10091 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL
2301 First Street, Fort Myers, FL
FORT MYERS — The Fort Myers Film Festival will host the U.S. premiere of "A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy" at the festival's opening-night gala Wednesday, March 23, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.
"I'm so excited to have a sexy, edgy U.S. premiere starring Luke Perry for this festival's red-carpet opener at the Barbara B. Mann," Eric Raddatz, FMff founder and executive director, says about the romantic comedy set in among sumptuous food, saunas and midnight skinny-dipping in the Swedish midsummer tradition. "I'm not going to lie — this one is a actual panty dropper — perfect for a town that has come to expect some real edge."
The film starring Luke Perry, who will Skype in and take questions from the audience, was produced by Naples native Melissa Davis. A 1997 graduate of Barron Collier High School, Ms. Davis was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for producing the feature documentary "Anita O'Day -- The Life of a Jazz Singer." She was most recently a producer on the feature documentary " Happiness," which is being executive produced by Oliver Stone and presented by British writer/comedian Russell Brand.
The inaugural Fort Myers Film Festival will also showcase "Meth," recently screened at Sundance and starring a local actress who is making it big, Ayla Ocasio.
FMff screenings will be held March 24-27 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers, also at the Alliance for the Arts March 25-26.
Independent films playing in the inaugural Fort Myers Film Festival span the globe with selections from as far as Sierra Leone, Ireland, Poland & Sweden to dozens of films made right here in Southwest Florida. "We all need to support local film, local business and local filmmakers in today's economy. Knowing our area has something viable to offer in the realms of moviemaking will contribute towards economic growth and stability," Raddatz continues. "I am so thankful to all of the support we have received from the city and county as well as the local businesses. We need to come together in these difficult economic times and show the world we have something strong to offer here in Southwest Florida."
Of local filmmakers attending with projects screening are Gail Kowatch, John Scoular, Hank Sorrick, Edward Clay, Donald McQuade, Gerard Damiano Jr., Jennifer Marquis, Tim Ritter, Patrick Mitchell, Melissa Davis, Eric Raddatz, Elizabeth D'Onofrio, Danielle Camastra, Greg Helton, Flip Minott, John Biffar, Waddy Padilla, Connie Bottinelli, Fredy Hernandez, Madison Absher and Rusty Farst. A panel of local and visiting filmmakers will be in attendance at the opening night gala and interactive Q&A's through the festival including Sara Terry, Ian McCrudden, Daniel Herrera, Gene D'Onofrio and Jackie Gomez.
Stars such as Meat Loaf, James Badge Dale, Tom Felton, Marcus Jansen, Imelda Staunton, James Cromwell and Judd Hirsch are only a few faces you may find recognizable in films playing through the week such as Polish Bar, White Other, A Lonely Place for Dying, For Once In My Life, Fambul Tok, Baby and The Violinist to name just a few.
A complte program guide for the festival is available for download online and at participating venues. A black-tie awards ceremony is set for Sunday evening, March 27, at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre to honor winning films and local filmmakers including John Biffar, hosted by Chad Oliver.
A portion of the festival's proceeds will go to The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
For tickets and more information, visit http://www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com, become a fan to get breaking updates at http://www.facebook.com/fortmyersfilm... or see tweets in realtime by following at http://www.twitter.com/fortmyersfilm
Fort Myers Film Festival plays March 23-27, 2011 at the following locations:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011: Opening Night Red Carpet VIP at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
Starting with the Fort Myers Film Festival's opening night red carpet gala at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall with opening films "Meth" and "A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy". VIP and general admission attendees will walk the red carpet in style, get a chance to mix and mingle with the opening night movie's stars, directors, producers as well as the VIP of the Fort Myers Festival. Participants get a chance to have backstage access to the superstar soiree for champagne and dessert, including an intimate Q&A with the stars and all filmmakers. With special hosts, founder Eric Raddatz, co-host Daniel Linehan and ABC7's morning host Chad Oliver, plus a performance by Elijah Green with dancers, showgirls and all the lavish costuming that you expect from a Vegas showroom the celebration will be one not to miss. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $12 for students; $150 for V.I.P. pre & post backstage passes with open bar are available for purchase now. PURCHASE TICKETS. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall @ 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 | 239.481.4849
Thursday, March 24- Sunday, March 27, 2011:
Fort Myers Film Festival Screenings at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center
FMff programming will take place at at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, including features, documentaries, shorts, short shorts, strictly local, diverse and inspirational programming. Q&As with all attending filmmakers and stars will be held after the showing of the film in the Filmmaker lounge adjacent to the main room. Tickets are $5 for all shows are available for purchase now. PURCHASE TICKETS. The complete final program is available at http://fortmyersfilmfestival.com/FMFF...(2).pdf | Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center @ 2301 First St., Fort Myers, Florida 33901 | 239.337.1933
Thursday, March 25- Friday, March 26, 2011:
Local programming at the Alliance for the Arts
Enjoy local programming from some of the top filmmakers in town as the Fort Myers Film Festival keeps it local. Programming and tickets are available at the Alliance for the Arts @10091 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33907 | 239.939.2787
Sunday, March 27, 2011:
Black Tie Awards Gala Dinner at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
A climactic black tie awards gala dinner will be held at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre with an opening evening champagne toast at 5 p.m., dinner and priority seating for the best of the best awards ceremony and featured winning shorts, giving special honorary recognition to local filmmaker John Biffar and other local filmmakers in attendance, including student winners of the FMff student commercial competition. Tickets are $50 for champagne toast starting at 5 p.m. with dinner and show or for $25 for show only. PURCHASE TICKETS. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Ft Myers, Florida 33907 | 239.278.4422
Wednesday, March 23- Sunday, March 27, 2011:
See It All with the FMff VIP All Access Pass
A limited availability FMff VIP All Access Platinum Cineast Pass will entitle the holder to attend all Fort Myers Film Festival public andVIP events, with priority seating, open bar & food at the gala, schwag bags and first class VIP treatment. Individual passes are available for $400. http://fortmyersfilmfestival.ticketle...
*Independent films not specifically in children's programming are not rated. Parents are strongly cautioned.
The Fort Myers Film Festival has partnered with Hyatt Place, Fort Myers. You can get a discount rate of $89 with the code G-FMFF through the week of the film festival March 23-27. Head to: http://www.fortmyers.place.hyatt.com/