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Who and what to see at Florida Supercon

As Florida Supercon nears, fans and event organizers are eager for festivities to begin. So eager that, for the first time, Saturday’s tickets to the event have sold out before the show.

The four-day festival, running July 12-15 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, is jam-packed with celebrities, films and games, making it impossible to hit every section. To make navigating the event easier for attendees, we asked Sandy Martin, vice president of Florida Supercon, to offer her take on the anticipated highlights.

Celebrities

Dozens of rooms throughout the convention center will host opportunities for fans to engage with their favorite actors, producers, voices and more.

Actor John Barrowman (“Arrow,” “Doctor Who”) is expected to draw the longest line of fans, Martin says. “He is hilarious and charismatic, and spends a good amount of time with everyone who stops by his booth,” she says. “He’s really great with fans.”

William Shatner, of “Star Trek,” and John Wesley Shipp, of “Dawson’s Creek,” have fan bases that span generations, and will draw decent crowds.

Martin is particularly thrilled to bring Steve Whitmire and Caroll Spinney to Florida Supercon. Whitmire was the voice of Kermit the Frog, while Spinney provided the voice of Big Bird on “Sesame Street.”

“It’s amazing to see them and see how they have touched everyone’s lives. They are the two we are most proud to bring out together this year for their impact on all of us growing up,” Martin says.

The full celebrity list can be found at FloridaSupercon.com.

Most celebrities will take free selfies with fans at their booths, but some charge fans $20 to $75 for autographs and photo ops. Prices are available online and will be listed at each booth.

Professional photos are sometimes complimentary with the purchase of an autograph. Otherwise, single photo-op tickets can be purchased online and cost $35 to $100.

Film screenings

Supercon’s “Super Geek Film Festival” will take over several rooms. The festival will offer about 40 films, including “Gamer Tag Radio,” which will screen Saturday morning. This is an award-winning film about a podcaster with an inspiring backstory. “BOT,” which explores the untold dangers of artificial intelligence, will screen Saturday night. Additional animated, sci-fi and dramaticfilms will be screened as part of a contest.

As for animated short films, “The Untold Story of Romeo and Juliet” should be a hit, Martin says. The 11-minute film concerns the screwing up of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays.

Gaming

Rooms will be dedicated to video and tabletop gaming, including console, retro, computer, arcade and virtual-reality games. Tournaments will cost $5 to enter.

Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter game, will be the most popular event of the section, Martin says. Nine members of the Overwatch team Florida Mayhem will run a tournament and meet with fans on Thursday, July 12.

“A lot of people will be excited to meet the team,” Martin says. “All of the tournaments are open to any age and are really inclusive to all skill levels and age groups.”

Costume contests

Hundreds of people will compete in costume contests throughout the festival, but it’s Saturday’s runway cosplay contest that will bring more than 150 competitors and 2,500 spectators.

“Saturday is very competitive. It’s the most competitive costume contest in the state of Florida. Costumes that win take years to make and have incredibly intricate details,” Martin says.

Many smaller cosplay contests will take place throughout the weekend and will be broken down by skill level and age.

“It’s one of the most energetic experiences. If you think about it, a lot of these kids who strut their stuff onstage are engaged in a hobby where they spend a lot of time alone, sewing and crafting," Martin says. “There are a lot of introverts who come onstage and just light up.”

erushing@sun-sentinel.com, 954-356-4745 or Twitter @ellierushing

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