By Dave Montalbano
It is time to start planning The 19th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF), which opens in two weeks. This year, there will be an emphasis in South Palm Beach County with the opening, centerpiece and closing movies screened in the Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton.
Belle opens the fest, an English drama about royal racism. Belle (Gugu Mbatha- Raw) is the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised with privilege by her uncle, Lord Mansfield, Belle finds certain doors closed to her because of the color of her skin. The cast includes two Harry Potter veterans (Emma Watson, Tom Felton) and Tom Wilkinson.
A decade ago, Rick McKay debuted Broadway the Golden Age, which features Broadway legends like Kim Hunter, Marlon Brando and Gwen Verdon. This year, he returns with Broadway Beyond the Golden Age, which emphasizes the second generation of Broadway productions featuring controversial musicals like Hair and Oh Calcutta! The star of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Robert Morse, is scheduled to attend and receive an award on Monday, April 7 at Cinemark Palace 20. There will be a party at Bogart’s Bar & Grille on the second floor.
Twenty years ago, Jason Priestly was a target for the paparazzi for his work on the television show Beverly Hills 90210. He has quietly slipped behind the camera and has directed Cas & Dylan, a road movie which stars Richard Dreyfus, Tatiana Maslany and Jayne Eastwood, which will be PBIFF’s final film. Priesly will be in attendance.
The festival also places an emphasis upon independent features. Fat, Dumb and Happy is a comedy/drama filmed in Orlando. The Other One is a domestic drama about a child’s responsibility to an aging parent. A visual effects intern for The Walking Dead, Vicki Lau, debuts The Painter, a short subject about an artist with a magical paintbrush. Lion Ark is a documentary about activists saving lions from a brutal existence at Bolivian circuses. Given that April is Autism Awareness Month, PBIFF will be presenting A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism, with director/ writer and High School Freshman Alexandra Jackman scheduled to attend the Lake Worth screening. For late breaking news, visit the website www.pbifilmfest.org.
Last, but not least Mr. Peabody & Sherman has quietly earned 83 million dollars in a fortnight. With sophisticated scatological humor, grievous puns and a dose of Twisted history and drama, this film is an animated feature with much heart. Parents taking their upper-aged elementary school children will enjoy a good time at a Saturday matinee price.