After debuting last June at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, Movieville International Film Festival returns.
It starts today (11 a.m.-8 p.m.) with the ShowBiz Expo and poolside mixer at the Hyatt Place in Sarasota.
The expo will be followed by three consecutive days of movie screenings at the Sarasota Film Society's Burns Court Cinemas beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The three days will showcase the work of independent producers from Florida and Los Angeles, as well as films from Russia, Germany, China, Indonesia and Thailand.
To kick off the event, the ShowBiz Expo (which is free and open to the public) will spotlight providers and services from local entertainment and production suppliers in the Sarasota area. It will also include more detailed 30-minute presentations in the Hyatt Place conference room from selected vendors.
Movieville events include a "VIP Beach Party" Saturday at Tarpon Pointe Grille & Tiki Bar along the Manatee River in Bradenton.
A pair of thrillers starring famous faces will be screened Friday at Burns Court.
Two-time Golden Globe nominee Maria Bello ("A History of Violence," "The Cooler") gets "Carjacked" with Stephen Dorff ("Blade," "Public Enemies") at 4:15 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m., in the same theater, Christian Slater ("True Romance," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves") gets mixed up with the Russian mafia (and a ballerina) in "White Swan," which was released as "Shadows of the White Nights" in 2010, according to IMDb.com.
Other festival selections being screened through Sunday include "The Lighthouse," starring Danny Glover ("Lethal Weapon," "The Color Purple.)
The producers of Movieville International Film Festival are Susan Short, publisher of Family Beautiful magazine, and Los Angeles-based entertainment industry veteran Alan Bailey, the former chief financial officer of Manatee County-based film company Sanborn Studios LLC.
Details: Sept. 20-23, Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota. Tickets for film screenings: $9; $7 (Film Society members). Information: 941-955-3456 or filmsociety.org; movievillefilmfestival.com.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer and columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter@wtatangelo.