The Skyway Film Festival today announced the opening and closing night films for the festival taking place between June 12th-14th, 2015 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center

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BRADENTON, FL – MAY 11, 2015, The Skyway Film Festival today announced the opening and closing night films for the festival taking place between June 12th-14th, 2015 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Opening night will feature the world premiere of WALT BEFORE MICKEY and the Florida premiere of NO STRANGER THAN LOVE will close the festival.


Shot in Florida, WALT BEFORE MICKEY, which stars Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Heder, David Henrie and Jodie Sweetin, chronicles the life of Walter Disney from his childhood in Missouri to his start as an animator. Directed by Khoa Lee as his first feature length film, WALT BEFORE MICKEY is based on the book by author Timothy S. Susanin. Walt Before Mickey is represented by Voltage Pictures and Mission Pictures International.


Opening night has the distinct honor of being sponsored by Feld Entertainment Studios, the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Nuclear Cowboyz®, AMSOIL Arenacross, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!


“Feld Entertainment Studios is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Skyway Film Festival.  With the creation of Feld Entertainment Studios in Manatee County, we are excited to be at the epicenter of the thriving arts community in Southwest Florida.  Looking to the future, we know that Feld Entertainment Studios will play a pivotal role in not only serving as the state-of-the-art home for all of our company’s family entertainment spectaculars but also as a magnet for film makers, concert producers and others dedicated to the creative arts.  Soon they will come to know what we have for quite some time – there is nowhere better to call home and do business than Florida’s Suncoast,” Casey Rodgers, Vice President, Feld Entertainment Studios.

Sponsored by Herald-Tribune Media Group, Closing night’s NO STRANGER THAN LOVE starring Alison Brie, Colin Hanks and Justin Chatwin is a romantic-comedy where an extra-marital tryst is interrupted by one of the cheaters falling into an inter-dimensional, one-way hole of infinite darkness. Now, it’s up to the other lover to somehow rescue him without the town finding out. NO STRANGER THAN LOVE was directed by first-time feature director Nick Wernham.


“As the largest media company on the Suncoast, the Herald-Tribune Media Group is proud to be partnering with a first class film festival like Skyway that brings together all types of artists and filmmakers to bring film alive. We look forward to joining the Skyway Film Festival in bringing this wonderful experience to  film lovers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties,” said Lisa Emory, Manatee Advertising & Marketing Manager.


“There isn’t a better film for Opening Night to kick off our inaugural film festival.  A story that follows the origins of Walt Disney, one of the most impactful entertainment pioneers in the history of film.  A man who had the vision and fought through turmoil to bring stories and happiness to the world is the perfect start to our storyteller’s festival.  In addition, with the film shooting in Florida and so many from the state being part of it is such perfect start to our festival. Our Closing Film is an interesting choice as it combines an excellent cast with a first-time director who delivers a quirky, feel-good romantic comedy that will sure to leave our audience wanting for next year’s festival to start up right way,” said Joe Restaino, Artistic Director of Skyway Film Festival.


The Skyway Film Festival will be showcasing the craft of filmmaking and storytelling by advocating the work of filmmakers, screenwriters and all artists who use the medium of film and television to bring art alive. The full program of films and schedule will be announced soon with tickets going on sale on May 22nd at noon ET.


The Bradenton Film Commission is a premiere sponsor of the festival and hopes to contribute to independent filmmakers and show their support by providing incentives for filmmakers to come to Bradenton and Manatee County.


Visit the official site of the festival at

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