CALL TO ACTION: Care about Film in Florida?

Then you should have already signed this petition:

The petition, started by Film Florida, a not-for-profit entertainment production association and a leader in Florida’s film, TV and digital media industry, urges state legislators to consider discussing Florida’s media tax credit program during the special session that begins June 1. Addressed to Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli, the petition reminds them of the “more than 16,000 film and digital media production related companies, more than 100,000 Floridians working in the industry and thousands of new graduates trying to secure their first job here in this great state.” Since May 7, the petition has reached 3,230 signatures (as of Monday). “As a fledgling video start up corporation, I urge you to do what ever it takes to allow us to grow and add to our vibrant creative industry,” commented Dona Lee Gould, from Bradenton. “My daughters dream is to be an actress,” commented Darlene Wilson in Sarasota. “She has been acting for about three or four years now and she loves it. We need more movies to be made here in order to keep jobs here in Florida instead of having to travel for jobs elsewhere.”

Skyway Organizers Announce Talent As Deadline For Submission Nears

Organizers for the Skyway Film Festival have confirmed figures in the film world including director Dan Myrick (pictured) and actor Andre Holland will attend the inaugural event in June. Meanwhile, programmers are working to finalize the line-up of movies to be screened.

Today marks the last day filmmakers can submit entries for the festival. Organizers hope to showcase Florida films and a variety of quality narrative, documentary and short films. “Things are going great,” said executive director Erik Lunseth. “We couldn’t be happier with the support of the community.” Continue reading Skyway Organizers Announce Talent As Deadline For Submission Nears

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

Sarasota Film Festival 2015 An Historic One For Women

Organizers believe the Sarasota Film Festival this year was the first major festival in the country to include 100 feature films directed by female filmmakers. The milestone adds to the reputation of the festival, which already partners with the U.S. National Committee for United Nations Women to include women directors in the Through Women’s Eyes Festival and that has for the last several years held the Side by Side Symposium to encourage relationships among women in the industry.

“It’s the unintended consequence of doing things the right way,” said Sarasota Film Festival President Mark Famiglio.

Continue reading Sarasota Film Festival 2015 An Historic One For Women

‘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

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


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