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Gasparilla film festival kicks off Feb. 26 at Tampa Theatre

Adding a word to its title and doubling its length, the Gasparilla (now International) Film Festival announced its 2009 lineup Monday afternoon at Don Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn in Ybor City.

Now running 10 days, from Feb. 26 through March 7, the festival is mainly centered at Channelside Cinemas in Tampa. Tampa Theatre is the opening night site, and St. Petersburg's Studio @ 620 will present a few films along the way.

Among the highlights: the Florida premiere on opening night, Feb. 26, of Rod Lurie's Nothing But the Truth starring Kate Beckinsale, Angela Bassett, Alan Alda and Matt Dillon. Lurie (The Contender, Resurrecting the Champ) is scheduled to introduce his film, inspired by the Valerie Plame CIA scandal. (See the preview trailer at blogs.tampabay.com/movies. You can also see a link to the complete list of the films there.)

The same evening, longtime actor Terry Moore will receive the festival's lifetime achievement award. Moore was an Academy Award nominee for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952), and soon after filmed the sponge diving drama Beneath the 12-Mile Reef in Tarpon Springs. Other credits include Mighty Joe Young and Peyton Place. Moore became one of Playboy's oldest cover models in 1984 at age 55.

Oh, yes: she was also married to Howard Hughes from 1949 until the tycoon's death in 1976.

Other films in the lineup include Ron Satlof's surrogate-mother satire, Misconceptions, chiefly filmed in Pinellas County, and the documentary Kassim the Dream, tracing the life of boxer Kassim Ouma, a Ugandan refugee who became an IBF light middleweight champion. Ouma is scheduled to attend the festival, along with horror film-maker William Grefe (the rattlesnake shocker Stanley).

Also expected to attend: Tampa Bay Lightning owner and Saw producer Oren Koules, and Algenis Perez, star of the baseball drama Sugar, directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson).

In all, nearly 120 features, documentaries, shorts and student films will be shown at the festival.

Tickets are $10 for regular screenings, $35 for the opening night film and reception, and $40 for the closing night party at the Tampa Firefighters Museum.

Gasparilla film festival kicks off Feb. 26 at Tampa Theatre 02/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 9, 2009 10:30pm]

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