The Skyway Film Festival is kicking off its programming with some Florida flair by bringing the world premiere of Walt Before Mickey to the screen for an opening night celebration sponsored by Feld Entertainment. Shot in Florida, the film investigates the life of Walt Disney before he became a household name and animation powerhouse, Walt Before Mickey takes a closer look at his childhood growing up in Missouri and the path he took to discovering what would become his most recognizable creation. Based upon the book of the same name by Timothy S. Susanin, the film marks the feature-length debut for director Khoa Lee and stars Thomas Ian Nicholas as Disney, and Jon Heder. “There isn’t a better film to kick off our inaugural film festival,” said Joe Restaino, artistic director for Skyway, describing Disney as “one of the most impactful entertainment pioneers in the history of film.”
“In addition, with the film shooting in Florida and so many from the state being part of it, it’s a perfect start to our festival,” Restaino added.
The festival closes with an oddball romantic-comedy from another first-time feature-length director, Nick Wernham, further driving home Skyway’s dedication to the rising artist. No Stranger Than Love follows the madcap antics of one crazy night when extramarital affections and interdimensional wormholes collide, sending one wayward lover spiraling into infinite blackness while the remaining two put aside their romantic rivalry and betrayal for a clandestine rescue mission in their small town. The film stars Alison Brie, Colin Hanks and Justin Chatwin as the troubled triangle.