The Gasparilla International Film Festival is in its 5th year and the Festival of the Moving Image (Ybor Film Festival) is in its 9th year. Festival of the Moving Image begins a day earlier on Wednesday, March 23rd and then they run concurrently through the remainder of the weekend to Sunday, March 27th.
The Festival of the Moving Image is hosted by Hillsborough Community College and most of the screenings and events take place in the Performing Arts Building at the corner of West Palm Avenue and 14th Street in Ybor.
It opens Wednesday with The Lost Thing which won the 2011 Oscar for Best Animated Short and Production Day by Tampa director Fred Smith. FOMI does a very good job highlighting independent and student filmmakers from the state of Florida.
Gasparilla is partnering with FOMI this year and they are sharing a screening of Into Eternity. It is a film about an underground radioactive waste repository being built in Finland. It screens Friday at 9pm in the Mainstage Theater at the Hillsborough PAC.
Gasparilla opens its festival on Thursday with special guest Actor M. Emmet Walsh. He is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award prior to the opening film The Music Never Stopped. Both will be at the Tampa Theatre.
Also at the festival is Actor Tom Berenger. He will have a small private dinner which you can purchase tickets to accompany Mr. Berenger and ask him questions. He is also receiving a Career Achievement Award on Sunday prior to the Closing Night film Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja. There is also a 25th Anniversary screening of Platoon on Saturday at Cinebistro in Hyde Park.
Most of the screenings take place at Cinebistro and Muvico Central Ybor. There is also a good contingent of Florida independent and student films represented at Gasparilla.