With twenty-five festivals and seven awards to its name, Born and Raised is not only a successful veteran of the film festival circuit and a great tribute to the vistas of Gulf Coast Florida, but also an example of the ways in which Florida communities can help in the development of films. Born and Raised writer, lead actor and producer Nick Loritsch revealed how Florida has played a pivotal role in the film’s creation. Continue reading
Set to premiere this Thursday at Fogartyville Community Media And Arts Center, Making A Killing: From Bayonet Capitalism To Corporate Plutocracy, is sure to inspire some heated political debate. The documentary focuses on America’s shrouded use of military and espionage to promote and protect private corporate interests around the world and features interviews with various types including John Perkins, author of Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man as well as political figures and writers. Continue reading
Actor Matt Dillon still recalls a visit to Sarasota in 2006 when he made a trip to a local arthouse to see an Irish film he was surprised to find in this market. “The theater was jam packed,” Dillon recalls. “The film was called The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and you won’t see that in a typical cineplex, so I saw that there was a real audience here interested in independent films. You think people go to Florida and just go to the beach, but that’s not the case here. I don’t think that film got distributed in Miami, but here there is an appetite for cultural stuff.”
Of course, Dillon also learned through the years the reputation of Ringling College of Art and Design, where he visited this week both to see the impressive animation and filmmaking programs and to work with students on Fellove, a documentary Dillon is putting together after years of filming. The film is about the history of Afro-Cuban music, including the life of the late El Gran Fellove. At a public event at Ringling College on Wednesday evening, Dillon compared the film to Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club, which looks at the lives of Cuban musicians who stayed on the island even after the rise of Fidel Castro, but said his film looks at those musicians who got out of the country and spread the influence of Afro-Cuban music in Mexico and the United States.
The fact he is coming to work with talent at Ringling College shows the value that visiting talent places in the skills of students here. “People think we are bringing in celebrities, but we set it here so they can be artists,” said David Shapiro, co-founder of Future Films, the driving force bringing talent to the Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab. The program has attracted such talent as director Werner Herzog, actor Forrest Whitaker and actress Anna Paquin to teach guest classes and work on projects here.
At the public event last night, Dillon fielded questions about his most famous acting roles from his early days in The Outsiders to more recent work like his key role in the Oscar-winning Crash. He listed influences on his acting, including James Dean and Marlon Brando, and he shared stories of filming with such legends as James Caan. The goal of the work at Ringling, though, is to have him work with students full-time for a period. He may end up doing a second documentary later this year as well, officials said.
Dillon said he still loves acting and will continue to take on fun and challenging roles in dramas and comedies. But he also loves working on a documentary, which has been a learning experience. “If I stop learning at any point I am disappointed,” he said. “I have been living in a three-act structure my entire career, but in documentaries there is this whole other way of telling stories.” SHARE:
With the Sarasota Film Festival barely in the rearview mirror, an upstart film festival looks to keep the celebration of cinema going in Southwest Florida. The inaugural Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival will kick off May 8 and run through May 18, bringing independent films with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal to local screens and talent like actor Steven Bauer and Andrew Peterson to the region. Continue reading
Can a piano performance of a Beatles song change the politics of beach renourishment in Sarasota County? A new music video produced by Sarasota filmmaker Rich Schineller seeks to find out. Continue reading
The inaugural shot of Caníbal is suggestive of what is to follow. The frame is a long shot of a couple filling up at a gas station. Initially, you get the sense of voyeurism that will play throughout the film, but also, an impression of just how sophisticated is the director, Manuel Martín Cuenca. As the couple boards their wagon, a window rolls up in front of the camera placing the audience in Carlos’ point of view, making us the stalker. What ensues is a delicate and haunting love story, one that is unexpectedly touching.
Before Sarasota was done with Michael Tully this year, he had two awards to bring home for his film Ping Pong Summer. Not a bad follow-up, since the festival also introduced him to his wife. Before skipping town for surely a temporary period, Tully sat down with us and our media partners from WSRQ to discuss the 20-year journey to bring Ping Pong to the screen. Continue reading
Forget Moss and Momoa. As far as the local film world goes, the big stars of the Sarasota Film Festival were those gold-chained kids at TriForce Pictures. Shaun Greenspan and Edward Fagan came this year armed with the short film Belief, a hilarious short about arguing about the existence of God while in line to see Santa Claus, and fueled by the excitement from moving their production company from California to Sarasota. The duo sat down with us and SRQ to talk about the film and the future. Continue reading
It’s a tough world for women, even when they don’t step in a rink to literally take a beating. Director Josh Leakes came to the Sarasota Film festival with his film Glena, a documentary about single mother duking it out as a professional fighter. Leakes spoke with us and pour media partners at WSRQ about the film.