The Fort Myers Film Festival will host the U.S. premiere of "A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy" at the festival's opening-night gala Wednesday, March 26, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.
"I'm so excited to have a sexy, edgy U.S. premiere starring Luke for this festival's red-carpet opener at the Barbara B. Mann," Eric Raddatz, FMff founder and executive director, says about the romantic comedy set in among sumptuous food, saunas and midnight skinny-dipping in the Swedish midsummer tradition.
The film starring Luke Perry, who will Skype in and take questions from the audience, was produced by Naples native Melissa Davis. A 1997 graduate of Barron Collier High School, Davis was nominated f or a Grammy in 2010 for producing the feature documentary "Anita O'Day -- The Life of a Jazz Singer." She was most recently a producer on the feature documentary " Happiness," which is being executive produced by Oliver Stone and presented by British writer/comedian Russell Brand.
The inaugural Fort Myers Film Festival will also showcase "Meth," recently screened at Sundance and starring a local actress who is making it big, Ayla Ocasio.
FMff screenings will be held Marc h 24-27 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers, also at the Alliance for the Arts March 25-26.
Independent films playing in the inaugural Fort Myers Film Festival span the globe with selections from as far as Sierra Leone, Ireland, Poland and Sweden to dozens of films made right here in Southwest Florida.
"We all need to support local film, local business and local filmmakers in today's economy. Knowing our area has something viable to offer in the realms of movie-making will contribute toward economic growth and stability," Rad Datz said. "I am so thankful to all of the support we have received from the city and county as well as the local businesses. We need to come together in these difficult economic times and show the world we have something strong to offer here in Southwest Florida."
Of local filmmakers attending with projects screening are Gail Kowatch, John Scoular, Hank Sorrick, Edward Clay, Donald McQuade, Gerard Damiano Jr., Jennifer Marquis, Tim Ritter, Patrick Mitchell, Melissa Davis, Eric Raddatz, Elizabeth D'Onofrio, Danielle Camastra, Greg Helton, Flip Minott, John Biffar, Waddy Padilla, Connie Bott inelli, Fredy Hernandez, Madison Absher and Rusty Farst. A panel of local and visiting filmmakers will be in attendance at the opening night gala and interactive Q&A's through the festival including Sara Terry, Ian McCrudden , Daniel Herrera, Gene D'Onofrio and Jackie Gomez.
Stars such as Meat Loaf, James Badge Dale, Tom Felton, Marcus Jansen, Imelda Staunton, James Cromwell and Judd Hirsch are only a few faces you may find recognizable in films playing through the week such as Polish Bar, White Other, A Lonely Place for Dying, For Once In My Life, Fambul Tok, Baby and The Violinist to name just a few.