21st Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival – Preview

by | Mar 21, 2016 | Art + Culture, Features, Go + Do, Spotlight

(Image: Beach Magazine Staff)

Save the date for the 21st Palm Beach International Film Festival April 6-14, 2016.  While it may be small peanuts compared to Sundance, Cannes or Toronto, this is a chance for Palm Beachers to take in a bit of indie movie magic.

There are 172 independent films being screened in a variety of genres including American and Canadian independents, documentaries, horror, and short films. The event will take place at four venues throughout Palm Beach County (The Palm Beaches Theatre, Muvico Parisian, Cinemark Palace, and G-Star Studios). In addition to nine days of films and celebrity guests, there will be seminars where attendees can learn more about the art and business of filmmaking from knowledgeable panels, a student showcase of films, and an array of other parties, meet and greets, and VIP events concluding with the annual “It’s a Wrap!” party and awards presentation on April 14.

Sixteen world and eight North American premieres are slated for the event including Money, which opens the festival with a Hollywood-style red carpet screening followed by the kick-off party (location TBD) the night of April 6, Foster Shock, a documentary about the privatization of child welfare in Florida, Like a Butterfly, a short film starring Ed Asner, and more!

If you are planning to attend, you will want to put some thought into your schedule. Deciding which films to see can be overwhelming. Here are the films that have caught my attention and may help you narrow down your short list.

1. When Elephants Were Young (Documentary) – This 2016 documentary narrated by William Shatner is an extension of the short film Return to the Forest which won Best Conservation Film at the New York Wildlife Film Festival in 2013.  It is one of this year’s nominees for Best Documentary and will have its International and USA Premiere at the festival.

2. The Phoenix Incident  (Horror/Sci-fi Thriller/Documentary) – This 2015 American film is based on the real life story of the largest mass UFO sighting in US history known as the Phoenix Lights. That night in 1997 four men disappeared in Estrella Mountain National Park and remains the longest unresolved missing persons case in Arizona History.

3. The House at the End of Time (Horror) – This 2014 Spanish film with English subtitles is sure to have audiences sitting at the edge of their seats. Falsely imprisoned for a crime she doesn’t commit, Dulce returns to her home thirty years later to try and solve the mystery behind her horrible ordeal.

4. A Light Beneath Their Feet (Drama, American Independents) – This 2015 film deals with a mother struggling with bipolar disorder who must rely on her young daughter, Beth, to care for her. In order to do so, Beth will have to give up on her dreams.

5. The Shickles (Comedy, American Independents) – This 2016 film is an edgy comedy about an eccentric Jewish couple married 70 years. When they die holding hands on their 90th birthday, their grandchildren find themselves struggling to navigate the bitter sweet nature of love and relationships.

6. The Wedding Invitation (Comedy, World Premiere) – This 2016 film is both a sweet and raunchy female comedy that follows three best friends each searching for Mr. Right. Fueled by friendship, heartbreak, and insecurity, this film is an underdog tale about three ordinary women who are willing to risk it all for love.

7. A Beautiful Now (Drama, American Independents) – A beautiful dancer who is teetering on the brink of a breakdown asks her friends to help her regain her focus and evaluate her life. (2014)

8. The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man (Dark Comedy/Drama, American Independents) – Unsatisfied with his marriage and career, a man visits his past to figure out where his life went wrong. (2015)

9. Psychoanalysis (Dark Comedy/Drama, World Cinema Narratives) – This 2015 Australian film is about the country’s top suicide prevention psychologist who loses five clients to suicide in one week and becomes obsessed with proving they were murdered by a rival doctor who wants the top spot for himself.

10. Father Joseph (Documentary) – Also in the Documentary Feature competition is this 2014 documentary about an extraordinary man, Father Joseph, who, against incredible strife, has played an instrumental role in rebuilding Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Following the April 8th screening, join Father Joseph for a very special event “A Night in Haiti”.

Visit www.pbifilmfest.org for a complete schedule of film and event times and venues as well as to purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased for multiple screenings or individual showings and events on the website or by calling 561.362.0003.

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    By: Nikki McBride

    Nikki is a writer who focuses mainly on issues facing parents and midlife women. She is also a film and book critic and active blogger. Her professional background spans several fields including law, event management and public relations, and elementary education. She is a long-time resident of South Florida. Read more of her articles and reviews at www.lavenderinspiration.com.

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