Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival announces guests Ann-Margret, Ed Asner, Tab Hunter

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) holds the distinction of being one of the world's longest. At 25 days, it's just one day shorter than Seattle's, recognized as the longest in America. The 2013 edition will take place from October 18 - November 11. Throughout the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to meet celebrities at their films, tributes, parties, and galas. The popular Chairman’s Cruise will host many splashy events as well. Awards will be presented to stars including Anna Paquin and Lea Thompson, along with legends such as Ed Asner, Tab Hunter, and Ann-Margret. Here is the complete lineup of special events and honored guests:

  • The festival kicks off with the Opening Night festivities on October 18 at 7:00 PM at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The World Premiere of Free Ride will be attended by star Anna Paquin, who won the Oscar for her role in the acclaimed film The Piano, and writer/director Shana Betz. Based on her childhood in Fort Lauderdale, Free Ride is Betz's directorial debut (and that night also happens to be her birthday). Paquin stars as a single mom caught up in the Florida drug trade during the late 1970s while trying to make a better life for her two girls.  FLIFF will present Paquin with a Career Achievement Award prior to the film. Following the screening, attendees are invited to join Paquin and Betz at the Opening Night Party hosted by philanthropist Steve Savor at his 18,000 square foot waterfront home, Villa de Palma. I was there last year at one of the 2012 festival's parties and it was beyond spectacular. The event includes a buffet, open bar, and live entertainment. The following day, Saturday, October 19 at 9:15 PM, Paquin will attend a free outdoor screening of the movie at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale.

  • Actress Lea Thompson will attend the Florida premiere of her new film The Trouble With Truth. The event takes place Saturday, October 19 starting at 6:30 PM at Cinema Paradiso (CP) in Fort Lauderdale. Thompson will also make an appearance at a free outdoor screening of Back to the Future at 7:00 PM that night in CP's courtyard. In addition, Thompson is expected to attend her second screening of The Trouble With Truth at Muvico Pompano on October 20 at 12:30 PM.

  • FLIFF takes to the water on Sunday, October 20 at 10:00 AM as talent and attendees enjoy the Chairman's Brunch & Cruise aboard Sun Dream Yacht Charter’s Caprice. The two hour cruise on Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway includes a buffet and open bar.

  • On Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 PM, Aphrodite Jones will introduce Boys Don’t Cry. Jones, a best-selling author, investigative journalist, and host of the TV hit series True Crimes, wrote All She Wanted,  the novel on which Boys Don't Cry was based. This classic tells the true story of Teena Brandon, a woman who passed herself off as a man and had passionate affairs with young women, until she was murdered. Hillary Swank won an Oscar and Chloe Sevigny received a nomination for their roles in the film.

  • FLIFF honors Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner with a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM. He also plans to perform a scene from his one-man show FDR during the event. A legend of both comedy and drama in both film and television, Ed Asner had the distinction of being the only actor to win an Emmy in both genres for playing the same character, Lou Grant.  He also portrayed Guy Banister in Oliver Stone's conspiracy classic JFK (1991) and Santa Claus in Elf (2003), as well as guesting on shows like The X-Files (Fox, 1993-2002).  Asner assisted in the funding for then unknown filmmaker Michael Moore's first feature documentary Roger & Me (1989). His most recent work includes voicing the curmudgeonly Carl Fredrickson of the animated hit Up along with six new film and television projects in production.

  • On Friday, October 25 at 7:00 PM, actress Finola Hughes (General Hospital, Stayin’ Alive) will attend the South Florida premiere of her feature directorial debut The Bet. The first screening will take place at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. She will also attend additional screenings on Saturday, October 26 at 3:30 PM at the new Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood and at 6:00 PM at Muvico Pompano.

  • Pauly Cohen, big band era trumpeter for acts including Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, and Tommy Dorsey, will attend the premiere of his music documentary Taking Charge. Now 90 years young, Cohen leads his own big band in South Florida. This event will take place at Sunrise Civic Center on Saturday, October 26 at 4:30 PM.

  • On Tuesday, October 29, FLIFF honors one of the hottest icons of Hollywood’s golden age, Tab Hunter, with a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The evening begins with a 5:30 PM reception in the courtyard. At 6:45 PM, a montage of Hunter’s career will be followed by a Q&A, moderated by film historian Foster Hirsch. At 8:15 PM Hunter will introduce a retrospective screening of his Oscar-nominated 1958 classic D*mn Yankees, in which he starred with Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, and Jean Stapleton.

  • The documentary Tiger Shark Express will feature an appearance by renowned marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey. This event will take place at Broward College's Bailey Hall on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00 PM. This remarkable adventure story represents five years of expeditions as Harvey teams up with researchers across the Atlantic for a breakthrough, multi-year study involving tiger sharks. Three new facts they uncover will not only change the way you look at sharks, but will change the way you look at the ocean as well.

  • Keeping with the theme of sea wonders, Jonathan Bird, an Emmy award-winning cinematographer specializing in underwater production, will attend screenings of his educational, family-friendly underwater adventure series Blue World on Monday, November 4 and Tuesday, November 5 at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The program has aired on public television in the U.S. since 2008. Screenings from the fourth year of the series will be held at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:00 PM, followed by a Q&A with Bird. The screenings are free for schools and others who wish to attend.

  • On Friday, November 8 at 9:15 PM stand-up comedian Ian Harvey comes to Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. Harvey, who's been the opening act for Margaret Cho for years, will attend the Florida Premiere of his concert film Ian Harvey Superhero. Though he was born a girl and later became a self-made man, it's Ian's facile sense of ease that makes his humor groundbreaking, not just his gender-bending presence. Harvey will also attend screenings of the film on November 9 at 9:30 PM at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood and November 10 at 8:00 PM at Sunrise Civic Center.

  • The splashiest Gala in the festival’s history will take place at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood on Saturday, November 9. The night will light up as FLIFF honors the legendary Ann-Margret, one of the greatest actresses and entertainers of all time. A montage of her career will be followed by her Lifetime Achievement Award presentation. The Gala begins at 6:00 PM and includes an open bar and sit-down dinner. As a young girl, Ann-Margret was discovered by the legendary George Burns. Since her film debut playing Bette Davis’ daughter in A Pocketful of Miracles, Ann-Margret has made over 52 movies including such hits as Cincinnati Kid, State Fair, Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, Stagecoach, Any Given Sunday, Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men, Taxi, and Old Dogs. She earned two Oscar nominations for her roles in Mike Nichols’ film Carnal Knowledge and the classic Ken Russell rock opera film Tommy. She has co-starred with such luminaries as John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kirk Douglas, Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, and Walter Matthau.

  • Performing at the Gala will be multiple Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton. His soft rock ballads include How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, How Can We Be Lovers, Time, Love and Tenderness, and Georgia on My Mind. Bolton’s achievements include selling 53 million albums worldwide, eight top ten albums, and two number one singles on the Billboard charts.


Each event and film is priced separately.  Advance tickets are available to purchase online at or by calling 954-760-9898.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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