A narrative film about Walt Disney's early life will open Bradenton's brand-new Skyway Film Festival.
On Monday, officials announced that the world premiere of "Walt Before Mickey" would open the inaugural edition of The Skyway Film Festival, which is scheduled to run June 12-14 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
Closing the festival will be the Florida premiere of a romantic comedy titled "No Stranger Than Love."
"Walt Before Mickey," which was filmed in Florida, is the first feature from director Khoa Lee. But its cast has some familiar names: Thomas Ian Nicholas (from the "American Pie" movies, among many others), Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite"), Jodie Sweetin ("Full House") and David Henrie ("How I Met Your Mother"). The film chronicles the life of Walt Disney from his childhood in Missouri to his start as an animator.
"No Stranger Than Love" stars Alison Brie from "Community," Colin Hanks (from the "Fargo" TV series, among many other credits) and Justin Chatwin from "Shameless." It's a romcom in which an extra-marital tryst is interrupted when one of the cheaters falling into "an inter-dimensional, one-way hole of infinite darkness," according to the synopsis provided by the festival.
Those are the only films that have been announced thus far, but the full festival program will be announced soon. Tickets going on sale at noon May 22.
Joe Restaino, artistic director of the festival, said he expects to screen about 50 films, including shorts.
For more information, go to skywayfilmfestival.org.
-- Marty Clear