VIDEO: Sarasota-made Red Wins 48-Hour Directing Award

It was an exciting evening for Sarasota film team This Oyster when their short-film Red took home the award for Best Directing at this year’s 48 Hour Film Project. And since we have an in with Evan Sigmund, co-director and SRQ Backlot senior photographer, we got the scoop on the filmmaking process and permission to share the film with our readers.  Continue reading


Costume Designer Julie Weiss Speaks at Ringling

Oscar-nominated costume designer Julie Weiss (Frida, Twelve Monkeys) will speak at a public event this Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Ringling College of Art and Design. The event will be held at 1pm at the college’s Academic Center. Continue reading


Your Guide to the Fabulous Independent Film Festival

The Fabulous Independent Film Festival kicks off Friday night and runs through the weekend, showcasing the talents of such national figures as Geaorge Takei and locally revered filmmakers including the late Tom Murray. All movies are screened at Burns Court Cinema. Here is your guide to the event:

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Tom Murray

Tom Murray’s Final Film Centerpiece for Fabulous IFF

A Sarasota director’s final work will be host its world premiere at the Fabulous Independent Film Festival this weekend. Tom Murray’s Queerituality, a documentary interviewing members of the LGBT community about their own spirituality, serves as the film’s centerpiece film.

“Tom Murray was a very kind and inquisitive man,” says Magida Diouri, Fabulous IFF founder. “He loved making documentaries and I have presented every one of his films over the years.  It is an honor to be able to present his last film. ” Continue reading

Bloody Violet

Video: Bloody Violet teases, twists

Sarasota director Sean Haitz has released the new teaser for Bloody Violet, the film concept he is entering into the new Project Greenlight competition this year. We must admit we want to see where this goes and hope Ben Affleck and Matt Damon do as well. The teaser starts with one character strung out and seeking dope, then shows another in psychotic fit kill her roommate before the characters’ paths cross. The killer grows increasingly paranoid as she sees the witness seemingly stalking her around every corner, but it’s the last few seconds when everything we we seen until that point gets tossed on its ear that has us confused and titillated. Watch the video below the fold.  Continue reading

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Paradise, FL Crew Wraps Shoot in Southwest Florida

Filming just wrapped for the feature-length Paradise, FL, a movie about a Cortez fisherman dealing with an addiction to pills and a troubled family life, just wrapped production this week. Now filmmakers are looking toward a hefty editing process and bringing the story to viewers.

“We’ve high hopes, as any independent film does,” said writer-producer Tony Stopperan. “Our aim is to hit the film festivals circuit and make a splash. With rich performances, excellent directing, production value realized through superior design and utilization of ‘functioning’ locations, and a strong story we should make waves, waves that belie the relative youthful team at the helm of this picture and the limited budget.”

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Scott Ciencin, author and film festival promoter, dies (updated)

Scott Ciencin, a New York Times bestselling author, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, Aug. 5, according to the Sarasota Film Festival. Ciencin was best known within the Sarasota film community as the official blogger for the Sarasota Film Festival, but had a long and successful career writing books and working within the Hollywood film system.

Update: Publicists for Ciencin say the author died of a blood clot to the brain. A funeral will be held for Ciencin Friday at The Bridge Church in Bradenton. An account supporting Ciencin’s widow has been set up at YouCaring.

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


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