April 13, 2023
By: Billy Joynt | April 13th, 2023

Now in its 32nd year, The Florida Film Festival is an Oscar qualifying festival, premiering the best in current, independent, and international cinema.

Through 10 days of 160+ films and first-class events, film lovers mingle with filmmakers and celebrities over hand-crafted cocktails and a delicious menu at Eden Bar and inside Enzian Theater.

The Florida Film Festival runs from April 14th - 23rd, 2023!

See below on the Top films that I am looking forward to viewing.
Click Here for Information on Attending the Festival.

Hamilton, Ontario, 1996. Two mismatched entrepreneurs—quiet, nerdy genius Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel, This Is the End) and brash, cut-throat businessman Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)—joined forces in an endeavor that was to become a worldwide hit in little more than a decade. The device that one of them invented and the other sold was the BlackBerry, an addictive mobile phone that changed the way the world worked and communicated. But just as BlackBerry was rising to new peaks, it also started losing its way through the fog of Smartphone wars, management indecision, and outside distractions, eventually leading to the breakdown of one of the most successful ventures in the history of the tech and business worlds. Distinguished by his own brand of savage humor, triple-threat Matt Johnson amazes us with this rollicking, surprisingly gripping nostalgia-fueled biopic that recalls both The Social Network and HBO’s Silicon Valley as it delivers a hubristic lesson about greed and ego. Stellar performances and an outstanding supporting cast including Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Michael Ironside, and Rich Sommer help make this endearingly scrappy tech-world satire a story for the ages.
Actors-turned-directors Luke Roberts and Justin Matthews’ debut film, The Duel, is a zany and hilarious exercise in revenge and toxic masculinity. It tells the story of Colin and Woody, who are best friends in Venice, CA, until Colin (Dylan Sprouse, The Suite Life of Zach & Cody) sleeps with Woody’s girlfriend, Abby. Woody’s reaction is to burn the surfboard that Colin’s late dad made for him and then challenge Colin to a duel to defend his honor. So off they go to San Diego to a collectable weapons emporium run by the eccentric Christof, brilliantly played by Patrick Warburton (The Civilization of Maxwell Bright, FFF 2005). As their friends look for a place for the duel, they party with a hilariously over-the-top cokehead butler/fixer, terrifically played by Christian McGaffney (Simón, FFF 2023), who volunteers the estate of his employer, a Mexican drug lord. As each attempt at reconciliation between the two friends fails, this funny and drug-fueled revenge story touches on the lines that blur between heroism, friendship, and the male ego.
Richard Montañez was born into a Mexican-American family in California. Raised in a migrant labor camp outside of Los Angeles, he dropped out of high school before joining Frito-Lay as a janitor. Flamin’ Hot is the story of how Montañez (Jesse Garcia) channeled his Mexican-American heritage and upbringing to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global phenomenon. Making her directorial debut, Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), along with writers Linda Yvette Chávez and Lewis Colick, have crafted an inspiring and oft-hilarious look at one man’s pursuit of the “American dream.” With brilliant supporting turns from EmmyÒ-winner Tony Shaloub (Monk), Dennis Haysbert (24), and Matt Walsh (Veep), Longoria’s film sings with a kind of kinetic energy as Montañez hustles to make ends meet, all while trying to convince the corporate suits that Latinos are an untapped market desperate for someone to reach across the aisle, bring them to the table, and deliver a spicy product to back it up!
Few Americans know much about the terrible human cost of the political upheaval in Venezuela over the last dozen years. Simón, the debut feature from director Diego Vicentini—forced to flee the country as a teenager—gives us a powerful and authentic view of young people risking everything to protest Venezuela’s descent into tyranny. Christian McGaffney (also featured in FFF 2023’s The Duel) shines as a student leader jailed and tortured for his views. Exiled to Miami, he copes not only with trauma, but also deep guilt over a choice he must make: stay in Miami and do what he can for his fellow students, or return to join them in almost certain death. Engaging, intense, and often brutal, with a smart script and sharp direction, Simón is also a beautifully shot love letter to Miami—a remarkable film, unlikely to be seen in its home country.
Are there any films you're interested in? Comment them below!
Click Here to view the full list of films.
Billy Billy Joynt (Editor) - Billy has seen many movies over the years. He enjoys comedies and anything action, including the summer blockbuster movies. You can follow Billy on Twitter here.
Click Here to check out Billy's Articles.