Dunedin International Film Festival 2024

Get the most out of this year’s
Dunedin International Film Festival
by attending these 10 events

February 1-4
Downtown Dunedin
Details here

There are so many exciting offerings at this year’s Dunedin International Film Festival, I literally don’t know where to start. Do I start with Friday night’s screening of the Dunedin-filmed rom-com, A Taste of Love? Saturday night’s disco at Moon Tower? The 5+ hours of panels and workshops that go behind the scenes of how movies are made?

After speaking with DIFF President Cameron Ilan, I want to do it all. But for our reader’s sake, I’ve narrowed it down to a top ten for the time-constrained.

The best way to experience DIFF will always be to buy a pass, take Thursday and Friday off work, and do the whole thing. That’s the way film industry insiders roll.

But that’s not the only way to DIFF. This community-minded film festival provides several fun, affordable, weekend options for young professionals, families and film buffs to enjoy in their time off work. Here’s our list.


See Pinellas County on the big screen
in A Taste of Love Friday night

A Taste of Love has been Tampa Bay news ever since they started filming around town in 2021. The romantic comedy starring Erin Cahill, Martin Kove and Susan Gallagher premieres on Hallmark on Monday, February 19. But you can see it – and meet the film’s stars – a good two weeks early at DIFF.

Screening Friday Feb. 2 at 8 pm.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.

Free Meet and Greet with the cast Saturday Feb. 3 from 2-3 pm.
Sea Sea Riders Restaurant, 221 Main St.

Panel with cast and crew Saturday Feb. 3 at 4:30 pm.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.


Take the kids to meet Beck the Malinois, the dog
that stars in R.A.D.A.R.: The Adventures of the Bionic Dog

Taste of Love isn’t the only film on this year’s roster that was filmed in Dunedin. You can watch a boy and his bionic dog save the town of Dunedin from a couple of bumbling crooks in R.A.D.A.R.: The Adventures of the Bionic Dog.

DIFF wants kids present for this family-friendly film, so they’re letting them in for free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Saturday Feb. 3 at 6:15 pm.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.


Drink in The Martini Shot

In this existential drama, starring Matthew Modine and John Cleese, Modine plays an ailing movie director trying to squeeze in one final work of art. In film jargon, The Martini Shot is the last shot of the day.

Saturday Feb. 3 at 8:30 pm.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.


Bring disco back with Larry’s Garage
and a Studio 54-themed dance party
on Saturday night

Moon Tower hosts a classic disco inspired by the documentary Larry’s Garage. Larry’s garage refers to Paradise Garage, aka the Gay-rage, a semi-underground disco run out of a repurposed parking garage in New York City in the 1970s. Paradise Garage closed in 1987, but not without leaving its mark on New York’s club scene.

In a tribute page to the demolished club, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project cites Paradise Garage as the birthplace of the modern nightclub. Resident DJ Larry Levan, the subject of the 2019 documentary Larry’s Garage, practically invented house music.

Inspired by an archival interview of Levan he found on YouTube, Italian DJ and music producer Corrado Rizza reassembled Levine’s story from archival footage and interviews with more than 40 surviving Paradise Garage patrons.

If the film makes you want to dance, DIFF has you covered. Immediately following the 8:30 pm. screening of Larry’s Garage, Moon Tower turns into a discotheque. Go get your groove on.

Saturday Feb. 3 at 8:30 pm film screening,
10 pm disco. Moon Tower, 935 Douglas Ave.


See a documentary, or several

There are nine feature-length documentaries at this year’s DIFF. They cover everything from the Osage murders to Apalachicola oysters to overcoming adversity.

Ilan highly recommends seeing the opening night film, Join or Die, a feature-length documentary about building community, joining clubs and exploring “What makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly… What can we do about it?”

Thursday Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.


Get spooked by the Witches of Dunedin
followed by a block of horror shorts
on Friday night

This DIFF Friday lineup doesn’t fall on Friday the 13th like last year. But the Witches of Dunedin are leaving their lairs and descending upon downtown Dunedin anyway. Last year’s performance, which won a Best of the Bay award for Best Friday the 13th Flash Mob, was too popular not to repeat. Here’s a video I shot last year, of the group arriving at the festival by golf cart.

As before, the dance is followed by a block of horror shorts (Shorts Block 3).

Friday Feb. 2 from 9-10 pm.
Moon Tower, 935 Douglas Ave.


Dip your toes into filmmaking
at DIFF workshops and panels

Isn’t it great that we all have a video camera in our pockets? Anyone with a cell phone and an idea can try their hand at filmmaking.

If making home movies is on your list of things to try in the new year, there are several DIFF panels and workshops that provide insight into the filmmaking process. And though they were put together with industry insiders in mind, anyone can dip their toes in the water for the cost of a ticket.

This year’s workshops and panels cover everything from documentary storytelling to production design and sound. Here’s the schedule.

Friday and Saturday Feb. 2-3.
HOB Brewing Company, 931 Huntley Ave.


Give the offbeat comedy
All the Wrong Ingredients
a chance to make you laugh

All the Wrong Ingredients delivers audiences into the kitchen with Chef Ben. While preparing for a cooking competition, the ambitious young chef enlists the help of an imaginary friend in this offbeat comedy.

The movie’s billed as “a great fit for audiences who enjoyed the tone of Everything Everywhere All At Once & Jojo Rabbit.”

Saturday Feb. 3 at 3 pm.
Moon Tower, 935 Douglas Ave.


See a film from another country

In a small town like Dunedin, it’s easy to forget that DIFF is an international film festival. DIFF received more high-quality global film submissions than ever this year — enough to screen feature-length films and shorts from Morocco (The Glass of Friendship), Turkey (RSVP), Puerto Rico (Aroma de Azucenas), and United Arab Emirates (Bundle of Joy).

Most are scheduled for Sunday afternoon (12-3 pm) at Moon Tower, with the exception of The Glass of Friendship, which screens Friday Feb.2 at 5 pm.

You can check the DIFF schedule
for international film options.


Get fancy for the Red Carpet Gala

Every year the Dunedin International Film Festival ends with a splash of glamour at Fenway Hotel. The historic 1920s hotel literally pulls out the red carpet to host festival award winners.

But this is more than an award ceremony. DIFF’s red-carpet gala is also a party – and it’s not the Fenway Hotel without jazz, so Tampa-based jazz band Crisis the Jazz Project close out the evening.

Sunday Feb. 4 from 5-9 pm.
Fenway Hotel, 453 Edgewater Dr.

I hope this article helps you plan your weekend. And now I’ll leave you with a few parting recommendations. First off, bring a coat if you’re seeing a film at the HOB Brewing Co. Theater because it’s an outdoor venue and it’s still winter. The festival sets up heaters, but it still gets chilly at night.

HOB Garden Theater – photo by Jennifer Ring

Second, don’t forget the snacks. Downtown Dunedin is ripe with gourmet movie snacks if you know where to look for them. You can get your popcorn at Harley’s Gourmet Popcorn & Cider Shoppe, a Dunedin mainstay on Main Street. They’re open until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and they have more popcorn options than you’ll ever find at a movie theater. For candy, you can keep walking west on Main until you hit Strachan’s, a local chain mostly found in North Pinellas. I highly recommend the bourbon caramels.



Dunedin International Film Festival
February 1-4
Ticket information and festival passes
can be found here


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