The second annual Fort Myers Film Festival is gearing up for a banner year, with nearly 80 films, galas and side events expected. Founder and executive director of the Fort Myers Film Festival Eric Raddatz is especially excited about the array of films this year’s festival will bring to viewers.
“With 77 films and dozens of countries and local Southwest Florida filmmakers represented, I can honestly say I’ve never been more impressed with programming in another film festival ever,” he says. “These films have stars you’ll recognize, points of view you’ve never considered, storytelling you could not imagine accompanied with silliness, depth and heart unparalleled to anything you will see in the mainstream theaters right now.”
Raddatz calls special attention to the opening night red carpet gala on Wednesday, March 21, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall with Kevin Tierney’s “French Immersion” and the Florida premiere of David Cormican’s “Rusted Pyre.” The cast and crew are slated to attend.
“These two films are so profoundly well done, and I’m honored to have the cast and crews join the celebration right here in Fort Myers second annual event,” he says. “There is nothing more wonderful in the world than the ability independent film has to inspire, entertain, enlighten and move us all at once, and these films are fresh, not in distribution, with stars, filmmakers, writers and directors that will go on to become famous.”
The festival will take place from Wednesday, March 21, to Sunday, March 25. Raddatz is no stranger to the film industry. Rather he eats, sleeps and breathes film. In addition to founding the Fort Myers Film Festival, Raddatz is also the founder of the Naples International Film Festival and the film curator of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. He is the founder, CEO and president of Naples International Film Production Association and of Erad Productions.
“There is nothing more rewarding to me than to be associated with this organization of heartfelt directors, filmmakers and hardworking volunteers who share my appreciation for the art of film and how by the work of only one, changes for the better can be made,” he says.
Fort Myers Film Festival “fringe” parties are slated to take place throughout the event week at various areas throughout town, including Space 39, Ford’s Garage and other locations to be determined.
The Fort Myers Film Festival supports organizations such as the Lee County Student Film Festival and the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Tickets are on sale for individual films, the opening night film and party, as well as the closing night award ceremony and full-access all-week passes.
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