Local Do: Gasparilla International Film Festival 2017

Last week, Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) 2017 closed its week-long lineup of feature film debuts, short film screenings and everything in between. This was my first time attending any GIFF-related events, and now, I'm positive I won't be missing any more in the future. What a great way to celebrate the wonder that is the film industry, both local and national. Thanks to a partnership with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was able to attend the week's festivities as a VIP guest and capture some great snapshots from the week:

Favorite Screenings:

Burn Your Maps

"Burn Your Maps," from director Jordan Roberts, is a wonderful, heartfelt film that takes you on the journey of a little boy who believes that he is a Mongolian goat herder and depicts the impact of his journey on those around him. So many laughs, and maybe a tear or two here and there.


A hilarious, cringe-worthy (but in a good way) film written by Demetri Martin, "Dean" is a dramedy revolving around an illustrator's struggle with love and his relationship with his father, following his beloved mother's death. It's beautifully real, and I really enjoyed the incorporation of Martin's own drawings. 

Daryl & His Friends

This was a great short, directed by local talent, Evan Smith. "Daryl & His Friends" perfectly depicts the story of Daryl, a man who has had many imaginary friends since he was a child, struggles with figuring out who's real and who isn't. His romantic world is forever changed when meeting a local barista - but is she real or imaginary? Smith does a fantastic job of telling a full story within the constraints of a short film.

The Last Word

This was, without a question, my favorite film from the entire week. Featuring Shirley MacLaine & Amanda Seyfried, and "The Last Word" was everything that I was hoping for, and then some. It's a heartwarming film, about a "my way or the highway"-type woman (MacLaine) who seeks the help of the obituary writer for the local paper (Seyfried) to re-develop her life's legacy. The two both embark on a journey of self-discovery and establish a special relationship, as they uncover MacLaine's character's four components for a legendary obituary.

I had such an amazing time during Gasparilla International Film Festival, and I cannot wait for its return next year!

As a member of Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was provided with a pair of VIP screening passes in exchange for social support and a post-event review. Opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gasparilla International Film Festival or Tampa Bay Bloggers.