VIDEO: Datev Gallagher Brings Armenian Genocide to Light on Centennial

A century after the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, Turkey still won’t recognize it occurred and President Obama won’t press the issue either. But a filmmaker raised in Sarasota wants to make sure the event is not ignored on this important anniversary. Professional vlogger Datev Gallagher has spent the past seven months working on the short film I Am Armenian, a 26-minute documentary telling the story of the genocide through its impact on her own family. “It’s a part of history that is not officially recognized, but over 1.5 million died and suffered,” Gallagher said. “I’m just trying to do justice for these people.”

Watch the entire film here: Continue reading VIDEO: Datev Gallagher Brings Armenian Genocide to Light on Centennial

Haley Discusses Blythe Danner, Senior Sex and Why ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ Nearly Shot in SWFL

When director Brett Haley first came to the Sarasota Film Festival five years ago, he was immediately concerned. His directorial debut, The New Year, had sold just 10 tickets, so he started hustling on the streets, begging folks to see a micro-budget shot with no recognizable actors in Pensacola, Florida. He would leave after three days—he had a paying job shooting a Levi’s commercial that took priority—so he wasn’t in town to year that his work more than paid off. The New Year won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. “That was crazy,” he recalls. “And then that movie got a lot more traction because it won here.”

Haley was back in Sarasota this week, this time with better billing from the start. I’ll See You In My Dreams, the director’s second feature, served as the Closing Night Film for this year’s Sarasota Film Festival, bolstered by a marquis performance from Blythe Danner and solid supporting work from an all-star cast. Continue reading Haley Discusses Blythe Danner, Senior Sex and Why ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ Nearly Shot in SWFL

‘Lamb’ Filmmaker Excited About Sarasota Win

It’s safe to say it was a surprise to Ross Partridge when his film, Lamb, won the Independent Visions competition at the Sarasota Film Festival on Friday. You could tell just from his seat in the theater. A more confident director might have seated himself near the front of the theater, at least the ground floor. But Partridge situated himself in the balcony near the back of the Sarasota Opera House, far from the stairway to go on stage.

Continue reading ‘Lamb’ Filmmaker Excited About Sarasota Win

Jane Seymour Believes ‘Bereave’ Work Among Her Best

From the world of James Bond the wild west around Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Jane Seymour has stayed active on screen bringing characters to life. In Bereave, a Spotlight film at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival, she played opposite Malcolm McDowell in a film that explores a couple facing the prospect of death. Seymour spoke with SRQ about bringing this picture to Sarasota. Continue reading Jane Seymour Believes ‘Bereave’ Work Among Her Best

Festival Guide: Day 10

The madness of film festival is over; but the films continue for one more day. In this last installment of our festival guide for 2015, we spot a few things still left to do before the Sarasota Film Festival calls it a wrap.

12:00 — NYU Shorts  These films were all made by students from one of the best recognized film schools in the world, here showing shorts today that serve as proof of concepts for tomorrow. The relationship between SFF and NYU has been a solid one, and this program is proof.

2:00 — Drunk Stones Brilliant Dead  We must admit we’re as interested in the venue as the topic. What better place to see this documentary of the National Lampoon than at the new McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, the most important stand-up venue in town

5:30 —Walking Under Water  This underwater documentary shot under the waves in countries including Poland and Indonesia was noted for its outstanding craft when it was awarded SFF’s Documentary Award last night.

6:45 — Hollywood Nights  The greatest showcase of student films at the festival each year, red carpets for local student filmmakers will be held at Regal Hollywood 20 at 6:15pm and 8pm, before batches of their work get projected on the big screen.

7:15 — White God  This was so controversial a selection for SFF’s Narrative Award that audience members booed, and a few in the first screening this year walked out. But jury member David Edelstein (New York Magazine) assures us no dogs were abused in this Hungarian tale told from the point of view of dogs rising against the government.

To Be an Iron Butterfly: In-Depth with Blythe Danner

Blythe Danner, star of the Sarasota Film Festival’s closing night film I’ll See You in My Dreams, stopped by the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club on Lido Key to discuss her latest role, Hollywood, family and everything in-between.

Danner’s distinguished portfolio includes theater, winning a Tony in 1970 for Butterflies Are Free, as well as film, starring in Meet the Parents, The Great Santini, Brighton Beach Memories and Sylvia, which she starred alongside her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow. She has also had recent success in television, winning two Emmys for her role in Huff. Here are highlights from her “Tea by the Sea” conversation moderated by producer and film critic Alison Bailes. Continue reading To Be an Iron Butterfly: In-Depth with Blythe Danner

‘Radiator’ Director Tom Browne Hangs Up His Acting Shoes

Big news out of the Sarasota Film Festival In Conversation series today as writer/director Tom Browne, whose debut film Radiator screened at the festival this year, announced to moderator David Edelstein and the gathered crowd his intention to leave acting behind and focus on writing and directing in the future.

“I don’t particularly want to do any more acting,” said Browne, Continue reading ‘Radiator’ Director Tom Browne Hangs Up His Acting Shoes

Your peek behind the scenes of Sarasota, Florida's growing film industry

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