Stars, Producers, Directors, & student filmmakers were the focus of the PBIFF Opening Night Party at the Bowery Restaurant in CityPlace.

The Bowery Restaurant was buzzing with TV and film stars, Broadway stars, Producers, Directors and student filmmakers last night at the Opening Night Party for the Palm Beach International Film Festival sponsored by Keiser University.  The more than 300 guests were all “dolled up” in black and white to celebrate our student filmmakers in classic Hollywood Style.

Along with the twenty-four students who were awarded trophies and certificates for filmmaking, was the very talented and accomplished writer and producer, Dick Arlett (Producer of the Bob Hope Specials, the Today Show and presently working with Prince Harry), who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Film and Television for his over 50 year career in the entertainment industry.

Other notables in the film/TV industry that attended were actress JoMarie Payton (Harriett Winslow on Family Matters), actress/singer Avery Sommers (known for Broadway productions Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Chicago), and writer/producer Arthur Bernstein (Walt Before Mickey and Swing State).  Teen actor, Jayce Mroz, star of the new Nickelodeon show, I am Frankie, attended the party, along with another I am Frankie actor, Noah Forgione who also appeared in the feature film, Walt Before Mickey.

The elegant black and white, star-studded affair, was entertained by a soulful seven-piece jazz band from Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Oxbridge Academy.  Jazz singer, Makayla Forgione, captivated the audience with her inspiring and dramatic voice, and G-Star student, Katelyn Casiano, mesmerized the guests with her enchanting performances that epitomized true talent.  Compliments were plentiful regarding the incredible talent and achievements of our young performers who represented 24 area middle and high schools.  To top off the glitzy event, playing on the big screen was none-other than a 1940’s Abbott and Costello comedy, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.  Please visit our Facebook page ( to view more pictures of this exciting event.

JoMarie Payton Untitled

JoMarie Payton from “Family Matters”                                                                    Band from Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Oxbridge School


Some of the Students receiving awards representing 24 high schools in attendance