a for­eign film at the 2018 Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val. The film also will be shown 1 p.m. Nov. 13 at the NSU Art Mu­seum Fort Lauderdale.

Nov. 12, 6 p.m.: A lit­tle some­thing dif­fer­ent for FLIFF fans as “The Musette” yacht leaves a dock on the New River a short walk from Sa­vor Cinema for an evening cruise for the Shorts at Sea Boat Party, with an open bar, buf­fet and four short films with no di­a­logue: “The Vest,” “Si­lence Be­fore the Rain,” “An­i­mal Cinema” and “From Life.”

Nov. 14, 4:30 p.m.: A frank in­ter­view with Os­car-win­ning ac­tor Chris Cooper (“Adapt- ation”) and wife Mar­i­anne Leone (“The So­pra­nos”) about at­tempts to free their highly in­tel­li­gent son Jesse from a body gripped by cere­bral palsy and an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem un­pre­pared to help is the jump­ing-off point for “In­tel­li­gent Lives.” The doc­u­men­tary fol­lows three young peo­ple who will chal­lenge your pre­con­ceived no­tions about what some­one with cere­bral palsy can ac­com­plish, in­clud­ing one who is an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Syracuse Univer­sity. Film­maker Dan Habib will at­tend the screen­ing, and FLIFF will do­nate all ticket pro­ceeds to United Com­mu­nity Op­tions of Broward’s work to cure cere­bral palsy.

Nov. 15, 4 p.m.: FLIFF al­ways has a lo­cal fo­cus, and the Com­mu­nity Shorts fea­ture pack­ages five films rang­ing in length from 11 to 29 min­utes, each with a sub­ject meant to res­onate with the Florida viewer. This is es­pe­cially true with Mi­ami film­maker Daniel Gal­le­gos’ “Park­land: March­ing For­ward” a pow­er­ful re­minder of the youth­ful pas­sion and anger that in­spired March for Our Lives.

Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Screen­ing at NSU Mu­seum of Art Fort Lauderdale is the Florida pre­miere of “The Art and Times of Frosty My­ers,” a joy­ous por­trait of re­bel­lion in For­rest “Frosty” My­ers, one of the pi­o­neer­ing 1960s New York artists who took over Lower Man­hat­tan fac­tory spa­ces — be­fore they were called “lofts” — and bars such as Max’s Kansas City. My­ers will at­tend the screen­ing and a 6 p.m. re­cep­tion at the mu­seum be­fore­hand. The film also will be shown 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Sa­vor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale.

Nov. 17, 3:45 p.m.: At Bai­ley Hall in Davie, FLIFF will honor pro­lific di­rec­tor Gary Ross, who re­cently re­leased “Oceans 8,” with a Life­time Achieve­ment Award at a trib­ute screen­ing of his provoca­tive 1998 comic fan­tasy “Pleas­antville,” about two time-trav­el­ing teenagers (Reese Wither­spoon and Tobey Maguire) who shake the sen­si­bil­i­ties of a 1950s blackand-white utopia by in­tro­duc­ing the towns­peo­ple to color. Ross’ eclec­tic ca­reer as a di­rec­tor, writer and pro­ducer also in­cludes the Academy Award-nom­i­nated “Se­abis­cuit,” “The Tale of Des­pereaux,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Free State of Jones.”

Nov. 17, 6:15 p.m.: Later at Bai­ley Hall, FLIFF will present the Florida pre­miere of “Shark­water Ex­tinc­tion,” the late Rob Ste­wart’s se­quel to his doc­u­men­tary “Shark­water,” about the world’s mas­sive il­le­gal shark-fin in­dus­try and its po­ten­tially dis­as­trous im­pact on the world’s oceans and the hu­mans who de­pend on them. Ste­wart died in 2017 while shoot­ing scenes for “Shark­water Ex­tinc­tion” off Is­lam­orada, and the film drew a stand­ing ova­tion when it pre­miered at the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber. Ste­wart’s par­ents will at­tend the screen­ing to present FLIFF’s first Rob Ste­wart En­vi­ron­men­tal Film Award.

Nov18, 6 p.m.: The an­nual FLIFF Wrap Party will take place at Fort Lauderdale Coun­try Club, where a “drive-in” screen­ing of the filmed-in-South-Florida, Bill Mur­ray-Rod­ney Danger­field romp “Cad­dyshack” will be viewed on the fair­way while guests are seated in more than 100 golf carts. One of the film’s more mem­o­rable per­form­ers, Cindy “Lacey Un­der­all” Mor­gan, will at­tend the screen­ing.


Larkin Bell and Eric­son Just star in Eric Sheffield's com­edy "Hatch­back."


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