Lineup includes 200 films from 40 countries, eight world premieres and six US premieres
The city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is once again gearing up for one of the most anticipated events on its cultural calendar: the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) this November 3 through 16. With its long-standing tradition of celebrating cinema and storytelling, this year’s FLIFF festivities promise to captivate film enthusiasts and artists from around the world.
As this year’s FLIFF event approaches, the anticipation is building for an unforgettable celebration of cinematic storytelling. This is not just a film festival; it’s an immersion into the art of storytelling through film, a platform for both emerging and established talent, and an opportunity to savor the rich cultural offerings of Fort Lauderdale.
For film enthusiasts, artists, and anyone who appreciates the power of movies, FLIFF 2023 is a cinematic experience that should not be missed. Here are some key highlights exemplifying why this year’s FLIFF is generating so much buzz and excitement:
The event will showcase nearly 200 films from 40 countries, featuring eight world premieres and six U.S. premieres. The festival includes features, documentaries and short film programs, along with Filmed in Broward, a showcase of 21 films by South Florida filmmakers, all filmed in Broward County.Screenings throughout the festival take place at Savor Cinema, Cinema Paradiso, NSU Art Museum, Lauderdhill Performing Arts Center, Gateway Theatre, AutoNation IMAX and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.An exciting array of parties and special events take place throughout the festival. Some of the most popular events of the week are the Opening Night Film, Red Carpet & Party on Friday, November 3, Gatsby Party at the luxurious Villa de Palma on November 4, Centerpiece Film & Party on November 9, and Intracoastal Elegance, a memorable evening under the stars at a private estate on November 11.Opening night events: The 38th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Opening Night at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood kicks off with a glamorous star-studded red carpet, followed by an award ceremony and screening of THE GOOD HALF. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast, the dramedy follows Renn (Nick Jonas), an emotionally distant writer who returns home for his mother’s funeral (Elizabeth Shue) and forges new relationships while healing old ones. Following the film, trip the light fantastic at the Opening Night party featuring live music by The Wolfepak Band, open bar and great food.
Centerpiece Event: The Senior makes its world premiere on Thursday, November 9th at Savor Cinema, followed by a lively street party. Directed by Rod Lurie and starring Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Chiklis. The Senior is based on the true story of Mike Flynt, a flawed everyman who overcomes his age, his mental demons and the preconceptions of his teammates 40 years his junior, proving that it’s never too late to tackle your dreams. Rod Lurie, Michael Chiklis, producer Mark Ciardi and Mike & Eileen Flynt, subjects of the film, will be in attendance. Prior to the screening, FLIFF will present Michael Chiklis with the Career Achievement Award.
Prior to the screening at Savor Cinema on Saturday, November 4, FLIFF will present the Lifetime Achievement award to Charles Martin Smith, who stars in the film THIS TIME. This film recounts the tale of a sheltered teen who inherits her estranged father’s journal, uncovering cryptic clues to his secret life. To fulfill her father’s dying wish, she races across the country to attempt a long-shot rendezvous with her father’s longtime friend Liza Minelli. Also in attendance will be director Robert George Vaughn, and producers Jennifer Louise Gibson and Sahar Whelan. A reception follows the screening. This Time will also be showing at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood at 1 pm on Monday, November 6.
On Monday, November 6 at Savor Cinema, FLIFF welcomes Justice Rosalie Abella, former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, for the screening of WITHOUT PRECEDENT: THE SUPREME LIFE OF ROSALIE ABELLA. This documentary s about her life and career. Written and directed by Barry Avrick, the film is a compelling portrait of the woman born to Holocaust survivors in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1946. Often referred to as “Canada’s RBG” (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), she is a tireless champion for the neglected and underserved, Justice Abella will join guests at a reception prior to the screening of the film at 7:30 pm.
FLIFF also continues the 38-year tradition of honoring noteworthy filmmakers and actors during the festival. A video montage of each honoree’s career will be shown prior to the award presentations. This year’s honorees are:
Robert Schwartzman, director of The Good Half, will receive the Renaissance Award on Opening Night, Friday, November 3 at 7pm at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Robert also wrote much of the score for the film and performed it with his band Rooney. He co-stars opposite Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, which will be screened free for all children on Saturday November 4 at Savor Cinema. Later that evening at 7pm, FLIFF presents Hung Up On a Dream, the documentary he directed about the ‘60s musical group The Zombies. And on Friday, November 10 at 8pm the comedy Drugstore June, produced by Robert, will be shown at Savor Cinema.David Arquette (Scream), Matt Walsh (The Hangover, VEEP), and Brittany Snow (Hairspray, Pitch Perfect) will each receive the Career Achievement Award on Opening Night on November 3. Parachute, Brittany’s directorial debut, screens November 4 at 7pm at Savor Cinema. And Alexandra Shipp (X-Men, BARBIE) will be honored with FLIFF’s Star on the Horizon Award. All four have major roles in The Good Half, the Opening Night film.Charles Martin Smith (American Graffiti, The Untouchables), actor/writer/director, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the screening of This Time, in which he stars, on Saturday, November 4 at 3pm at Savor Cinema. In a career spanning 50 years, Charles first came to prominence in 1973 as one of the young stars of American Graffiti, followed by decades as an acclaimed actor and director in both film and TV.Michael Chiklis (The Senior, The Shield, Fantastic 4), Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor, will be presented with the Career Achievement Award prior to the screening of The Senior at Savor Cinema on Thursday, November 9 at 7pm. Best known for his role in the acclaimed drama series The Shield, Michael may be seen as the infamous Celtics coach Red Auerbach in Season 2 of the HBO series Winning Time.
Fort Lauderdale provides the perfect backdrop for FLIFF. With its picturesque beaches, vibrant arts scene, and diverse culinary offerings, the city creates an ideal setting for attendees to enjoy much more than just the films. It’s an opportunity to explore the local culture, dine in exquisite restaurants, and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
For so many reasons, FLIFF 2023 is a must-attend event not only for staunch cinemaphiles and filmmakers but also for movie lovers, entertainment buffs and anyone who appreciates the power of storytelling through film. A full schedule, including information on tickets and membership is available online.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***