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Gasparilla International Film Fest Returns To Tampa

Photo courtesy of Gasparilla International Film Festival.
The Gasparilla Film Festival will feature more than 100 films.

Spring is turning out to be film festival season in Florida. The Sarasota Film Festival kicks off April 1. Meantime, the Gasparilla International Film Festival rolls out the red carpet in Tampa this week.

Now in its 10th year, the movie marathon will include more than 100 features, documentaries and shorts.

Opening night happens at the Tampa Theatre Wednesday with "Eye in the Sky" starring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul, perhaps best known as Jesse Pinkman from TV’s “Breaking Bad.”

The military thriller's director Gavin Hood will be in Tampa to introduce the film.

GIFF president Rachel Feinman said the event has steadily gained a reputation among industry tastemakers.  For the past several years, the event has made “Movie Maker” magazine's “Top 50 Film Festivals List.”

“So now we have opportunities with studios that we never had before,” she said. “Major studios are trusting us with these small films that they've acquired and now they're showing them at our festival.”

One of only 12 artists to earn an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony will be in Tampa Saturday when Rita Moreno receives a lifetime achievement award. The actress will be introducing her new comedy “Remember Me,” at the festival.

On Sunday, GIFF will screen films by young filmmakers at the Tampa Bay High School Filmmaker Competition.

The 5-day event wraps up Sunday with "Everybody Wants Some,” the sequel to Richard Linklater's cult classic, "Dazed and Confused."

Most movies will be screened at Muvico Centro in Tampa's Ybor City. A family day is included Sunday with free screenings of "Kung Fu Panda 3" and "The Lego Movie" at Centennial Park.

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