Remember how festival organizers at kickoff events this week kept teasing a new star coming to Sarasota this year. Well, it has now been confirmed that Penelope Ann Miller (The Artist) will be in town to receive the Career Tribute award this year. She will be the guest of honor at the 2012 Sarasota Film Festival Filmmaker Luncheon at noon on April 20 at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
This is a return to Sarasota, who in fact was a guest at the very first Sarasota Film Festival 14 years ago. “Penelope Ann Miller has been a longtime friend of our festival and we are thrilled to honor her career,” said SFF President Mark Famiglio.
There should be lots of chances for the pubic to engage Miller. She stars in Think Of Me, which is screening at the festival this year on April 21 at 6:15pm and April 22 at 5:30pm. She will also do an In Conversation event on April 22pm, where she will be interviewed by the New York Times’ David Carr, himself a veteran of the festival thanks to last year’s screening of Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times.
Of course, much of the conversation will surely turn to The Artist, which this year became the first silent film to capture an Oscar for Best Picture in the last 83 years.
We hate to turn all non-Miller-related announcements here into footnotes, but wanted to make sure you all got the following scoops as well.
In addition to Miller’s attendance, the festival also announced Jena Malone would return to town to promote In Our Nature. She was last here when The Messenger opened the festival in 2009. Actor Jordan Gelber will join director Todd Solondz to support the Centerpiece Film Dark Horse. And though we already knew it, the festival also confirmed actress Jess Weixler would be in town with her film Somebody Up There Likes Me, which I must say is one of the movies I am particularly excited to see.
The Festival also announced that the Impact Award this year will go to Women Make Movies, a nonprofit which produces, promotes and distributes films made by women. Executive Director Debra Zimmerman will be on hand to accept.
As April 13 approaches, we promise to delve deeper into the significance of these actors, award-winners and films. Keep SRQMAGBACKLOT.COM bookmarked and check back here for more news.