Even the screen itself seemed excited at the Florida Film Festival preview party Wednesday night.
"It's like 3-D!" exclaimed Enzian president Henry Maldonado as the theater's inflatable outdoor screen pitched forward in the stiff breeze. Some of the crowd were there to see a Wednesday Night Pitcher Show screening of "Cannibal the Musical," but most were there to hear Maldonado dole out some details on the 2013 Florida Film Festival, scheduled for April 5-14. Some highlights from that night's news:
- Not many hard facts were offered on film titles for this year's fest, but Maldonado hinted at plenty in a round of name-dropping. Some of those names "related to this year's films" included Michael Fassbender, Reese Witherspoon, Tippi Hedren, Matthew McConaughey and Maurice Sendak.
- Early birds will have a new option for screenings with the addition of a Matinee Pass. For $99, passholders gain admission to films beginning before 5 p.m. on any day of the festival. That's potential access to 18 movies.
- Dining will once again be a big part of the festival. "Movie Menus" author Francine Segan will host "A Taste of Movie Magic" at 4:30 p.m. April 6, offering complimentary tastings paired with foodie clips from films like "Big Night," Five Easy Pieces," and, um, "Animal House." (Presumably the event will not include a food fight.) Admission is $10. Later that night, high rollers can enjoy a Saturday Night Whole Cookery Feast at Cask & Larder at 7 p.m. April 6. Custom crafted cocktails and a four-course Southern meal are a part of that event, available for $150 singles and $250 couples.
- Cuisine is also part of the package at an Italian Cinema Night scheduled for April 8, featuring a 15th anniversary remastered edition of the Federico Fellini classic "8 1/2." The $11 event includes tastings of Italian food classics and a free reception.