Young Fort Lauderdale actress Bailee Madison is home this weekend to take part in the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, where she will host a 3 p.m. Sunday screening of her family-friendly rodeo drama â€œCowgirls and Angels.â€ The event, which takes place at the Sunrise Civic Center Theatre, includes a post-film presentation of the festivalâ€™s Star on the Horizon Award.
“I’m incredibly humbled and so honored,” Bailee says. “It’s such a great feeling to have your hometown behind you.”
Bailee, who turned 13 last week and still takes classes at Christ Church School in Fort Lauderdale, continues her impressive rise up the marquee, from Disneyâ€™s “Bridge to Terabithia” and TV’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” to the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy “Just Go With It” and last yearâ€™s not-for-the-squeamish “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.”
And in a couple of months sheâ€™ll reach another milestone: the star-laden, publicity-heavy holiday release. â€œParental Guidanceâ€ is set for a Christmas premiere, with stars including Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.
The movie (see trailer, below) follows the high jinks that ensue after a harried mom leaves her kids in the care of her parents. Bailee says it is filled with humanity and universal real-life experiences, plus there is plenty of Bette Midler and Billy Crystal.
â€œI love this movie from the bottom of my heart,â€ she says.
Especially rewarding, she says, was working with Midler, who was compelled to educate Bailee on what young actresses need to know.
â€œSheâ€™d be like, â€˜Have you seen this movie?â€™ and Iâ€™d be like, â€˜No.â€ And sheâ€™d say â€˜Have you heard this song?â€™ and Iâ€™d say â€˜No,â€™â€ Bailee recalls, with a laugh. â€œAnd sheâ€™d whip her head around to Mom and say, â€˜What have you done to this child?!â€™â€
â€œShe definitely took care of me,â€ Bailee says. â€œI have a lot of catching up to do before I see her next.â€
IF YOU GO: “Cowgirls and Angels” screens at 3 p.m. at the Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise (954-747-4600). More info: FLIFF.com.