Sarasota Film Festival Looks Toward Future Without Tom Hall

The Sarasota Film Festival in the past decade and a half has developed a reputation in the independent film world to rival the best regional festivals in the world. Much of that came from affability, taste and determination of Tom Hall, the festival director who has played some role in programming the event for a decade but is leaving the Suncoast for the bright cinema scene in Montclair New Jersey.

But Hall said he will make himself available to the Sarasota festival organization for a full transition as needed. “I’ve completely left that up the organization at this point,” he said. “I’m happy to help them out and do whatever I can.”

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Exploring Cinema in Nantucket

By Kim Livengood, Director of PR and Events for Tervis

Ever heard of a “pinch-me” moment? I definitely had one last month when I was given the tough assignment of attending the 19th Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) to promote Tervis as the festival’s official drinkware.

The festival ran June 26- 30 with over 100 showings. Films from cool indies like Arlo & Julie to insightful documentaries like Honest Liar and fabulous feature films starring Elisabeth Moss (The One I Love) and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood).

NFF has an impressive group of board members, including MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, NBC’s Brian Williams, actor Ben Stiller, and Sarasota’s very own Mark Famiglio.

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Breaking Into The Business With JB Whirtley

He said ‘No’ to film school. He said ‘No’ to a studio offering to buy his script. Risky moves, yes, but telling – JB Whirtley wants to make movies his way, and his latest project, Bullet of Madness, a madcap dark comedy starring a plastic surgeon who snaps under pressure from the mafia and a deteriorating family life, is no exception. Continue reading

Festival Brings LGBT Cinema to Burns Court

FabulousIFFThe Fabulous Independent Film Festival today announced its 2014 dates, with films screening at Burns Court Cinema from August 22-24. The festival will kick off with an Opening Night Party at MADE. The event, now entering its fourth year, brings the best work from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) film festivals in the United States, Canada and Europe.

“We are different from a regular film festival,” says founder Magida Diouri, Fabulous IFF founder. “We are trying to do some special things this year.

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Karl and Rhonda Wilson Spill the Beans on Catching Junior Tate

Catching Junior Tate, the new action-comedy from filmmaking duo Karl and Rhonda Wilson, co-owners of 2DB Productions, takes the audience down the dusty trail from Florida to Mexico, where bounty hunters, crooked cops and mobster thugs vie for custody of the eponymous fugitive, Junior Tate, and his multi-carat cargo. Continue reading


Who is Ray Caster?

It began as a writing exercise by Marcus Alexander Hart. Caster served as a fictional alter-ego and Sarasota – where Hart spent most of the 90s – was his stomping grounds. A socially inept nerd hopelessly entranced by a beautiful free-spirited woman, Caster took to the web, soliciting advice from his real-life followers. The hoax lasted from 2004 to 2005, when Hart broke cover and turned his project into a novel, <i>Caster’s Blog – A Geek Love Story</i>, published in 2006.

Austin McKinley, playwright, novelist, director and old friend of Hart’s, wrote the first draft of a screenplay based on Caster’s Blog in 2007. Seven years, countless rewrites and one partnership with ManaSota Films later, McKinley has finished principal photography for a proof of concept short, filmed in Sarasota. Continue reading


Sanborn, Facing Lawsuit, Calls Sarasota ‘Dangerous Place to do Business’

Sanborn Studios executive are responding to news Sarasota County will sue the company with harsh words about the future of the region. “The County is sending a very clear message to all businesses that Sarasota is a dangerous place to do business,” said Kenneth Sanborn, CEO of Sanborn Studios. Continue reading

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


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