Departments — 30 September 2015
2015 Fort Lauderdale Film Fest stars, lineup

Editor’s note: Michael Moore has canceled his live appearance at the Hard Rock Live debut of the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, but he will be doing his post-film Q&A at Hard Rock via Skype. FLIFF President Gregory Von Hausch says the long-distance link should not interfere with his trademark candor.

By Elizabeth Rahe

  Michael Moore, Ed Harris, Christopher Lloyd and Loretta Swit are a few of the luminaries expected for the 30th Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Nov. 6-22. The fest will screen more than 160 features, documentaries and shorts from the world over, as it gives moviegoers the opportunity to meet stars and filmmakers at screenings, parties and receptions.

Most movies play on alternating nights at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood, and other venues host special events. The following are a few highlights to date, but check for final schedules. For a complete list of films, events and ticket prices, visit or call 954-760-9898.

  • Opening night, Nov. 6, is a triple-header:  The celebration begins at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with Hard Rock Live showing Where to Invade Next, provocateur Michael Moore’s (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine) latest documentary in which he travels to three continents to discover how other countries deal with social and economic issues prevalent in America. Called lighthearted and optimistic, the film screens at 7 p.m., and Moore will attend. Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo is expected at the 9 p.m. Hard Rock Live screening of JACO, a documentary he produced about jazz musician, composer and bass player Jaco Pastorius of Weather Report fame. (Pastorius died in Fort Lauderdale in 1987 after an altercation at a nightclub.)
  • Also on Nov. 6, Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, The Addams Family), is expected at the Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale screening of The Boat Builder, in which he plays an embittered mariner who bonds with a young orphan while building a boat. Lloyd will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, which begins at 8 p.m. Cinematographer Dean Cundey (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future trilogy, Apollo 13) will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • On Nov. 7 at Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and Nov. 8 at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale, Gil Bellows (Shawshank Redemption, Ally McBeal) and Tony Pantages will introduce the film they co-wrote and co-directed, Three Days in Havana.  Bellows plays Jack Petty, a man in Havana on business who gets embroiled in an assassination conspiracy.

 * Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H) is the special guest at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, for the screening of Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience, which she narrates. The documentary details the trials and survival tactics of American prisoners of Imperial Japan during World War II. Told through stories in the men’s diaries, the film features the voices of Ed Asner, Alec Baldwin, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston and other stars. A cookout will honor U.S. veterans, and films will screen all day. That evening the Villa DePalma estate will be the setting for a M*A*S*H party.

* Director, screenwriter and producer Bobby Roth (Independence Day; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; The Mentalist) will teach a master class Nov. 14 at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale.

* Bonnie and Clyde screens Nov. 14 at Sunrise Civic Center Theater, and the 1967 film’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar-winner, Estelle Parsons (Rachel, Rachel; Roseanne), will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

* Candy Clark, who won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for the 1973 film American Graffiti, will receive a Career Achievement Award at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale Nov. 14.

* The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood will host the Chairman’s Awards Gala Nov. 21. Ed Harris (The Right Stuff, The Abyss) will present director/screenwriter and Florida State University professor Victor Nuñez (Ulee’s Gold, Ruby in Paradise) with the inaugural Florida Prize for pioneering and emerging filmmakers. Harris starred in the Nuñez 1984 film A Flash of Green. Harris’ wife, Amy Madigan, (Field of Dreams, Twice in a Lifetime) will also attend. Harris is also expected at a Nov. 20 screening of The Adderall Diaries.

* The closing film on Nov. 22 is The Wannabe, inspired by true events about would-be mafioso Thomas (Vincent Piazza of Boardwalk Empire) and his girlfriend (Academy Award-winner Patricia Arquette, Boyhood) and their crime-ridden odyssey. It will screen at Cinema Paradiso in both Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. The wrap party follows at the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.

PHOTO: Michael Moore by  Carolyn Cole 

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