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FLIFF 2017: A wink and a nod to Burt Reynolds

Florida film legend Burt Reynolds will be the featured guest at opening festivities for the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, running Oct. 27-Nov. 19 in theaters across South Florida.

Reynolds will attend a Nov. 3 screening of his latest film, the bittersweet comedy “Dog Years,” which kicks off the 32nd edition of the festival at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. The 81-year-old actor, director and producer will receive a FLIFF lifetime achievement award, which he can put next to the same award he accepted from the festival in 1991.

In “Dog Years,” which includes “Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter, Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood”) and a cameo from Chevy Chase, Reynolds plays an aging actor who runs off on a road trip, despondent in part by the prospect of receiving yet another lifetime achievement award from a film festival. Is this Reynolds and FLIFF winking at each other?

The Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning Jupiter resident — whose versatility has been employed in such films as “Deliverance,” “Sharky’s Machine” and “Smokey and the Bandit” — is currently shooting the feature “Defining Moments.”

FLIFF will screen more than 160 features, documentaries and shorts in 24 days, according to Gregory Von Hausch, FLIFF president and CEO. Speaking Wednesday night at a party to unveil the festival poster, Von Hausch reminded the crowd that he has been with FLIFF for 29 years.

“The years are beginning to blur … [but] I do believe this year rates right at the top,” he said.

Another lifetime achievement award will go to Karen Allen (“Animal House,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), who will attend the Florida premiere of “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.,” a short film she directed based on the Carson McCullers story.

“Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World,” also showing at Hard Rock Live on Nov. 3, chronicles the role of American Indians in pop-music history, shining a spotlight on Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo and Link Wray.

FLIFF’s Centerpiece Film is a madcap comedy, “Serious Laundry,” with Jason Zednick and Michele Richardson, who will be among those attending the Nov. 10 screening at the Sunrise Civic Center Theater. The Sunrise theater also will host a Veterans Day screening of “Kelly’s Heroes” on Nov. 11.

The closing-night slot on Nov. 19 will go to “After You’re Gone,” a satire starring actor Sergey Bezrukov that screens at Bailey Hall on the Broward College campus in Davie.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the European Film Awards, FLIFF has been selected to present the 29 past EFA winners (the 30th screens in 2018). These include “Amelie” (starring Audrey Tatou), Lars Von Trier’s “Dancer in the Dark” (with Bjork and Catherine Deneuve) and “Amour” (Jean Louis Tringnant, Emmanuel Riva and Isabelle Huppert).

The festival also will show the winning submissions of the second-annual Filmed in Broward competition.

FLIFF tickets cost $12, $10 seniors and $9 for students and military; a FLIFF Fast Pass, offering admission to all films and major parties, costs $450. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 5, at FLIFF.com.

bcrandell@sun-sentinel.com

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