Emmy Award winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee, Armand Assante, will receive the Gasparilla Career Achievement Award for Excellence in Film on March 1st. The award will be presented at a reception held in his honor at the Dolce Vita Lounge at 5:00 p.m., immediately following the screening of one of his films, California Dreamin' at Channelside Cinemas. The long-time actor will also grace the screen in another film festival feature, The Steam Experiment, starring Val Kilmer, which is a first-time public screening of the film.
Armand Assante's first film was Lords of Flatbush (1974), but burst on to the scene in the 1980's film Private Benjamin with Goldie Hawn. He has been a popular "tough guy" in films such as The Jury, Gotti, and Rage of Angels. Other notable films in his nearly four decades of work include TV/film classics like Jack the Ripper, Striptease, The Odyssey, American Gangster, The Mambo Kings and Q & A.
Attendees at this year's film festival can catch him in The Steam Experiment as he portrays the role of Detective Mancini. In this movie, a former professor (Val Kilmer) concocts a brutal experiment in order to get the word out on the effects of global warming. By trapping six people in an urban Turkish bathhouse, he vows to overheat his hostages unless his global-warming hypothesis is published on the front page of his local paper.
In California Dreamin', Assante plays the lead role as Captain Doug Jones. This movie is based on a true story and follows a NATO train transporting military equipment that is stopped in the middle of nowhere by an overzealous chief of a Romanian train station. This film is set against the backdrop of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. With humor and gritty realism, the film explores how American soldiers led by Captain Jones impact the lives of people in a small village community.
For more details about the Gasparilla Film Festival which opens Thursday, February 26th, go to www.gasparillafilmfestival.com.