1. Stage

Gasparilla Film Festival awards announced

Published Mar. 24, 2014

The eighth annual Gasparilla International Film Festival wrapped Sunday, handing its top jury prize to Mark Raso's Copenhagen, a bristly romance set in that Danish city.

Raso blended elements of Before Sunrise and Manhattan in a love story between a surly American and a 14-year-old local girl. Frederikke Dahl Hansen was cited by the jury for her portrayal of the young object of affection.

Michael Wechsler won the jury's filmmaker award for his psychodrama The Red Robin.

The world showcase award went to Melaza, a domestic drama from Cuba, while Camille Thoman's The Longest Game was voted best documentary. Sand Castles won the new visions award and a distribution deal.

The Gasparilla festival concluded with the Florida premiere of Chu and Blossom, a culture clash comedy filmed around Tampa Bay in 2012, and a glitzy wrap party at Ybor City's Ritz nightclub.

Steve Persall can be reached at or (727) 893-8365.