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Gasparilla: The Film Festival That Could
(released 3/16/2015)
By Douglas Lorah

The Gasparilla International Film Festival looked like it would be closing this year.  But after running a successful IndieGoGo campaign, it has raised the $20,000 needed to resurrect Channelside Cinemas for its March 24-29, 2015 festival.

According to their IndieGoGo page, the funds are needed for a little clean up of the theater that closed 2 years ago and mostly to bring in projection and sound equipment and the techs that go along with it.

In addition to this stellar accomplishment alone, there are a few other reasons to attend the Gasparilla Film Festival this year.

Speaking of not giving up, the opening night festivities include a screening of The Surface, which is the latest film from Sean Astin.  Astin is best known for his lead role in the movie about overcoming all odds, Rudy.  He's done a few movies, so some people might know him from The Goonies or The Lord of the Rings trilogy, too.  He will be in attendance along with co-star Chris Mulkey, Producer Jeff Gendelman, and Jimmy Sammarco, the DP and Co-Producer.

There will be numerous local films screened including the feature premieres of Dutch Book and IllusionsDutch Book premieres March 25 at 9:45 p.m. with Director James Repici in attendance.  Illusions premieres March 26 at 11:00 p.m. with Director Nick Naylor in attendance.  Since these are local productions, there is a good chance there will be other attendees at the screenings.

Free industry panel discussions pepper the schedule as well, which you see at

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