Gasparilla. For some, the term can conjure a vision of pirates. For others, its part of a specific, sun-drenched region of Florida’s Gulf Coast. But for five days in March and early April, the word Gasparilla will be synonymous with film, and the celebration of all things cinema as the Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival sets up show in Tampa, Florida for a tenth consecutive year.
The 10th annual festival will be held March 30-April 3 at the Tampa Theater and Ybor City’s Carmike Cinemas. With 115 films, the festival will host international and regional premieres of narrative features, documentaries and short films around the world, special tributes, master classes, panel discussions and much more. This year’s special tribute will celebrate the various accomplishments of Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony winner Rita Moreno, including a screening of her iconic film Remember Me. Moreno also will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s event.
For the first time, CinemaBlend has been invited to attend the Gasparilla International Film Festival, and plan to cover the following films on the fest’s behalf.
This year’s Opening Night film will be Gavin Hood’s Eye In The Sky, starring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, the late Alan Rickman (in his final live-action film role) and Iain Glen. It is a timely thriller about a terrorist-targeting drone mission that becomes a flashpoint when a civilian girl enters the kill zone.
We are really looking forward to this one. Richard Linklater directs a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Cofused, following a group of college baseball players who navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, and Blake Jenner.
In addition, Gasparilla plans screenings of the following, anticipated films:
After a botched heist, Eddie, a murderous crime boss, hunts down the seductive thief Karen who failed him. In order to win back Eddie’s trust, Karen recruits her ex-lover and premier thief Jack. Starring Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani. Directed by Max Adams
Embrace Of The Serpent
Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant. Starring: Jan Bijvoet, Antonio Bolivar. Directed by Ciro Guerra
A woman recently diagnosed with cancer forms an unexpected bond with a soccer scout (Luis Tosar) whose wife has been gravely injured in a car accident. Starring: Academy Award winner Penélope Cruz. Directed by Julio Medem
Love and Friendship
In the 18th century, the seductive and manipulative Lady Susan uses devious tactics to win the heart of the eligible Reginald De Courcy. Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny. Directed by Whit Stillman
A young man returns to his dying hometown and discovers a dark family secret that could tear apart the lives of those he left behind, in this contemporary adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck. Starring: Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Ewen Leslie, Paul Schneider, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv, with Odessa Young and Sam Neill. Directed by Simon Stone
A hedge-fund honcho puts through the deal of a lifetime: the redemption of a billion-dollar debt owed by the Peruvian government to its citizens. The quick buck soon turns into a nightmare. Starring: Stephen Dorff, Alberto Ammann, Carlos Bardem, and David Strathairn. Directed by Barney Elliott
One More Time
After one too many big city problems, Jude heads to the Hamptons home of her father, an over-the-hill crooner desperately charting his musical comeback. Starring: Amber Heard, Kelli Garner and Christopher Walken. Directed by Robert Edwards
Jake is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler when he meets the affably brash Tony at his grandfather's funeral. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake's father, Brian and Tony's mother, Leonor, threatens to become contentious. Starring: Greg Kinnear, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri and Alfred Molina. Directed by Ira Sachs
A Beautiful Now
As a beautiful dancer balances between reality and fantasy, she asks her friends to help her figure out the passions and relationships that have shaped her identity. Starring: Abigail Spencer, Cheyenne Jackson, Collette Wolfe. Directed by: Daniela Amavia
The Adderall Diaries
Based on the bestselling memoir by Stephen Elliott, The Adderall Diaries is the story of an author paralyzed by writer's block and an escalating drug dependency who is sucked down the rabbit hole of a high-profile murder case. Starring: James Franco, Ed Harris and Amber Heard. Written and directed by Pamela Romanowsky
Puerto Ricans in Paris
Two Puerto Rican NYPD detectives head to Paris to track down a stolen handbag. Starring: Luiz Guzman, Rosie Perez, Rosario Dawson. Directed by Ian Edelman
The Black Coat’s Daughter
Beautiful and haunted Joan makes a pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all girls prep school where Rose and Kat find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, James Remar, Lauren Holly. Directed by Osgood Perkins
The Truth About Lies
A desperate, unemployed man (Fran Kranz) who lives with his mother weaves an ever-growing web of lies to impress a beautiful woman. Starring: Fran Kranz, Odette Annable. Directed by Phil Allocco.
Launched in 2006, GIFF is a film festival held annually in Tampa Bay. The festival is celebrating its 10th Year anniversary in 2016. Operated by the 501 (c)(3) non-profit Tampa Film Institute, GIFF’s mission is to provide year-long support for film screening, production, and education throughout the Tampa Bay Region. For more information visit: gasparillafilmfestival.com, facebook.com/gasparillafilm or twitter.com/gasparillafilm.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.