Florida Film Festival Announces lineup, Join Me for “An Evening with William Shatner”

The 31st Florida Film Festival announced its lineup tonight — ten days, some 160 films, filmmaker panels, parties, many venues, many movies, much much fun, as always.

After losing a year to the pandemic and coming back in an altered, online-friendly, tentative-reopening form last year, the FFF is back with a vengeance April 8-17.

Sundance films, music docs (A GWAR doc?), indie fare and foreign language films (Iran’s “Hit the Road”), many of them months before they get a regular run, see them all in the company of your fellow film lovers. There’s nothing like a film festival experience.

And of course there’s a special guest, as always. This time it’s the TV icon, big screen mainstay, international treasure, ASTRONAUT and Father of Fanboydom, WILLIAM SHATNER.

If you’ve never seen him in the flesh, if you only know him from the “Star Trek” series and movies, his later Emmy and Golden Globe winning work, his documentaries and many killer guest-starring turns on popular sitcoms, if you’ve only caught his caustic wit on Twitter, you’ve got to come.

He’s a sci-fi fan’s bucket list item…Item One.

The Enzian Theater will be hosting “An Evening With William Shatner,” and I’ll be moderating a Q & A after a screening of one of the best “Star Trek” films, “The Voyage Home,” a comic classic directed by his co-star and friend Leonard Nimoy.

He’s been making such appearances for years and always creates a stir and puts on a show, even if you’ve seen him before. And if you haven’t been to “an evening with,” well, “bucket list.”

He’s the guy who turned us all into fangirls and fanboys.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying Nimoy on a location scout for a movie he never made, interviewed James Doohan after a speech at UNC-Charlotte, caught up with George Takei and the great Mark Leonard (Spock’s dad, and the Romulan commander in my favorite Original Series episode, “Balance of Terror”) before their appearances at fan conventions, a phenomenon that “Star Trek” created.

But Shatner? He’s my Great Canadian White Whale. I’m sitting here watching “City on the Edge of Forever,” the classic episode written by star sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison, whom I had the pleasure of catching up with at a writer’s conference in snowy North Dakota, hyperventilating a bit about what to say in introducing Shatner, what one question remains to be asked and answered by The Source.

You can’t afford Stones tickets, and if you missed them while Watts was still on the drums, why bother anyway? This is like that.

Come on, don’t make me ask all the questions. I’m counting on you to serve up those.

See you at the Enzian on April 15!

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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