Movieville festival opens in Sarasota

mclear@bradenton.comSeptember 19, 2013 

Joe Pesci stars in the documentary "Behind the Gate" screening at the Movieville International Film Festival this weekend. PUBLICITY PHOTO

It may not be the best-known annual film event in Sarasota, but the Movieville International Film Festival is continuing to enhance its reputation for presenting great independent movies, with an emphasis on films with a local connection.

This year's event, the third annual installment of the festival, runs today through Sunday.Besides focusing on the work of local producers, this year's Movieville festival will present special screenings of "Behind the Gate," a documentary on the world of horse racing starring Joe Pesci, and "Real Gangsters," an award-winning crime thriller that stars Margot Kidder, Robert Loggia and Steven Bauer.

Those are just two of more than 40 films scheduled for this year's festival. There are also plenty of non-film festivities on tap, with such celebrities as Bo Svenson (from "Kill Bill" and "Inglourious Basterds") and Nik Wallenda.

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. today at the Florida Studio Theatre's Cabaret. Among the highlights will be stars of locally produced film "Beautiful Noise," performing songs from the film.The film screenings start Saturday with "The Tomb, an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's "Ligeria" that stars Wes Bentley and Eric Roberts, and "Blind Pass," an indie thriller starring Armand Assante. "Blind Pass" is a locally produced film by Sarasota's Steve Tatone. All the festival's films will be shown at Burns Court Cinemas.

Saturday brings a beach party starting at 6 p.m. at Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar along the Manatee River, with music by Big T and the Tornados

A closing ceremony is set for Sunday at Sarasota's Classic Car Museum.

You can find a complete schedule of films and other festival events at

Details: Sept. 19-22, films at Burns Court Cinema, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota; other events at various locations. Tickets: Various prices. Information: 941-955-3456,

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