Will Locals Get Promoted?

Perhaps the testiest moments of an SFF town hall this month came when Dayle Hoffman, a local director and the force behind the Creative Minds Soirees, asked that better participation occur between the local filmmaking community and the Sarasota Film Festival.

“How can they (SFF) say the want better partnerships but the film commission isn’t an entity?,” Hoffman asked.

Of course, various camps within both SFF and the Film and Entertainment Office of Sarasota County, commonly called the film commission, get a bit defensive about such a characterization. SFF Director Tom Hall noted the organizations do have different ends. “Our mission is not to make film; it is to showcase film,” Hall said.

Jeanne Corcoran, director of the commission, also jumped on this blog to make it clear her office loves having the festival in town. “Our film commission continues to be an active supporter as always (although we had to miss the Town Hall due to a scheduling conflict, much to our chagrin!),” she wrote in a message. “With its uninterrupted sponsorship for the last five years, again in 2012, the film commission is as always at the disposal of the festival to be of help in any way they can put us to good use.”

But SFF Chairman Mark Famiglio also threw in his two cents at the town hall, noting the film commission does not directly advertise the festival on its website. Famiglio went so far as to suggest everyone at the town hall email Corcoran and call for further involvement. “Demand further coverage,” he said. Update: Famiglio said he contacted Corcoran immediately after this happened and that the film commission was very cooperative, and now has a click-through to the festival on its website. A link is now prominent on the FilmSarasota.com site.

Hoffman said the groups, and for that matter the entire local film community, should work cooperatively to promote local filmmakers to those film industry officials who come to Sarasota only for the Sarasota Film Festival. She would like to see special areas set up to expose industry visitors all of the talent in the area and share everything from head shots for local actors to short films created by local directors.

Hall did seem amenable to that idea. “We’ve seen film production grow in this town,” he said. And of course, Hall also noted the festival would still have Florida-focused events and screenings such as the Cinema Tropicale event and a shorts presentation spotlighting local filmmakers.

4 thoughts on “Will Locals Get Promoted?”

  1. Actually , I said if anyone had concerns, everyone in the room should email the film commission. At that point I emailed Jeanne
    And asked her if the film Fest could have a click thru on her site and vice versa. Soon thereafter she responded affirmatively.

    The reality is that the film commission has supported film in all of it’s iterations within our community. It is not an enormous department.
    Those of us who volunteer our time and resources in support of our community expect to excellence and dedication from our administrators.
    Jeanne and her superb staff work tirelessly to promote our area to the outside world.They have been increasingly effective.
    There are many film groups in our area.
    (an amazing turnaround from 10 yrs ago )
    They each have different missions , all essential in trumpeting the attractiveness of our area to the rest of the world and enhancing the cultural richness of our town.
    The film commission and the film festival have a history of growing cooperation and support.

  2. I think the title of this piece should read “Will Locals Continue To Be Promoted?” because that answer is an easy “yes”.

    I wanted to add that over the past years, local productions like BEAUTIFUL NOISE and ARMED AND DEADLY have been featured prominently at the SFF; our local films have played to multiple sold out houses and were featured in local and national press during our festival. All filmmakers at the festival are given an Artist badge, which gives them full access to screenings, parties and our Filmmaker/Industry/Sponsor Lounge– all of it free of charge. This access allows for outstanding networking opportunities with our visiting national industry guests. Local filmmakers with projects that we curate into the festival have always been treated as equal to all other attending filmmakers by the SFF.

    While we do want to encourage local filmmaking at all levels, from developing talent through our 13 free youth programs to offering deep and meaningful support to professional productions like the recent film FREE RIDE and others shooting now and in the near future, The SFF proper will always be a curated event. This means that not every film or filmmaker will get in– we simply cannot show 90% of the work that comes through the door (we’re only 10 days and 5-6 screens). With 180+ films in the festival, we have our hands full getting the word out about all of the films that are in the festival itself. We are indeed interested in finding a creative and professional way to help local filmmakers reach our industry guests and will continue to work on a way to make that happen.

    That said, we will continue to promote all of our filmmakers and continue to foster and promote film production in Sarasota to the best of our ability and hope to continue to grow in this role moving forward.

    Thanks for your continued support of the SFF!

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