Surrounded by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, filmmakers, sponsors and area officials closed the first Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival with a glamorous gala on Sunday night. While expected guests Jon Lovitz and Steve Bauer could not make it to Bradenton this year, the event did bring in filmmakers from around the world to enjoy the Bradenton area and plant the seeds of potential in this event.
“Bradenton has been great to us,” said Susan Short, executive director for the festival. “People who came in from Sarasota fell in love with downtown Bradenton. We’ve been happy with our international guests. And everyone has said it would be beautiful to shoot here. “
Movieville has held smaller festivals in previous years in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota, but has always essentially been centered inside a single movie theater showing films to cinephiles. This year, the festival held seven events over 11 days, including rock concerts, professional workshops and, of course, film screenings. Rather than a traditional movie theater, films were played at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. The South Florida Museum’s Bradenton Auditorium provided a venue for closing night, a week and a half after the Powel Crosley Estate hosted the festival opening celebration.
Alan Bailey, artistic director for the festival, announced Sunday that the festival will stay in Bradenton next year, tentatively scheduled for the first two weeks in June. The first week, he said, will focus on performance art including theater, while the second week will be devoted to cinema.