Monday, December 11, 2017
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Lineup announced for Gasparilla International Film Festival, set for March 19-23

Bracketed by a world premiere and a Tampa Bay production, the eighth annual Gasparilla International Film Festival lineup was announced Tuesday.

Nearly 100 features, shorts and documentaries will be screened at various venues beginning March 19 at Tampa Theatre with the opening night selection There's Always Woodstock, co-starring Tampa native Brittany Snow.

Snow won the festival's rising star award in 2008, and her filmography includes the hit musicals Pitch Perfect and Hairspray.

Four days later, the Gasparilla festival wraps at Centro Ybor 20 with the Florida premiere of Chu and Blossom, a coming-of-age comedy filmed locally in 2012. The cast includes Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King), Alan Cumming and 2012 rising star winner Ryan O'Nan, a frequent festival attendee.

The festival's out-of-competition centerpieces include Enemy, a Florida premiere directed by Denis Villeneuve, collaborating again with his Prisoners star Jake Gyllenhaal, right. Others include Hank and Asha, audience award winner at 2013's Slamdance festival in Utah, and The Boys of Abu Ghraib, dramatizing the Iraqi prisoner mistreatment scandal.

Seven movies are listed in the narrative competition including the U.S. premiere of House of Last Things, a thriller co-starring R.J. Mitte, above, (TV's Breaking Bad). Five Florida premieres and the modern Native American redemption drama Winter in the Blood round out the competition.

Gasparilla also features competition among independent Florida productions, documentaries and student works. Sidebars include a series of Cuisine Short Films at Tampa Museum of Art, celebrating food in movies, panel discussion among actors and female filmmakers, plus a collection of Cuban documentaries and features exploring that country's culture.

A complete list of Gasparilla selections is available at gasparillafilmfestival.com. Tickets will be available on the site. An announcement of attending celebrities is forthcoming, although festival marketing director Nancy Vaughn said Tuesday that each film is expected to be represented.

Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall on Twitter.

 
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