While the Sunscreen Film Festival encourages new talent, its most popular draws will be a pair of old Hollywood pros.
Character actor Paul Sorvino and Gary Busey, who's both an actor and a character, are Sunscreen's celebrity guests next weekend.
The free-spirited Busey was an early Academy Award nominee for The Buddy Holly Story, and later a candidate for cult idol after a nearly fatal motorcycle accident and an unorthodox comeback, even for reality show culture.
Busey, 71, is scheduled to attend opening night ceremonies April 28 at the Palladium in St. Petersburg. He'll also join a Q&A session April 30 at Muvico Sundial 19, after a 3:15 p.m. screening of his psychological thriller CandiLand.
Surprisingly, Sorvino, 77, hasn't been nominated for an Oscar over 46 years in movies, despite striking performances in staples like Goodfellas and Nixon, and indie gems like The Cooler and 1974's The Gambler (the good version, not Mark Wahlberg's).
Sorvino accompanies his road trip dramedy Detours at 6 p.m. April 30, joined by director Mara Lesemann and actor Tara Westwood.
Both Busey and Sorvino are slated to attend the festival's award ceremonies at Sundial on May 1.
Sunscreen begins at 1 p.m. April 28 at the Palladium with two blocks of sci-fi shorts, and ceremonially at 7 with the opening night selection Spare Parts. George Lopez plays a high school teacher leading a robotics team against MIT students. Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and Jamie Lee Curtis co-star in the fact-based story.
The festival ends May 1 with a 4:45 p.m. screening of Susan Robbins' jazz documentary Lee's 88 Keys at Muvico Sundial 19, which along with American Stage Theater Company are the main venues for weekend Sunscreen showings.
New this year is the Sunscreen/Indyoh Expo Film Market, where filmmakers promote their projects, seeking financing or distribution deals. The market runs all four days, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at American Stage Theater Company, 163 Third St. N.
Visit sunscreenfilmfestival.com for schedules and tickets.
Steve Persall, Times movie critic