The St. Pete Clearwater Film Commission will present the fourth annual Dunedin International Film Festival (DIFF), running Jan. 13-16. This year’s festival boasts the theme of “Global to Local,” which epitomizes the diversity demonstrated among the seventy-six films chosen to be part of this year’s lineup. The selections come from sixteen countries and span all genres of drama, comedy, horror, science fiction and documentary.
It’s a time to go Hollywood and bring out the red carpet, but Dunedin style!
Single screening tickets for this year’s annual Dunedin International Film Festival are $10. All access screening passes are $100. Tickets to the Red-Carpet Gala and Awards Ceremony are $150. A virtual option is available for all films. Tickets, movie schedule and more information are available at Dunedinfilmfestival.org.
The walkability of open-air movie theaters makes experiencing Dunedin and cinema seamless. The theme this year is ‘Global to Local.’ Event organizers say this year’s festival brings more focus on the international facet of the event. Following is a list of screening and panel locations in order of opening date of the Dunedin International Film Festival:
Festival Box Office — In front of Dunedin History Museum, 349 Main St. Dunedin
Fenway Hotel Theater — 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin
HOB Brewing Co. Theater — 931 Huntley Ave. Dunedin
Blur Nightclub — 325 Main St. Dunedin
Soggy Bottom Brewing Co. — 660 Main St. Dunedin,
Pisces Sushi Global Bistro — 799 Highland Ave. Dunedin
Dunedin VFW — 360 Douglas Ave. Dunedin
For information, including a list of films and screening schedule for Dunedin International Film Festival, visit Dunedinfilmfestival.org. This year the opening night is the Black Culture Movement at HOB Brewing CO. The films featured that night include ‘Voices from a Sit-in,” “Becoming Black Lawyers,” and “One Pint at a Time,” a film about Black owner breweries in America and the history of beer brewing in Africa.
The festival will get underway Thursday, Jan. 13, at HOB Brewing Co., 931 Huntley Ave., Dunedin; and at the iconic Fenway Hotel 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin. Opening day will include live, local entertainment as well as award-nominated films. Progressive Arts will perform “The Life and Times of Alexander Hamilton” based on an adaptation of the book by Gary Dodds, who will be available for book signing at this event. Music icon Wayne Robinson will kick off the Black Culture Movement Cinema with live music. The Giving Tree will hold a drum circle after sunset on the Fenway lawn to honor Florida filmmaker Stephen F. Campbell.
And for the perfect ending of the day’s events, a filmmaker after-party will take place at Blur Nightclub, 325 Main St. On Friday, Soggy Bottom Brewing Co. will show a variety of shorts blocks and feature-length films. Pisces Sushi Global Bistro will feature films focusing on mindfulness and courage and will host a book reading and signing of “The Gods of Whatever” by Yhali Ilan.
Saturday’s festival is in high gear with three venues showing a wide variety of films. War and veteran-themed films will be screened at the Dunedin VFW. Documentaries, shorts blocks and comedy will be shown at Soggy Bottom and HOB Brewing. Movie fans can get involved in a workshop or listen to a filmmaker panel discussion at Sea Sea Riders starting at noon. Film fans can gain insight on turning their story into a screenplay, getting cast in a film, telling stories that matter and learning more about film in Florida.
On the final day of the festival, the Katie Whitney Team at Geria Realty will host the Red-Carpet Gala and Awards Ceremony. The black-tie event will be presented Sunday, Jan. 16, 4 p.m., at the Fenway. The best films of the 2022 festival will be recognized and a local filmmaker with receive the Florida Film Award. Another local artist will earn the Arts and Cultural Award.
One of this year’s selections is the film “Samland,” a drama directed by Juan Pablo Reyes. In “Samland,” a desperate immigrant accepts a marriage of convenience from an unscrupulous drug dealer and family friend to a young woman running from her past, blinded by her addiction. Together, they search for the “American Dream” that alludes them as they travel down a dangerous path filled with deception and death. They seek the truth about who they are, and how they fit into America’s distorted landscape.
In the film’s production notes, Reyes said he chose to write and direct “Samland” because he had lived and understood this uniquely American story and because as a Latino in the entertainment industry, he felt a responsibility to fill the void of Latinx artists in Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera. “Samland” will be screened Thursday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m., at the Fenway.
Dunedin International Film Festival (DIFF) was selected to screen the National Geographic documentary film “Torn,” which examines the complex family relationships that sprang from the death of accomplished international mountain climber Alex Lowe.
Widely hailed as the greatest mountaineer of his generation, Lowe was a towering figure in the world of outdoor sports. But he loomed even larger for his oldest son, Max, who was only 11 in 1999 when Alex was buried by an avalanche along with cameraman David Bridges while attempting to ski the north face of Mount Shishapangma in the Tibetan Himalaya.
The bodies were found 17 years later by two climbers attempting the same route, and in the following months, Lowe’s family journeyed to the remote mountain to recover them. In “Torn,” director Max Lowe examines the long-buried feelings this unearthed for him and his family, including his mother, Jennifer; his younger brothers, Sam and Isaac; and his stepfather, Conrad Anker, Alex’s climbing partner and best friend. “Torn” will be screened Saturday, Jan. 15, 4:45 p.m., at HOB Brewing.
Of the seventy-six films selected to be part of this year’s festival, twenty-six have been nominated for awards. From the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Ukraine, Israel, Austria and Canada, the festival delivers on its “Global to Local” promise. The gala’s after-party is hosted by Blur Nightclub and will get started at 9 p.m.
This year’s jury includes Elizabeth Brincklow, Carl Zimmerman, Jennifer Bramley, Blair Barnette, David Brownlow, and Nate Conella. The jury donated many hours over the holiday season to help curate the festival’s outstanding presentation.
Content available from the Dunedin International Film Festival website as well as sources for firms shown. All ghotos are for editorial purposes only, all rights reserved.