In its 17th year, the Palm Beach International Film Festival will feature more than 100 films, documentaries and shorts from around the world. Open now through April 19, nearly half of the festival’s screenings will be held at the nearby Muvico Parisian at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.
Last year the festival was held in March, but organizers decided to move it back to its April dates to avoid conflict with the inaugural Palm Beach Women’s International Film Festival and the Downtown Boca Film Festival. Previously criticized for its alleged preoccupation with celebrities, the Palm Beach International Film Festival is about filmmakers, according to festival director Randi Emerman.
“I continue to strive to make this about filmmakers and the art and culture film brings us,” she said. “That’s why I keep doing it. I want the community to see these movies and meet these filmmakers.”
Opening with Robot and Frank, which won a feature film prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and features movie star Frank Langella, the Palm Beach International Film Festival will show 25 world premieres, two North American premieres and 14 United States premieres. Filmmakers are expected to attend many of the screenings and the festival will also include a student film showcase, a weekend of shorts, short films by local filmmakers and a music video night.
During a Sunday brunch at the West Palm Beach waterfront, the festival will honor June Lockhart with a lifetime achievement award for her work in movies like The White Cliffs of Dover and The Yearling as well as her work in TV series Lassie, Lost in Space and Petticoat Junction.
The festival does not receive any public funding and has an operating budget of less than $200,000. Tickets are available in advance at pbifilmfest.org or at theater box offices during the festival.
In addition to the Muvico Parisian 20 at CityPlace, the festival will be held at Cobb Theatres Downtown 16 in Palm Beach Gardens, Stonzek Theatre at the Lake Worth Playhouse, Debilzan Gallery in Delray Beach and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center in Boca Raton.