Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival Brings Fest Vibe to Friendly City

With the Sarasota Film Festival barely in the rearview mirror, an upstart film festival looks to keep the celebration of cinema going in Southwest Florida. The inaugural Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival will kick off May 8 and run through May 18, bringing independent films with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal to local screens and talent like actor Steven Bauer and Andrew Peterson to the region.

This is the first time the Movieville festival will be held in Bradenton, though it has existed for four years as a small exhibition of film at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas. The move to Bradenton, though, is not simply a geographic shift. Through a partnership with the Bradenton Area Film Commission, the event will include events at the Powel Crosley Estate, Manatee Convention Center and South Florida Museum.

Debbie Meihls, Bradenton Area Film Commissioner, says the festival creates an important opportunity to show the rich film possibilities in the area. “The Bradenton area has gone under the wire as far as filming, yet so many great films and commercials have been produced here,” she says.

Two former Sarasota Film Festival movies, The Enduring Beauty of Memory and Through the Tunnel, were filmed by the Manatee County filmmaking team of Charles Williams, Durand Adams and Charles Clapsaddle. And the region has previously provided the setting for such films as Palmetto, starring Woody Harrelson. Portions of independent films Spring Breakers and the upcoming Sex Ed also were shot in Manatee County.

The festival is still directed by Alan Bailey, a former Paramount Pictures executive, with the film commission organizing a number of the major events. A total of 25 films will screen, including 11 feature-length films (list at bottom of post).

As far as talent, actor Steven Bauer, known best for his roles in Scarface and Ray Donovan, will be in town for the entire duration of the festival. Bauer is the lead in Paloma, one of the features at the festival.

Director Andy Petersen will also be in attendance with the short films Plotted Plants and True Plagiarist.

The festival opens with Mother of God, an award-winning film directed by Andrew Dosunmu about a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn.

The cinema programmed, most of which will screen at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, includes international cinema as well as a number of student works from such local institutions as the Manatee Technical Institute and Manatee School for the Arts, Meihls said. The bulk of screenings will be held May 16, 17 and 18.

But Meihls noted the festival this year also includes a celebration of visual and performing arts, and offers the chance to showcase the region’s art presence in a variety of mediums.


Born and Raised; Mother of George; God’s Ears; Through The Tunnel; Enemy; Paloma; The Enduring Beauty of Memory; The Mourning; The Big Fat Stone; Four Winds; Out Smart; The Black Russian; Sharia; Plotted Plants; True Plagiarist; The Big Fat Stone; Recoil; Mobster Kids; Infected; Dreamland; Romeo, Juliet and the Shark; S.W.A.L.K.; Heart of the Shore.

Full event schedule below:

May 8, Grand Opening Celebration, Powel Crosley Estate, 6–10pm. (Invite Only)

May 10, Show Biz Expo, Bradenton Convention Center, noon–5pm. (Free event)

May 10, Concert: Legends of Country and Rock, Bradenton Convention Center. 7–11pm.

May 14, Sunset Tiki Cocktail Party, Honoring SCF Film Students, Tarpon Pointe, 6:30–10pm.

May 15, Remembering Hurricane Sandy, Kick Off Party, South Florida Museum, 6:30–10pm.

May 16, Party on Old Main Street, Downtown Bradenton, 6:30–10pm. Free event

May 17, Cocktail Party Mixer, Riverfront Deck, Pier 22, 6:30–10pm.

May 18, Black Tie Closing Gala, Bradenton Auditorium, 6:30–10 pm.




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