This may be a bold statement, but Palm Beach County has too much going on. Not all the time, but some of the time. And with the snowbirds still chirping around, this has been one of those weeks.
One of the busiest events of the season is the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Now in its 19th year, the fest is bringing to town a fitting 19 filmmakers from 19 different countries. And though this truly global event is about halfway through, there are still plenty of screenings to attend and potential celebrity sightings on the horizon. Also, FYI, a killer Netflix queue doesn't mean anything if you ignore a mammoth film festival happening right in your backyard.
"I really think that the caliber of movies here at this festival is something to be proud of." says director Gabriel Bologna. His film African Gothic addresses the issue of apartheid, which made its national debut at the festival. He's elated to have his movie grouped in with the quality films selected.
"I was very taken with how intrigued the audiences were with the subject matter," says Bologna who attended the screening with his cast, "because believe it or not, Americans know very little about that struggle."
Bologna told us he was "immediately taken by the quality of films. There are a lot of film festivals that will take any old movie." That's a good sign not only for the filmmakers and the hard-working people behind the fest, but also for the city of West Palm Beach and its residents (even those who are seasonal).
PBIFF is going strong all this week with Cas & Dylan closing it out on Thursday night. This Canadian flick is something special, starring Richard Dreyfuss as a dying doctor who gets stuck with an unwelcome road trip companion-- a delicate twist on the classic stranger danger tale. Bonus: Cas & Dylan presents the directing debut of Jason Priestley, a.k.a. Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills 90210 and your '90s dream man. Priestley is bringing the goods and will attend the screening at the Cinemark Palace 20.
The Palm Beach International Film Festival ends Thursday, April 10. Films are being screened at Muvico Parisian 20 and IMAX in CityPlace, 545 Hibiscus St., West Palm Beach; Cobb Downtown 16, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Palm Beach Gardens; Stonzek Theater, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; and Cinemark Palace 20 XD, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton. Call 561-362-0003, or visit pbifilmfest.org.