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

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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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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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Slasher filmmaker Haitz turns eyes toward Project Greenlight

Could a local filmmaker best known for low-budget slashers get the attention of Oscar-winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon? Sean Haitz, the filmmaker behind Mangrove Slasher 2, hopes so.

Bloody VioletThe duo of superstars, who jointly won an Academy Award for Best Writing for the 1997 independent hit Good Will Hunting, is launching a new season of Project Greenlight. The television show aired for three seasons in the early 2000s, and will return with a fourth season on HBO, and last week started accepting three-minute video submissions from young directors looking to get feature concepts turned into full-length films. Continue reading


Tom Hall Steps Down as Sarasota Film Festival Director

Tom Hall, director of the Sarasota Film Festival, is stepping down to take over as executive director of the Montclair Film Festival in New Jersey. Hall has spent a decade in a leadership position with the Sarasota festival, helping establish the organization’s reputation within the world of independent film. Continue reading

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


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