The Sunscreen Film Festival, one of only 23 film festivals sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, raises the curtain on their 12th Annual Festival with a screening at The Palladium Theater Thursday, April 27th and exits stage right Sunday, April 30th at AMC Sundial St Pete. Their official selections for the 2017 event features films with Alec Baldwin, Dylan McDermott, John Cleese, Daphne Zuniga and more. Opening night catch Michael Mailer's newest film, Blind, a romantic drama starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. Closing night wraps up with Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, a family-friendly fantasy, starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorff. So who are the A-list celebs scheduled to attend?  Dylan McDermott will be in attendance for two screenings at the festival, opening night's Blind and Sugar, which he directed. Also look for Daphne Zuniga to be present for a retro screening honoring the 30th Anniversary of Spaceballs at the Museum of Fine Arts Friday night and for the screening of her new film Those Left Behind  Saturday.

The 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival | Bigger and Better than Ever!

Durning this year's festival, film fans can attend, Shorts film blocks, Special Screenings, Feature Films, Workshops, Conversations, Latin and Florida Showcases and Special Events.  Stroll the red carpet opening night at the Palladium Thursday night, Friday night is the Filmmaker's Party then cheer on your faves at the Awards ceremony and Closing night celebration Saturday night at Nova 535. You can take part in conversation events with award-winning American actor, jazz singer, and producer Robert Davi (Davi has performed in more than 130 films and produced six films) and Joe Pantoliano, who appears in Canvas, screening at 2:00 pm on Sunday. With more than 100 film, television and stage credits to his name, 'Joey Pants' is a prolific American character actor we all know and recognize as one of the best. He and Davi will answer questions and share their paths to success.

Gary Busey and panel answer questions at a 2016 Sunscreen Film Festival workshop.

Besides McDermott's feature films, look for (7) other Special Screenings including Spaceballs, The Greatest Show on Earth (in honor of Ringling Circus), David Novak's Finding Babel and more. From the fifteen workshops offered Sunscreen Film Festival has covered information benefitting everyone from the fledgling filmmaker to those ready to tackle their first feature film.  You can sit in on a discussion about the distribution of Michael Mailer's Blind,  learn the basics of professional screenwriting, and how to 'Kick Ass and Take Names' with Director Bill Duke, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Davi and more. Learn cinematic storytelling, how to pitch your script, then PITCH your script, understand the legal ins and outs of filmmaking, how to produce a film in Florida and so much more!

Feature films, not including Special Presentations at this year's Sunscreen Film Festival festival include:

  • Sami Blood ~This award-winning film is a 2016 Swedish coming-of-age drama set in Sweden in the 1930s and concerns a 14-year-old girl who experiences racism at a school for Sami children. The girl escapes her town and disavows her Sami heritage. Parts of the story are inspired by director Amanda Kernell's own grandmother. (wiki)
  • Kate Can't Swimfeatures four young actors as a group of friends struggling to come to terms with themselves as they move into their thirties and face change.
  • Carter and Junefrom the Producer of Napolean Dynamite the plot is simple, "Do the job. Get the money. Get the girl. Get the kid. Simple, right?" (from IMDB)
  • The Hero ~ Recently released, this film portrays  Sam Elliott as an aging actor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer trying to reconcile with his distant daughter (Krysten Ritter) while striking up a new relationship with a crazy new woman in his life (Laura Prepon).
  • All About the MoneyWatch as two amateur documentary filmmaker/plumbers decide that the fast track to life may be criminal as they document every escapade.
  • The New 8-Bit HeroesWhat is the value of the ambitions we discard in our childhood? What becomes of the juvenile interests that are sacrificed as part of our rite of passage into maturity? What happens when those ambitions are reintroduced into our adult lives? You retrofit a 30-year-old game console!
  • Whose Streetsa closer look at the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown and how his death inspired a community to fight back, sparking a global movement alive today.
  • LadylikeWhen a witty, co-dependent college girl helps a friend find a boyfriend, she's left on the outs looking in and is forced to deal with adulthood for the first time.
  • Davi's WayRobert Davi documents one year as he recreates Sinatra's fabled 'Main Event' concert in Madison Square Garden on Sinatra's 100th Birthday in this comedic documentary.
  • Those Left Behind ~ Witness what takes place in a family 25 years after the suicide of their son, a gripping and poignant study in grief.
  • Diani & Devine Meet the ApocalypseA struggling comedy duo surviving the apocalypse, they find it is almost as difficult as surviving Hollywood!
  • Created EqualAlejandra Batista, seeking to become a Catholic priest, turns to a successful lawyer who files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without cause.
  • ResidueA P.I. unknowingly puts his daughter and himself in a fight for their lives and their souls after reading a sinister book. 
  • I Can I Will I DidBen, a depressed foster youth, is bullied, causing an auto accident and Ben to lose the ability to walk. During his slow recovery process, he meets Adrienne, a fellow wheelchair-bound patient who introduces him to her granddad, a Taekwondo Master. Her grandfather teaches Ben how to walk and how to take charge of his life.
  • Good Bonesa comedic coming-of-age story set in the world of Hamptons Real Estate. Danny O'Brien dedicates one last shot to saving his family's failing real estate agency. Challenged by heartless capitalist modernism,  liars and cheaters in other agencies, Danny complicates the game by falling in love with Clare, an intern at one of 'the bad agencies'.  A study in old vs. new, modern vs. classic and a look at moral values.
  • The Forbidden ShorePolitics silenced Cuban voices but music is the true voice. Enjoy the musical diversity of Cuba as it is revealed with over 40 performances by Cuba's top artists, from street to concert, with shared stories revealing its people, culture, politics and more.
  • Till the Aces Come HomeA failing entrepreneur helps a terminally ill bum who it turns out is a rich, venture capitalist.
  • Last Broken Darknessthe exciting story of Sam (Sean Cameron Michael), a broken man who after the world ends from a massive Meteor shower and the loss of his son, is forced to live underground. Set on a journey that takes him and his survivor friends into the darkest parts of an evil underground world where they find themselves on the run with a crew of heavily armed marauders, mutated creatures, bandits and cannibals hunt them as a loving story emerges to reveal the heart of friendship in the face of death. If you enjoy an uplifting movie about selflessness, friendship and courage, you will enjoy this film!
  • Tracktowna lonely long-distance runner twists her ankle as she preps for her Olympic Trials finding herself thrust into a situation where she must do something she's never done before, rest!

Other screenings include 6 Latin Showcases and 4 Florida Showcase films including David Vega's, Eat. Speak. St. Pete.

As the Sunscreen Film Festival continues to grow in size and stature we will continue to draw A-List celebs looking to meet fans and create interest in their projects. One of the festival's biggest draws is its resort location, and a fantastic lineup of films sure to make this year's festival bigger and better than ever! We love it when the stars enjoy bringing their work here, so let's show them we understand the importance of filmmaking in our state and support the festival. With over 70 film-centric events on the schedule, it won't be difficult to find something of interest. They made it easy! Download the handy PDF schedule from the Sunscreen Film Festival site, plan to be on the red carpet 2017, and secure your tickets today!  (Cover photo courtesy of Sunscreen Film festival 2016 gallery)