Last night was my first Sarasota Film Fest Opening Night event and it was, well, awesome. I got to rub elbows with Sarasota’s elite, schmooze with various filmmakers, feast on tiny cake pops, see a Susan Sarandon look-alike and meet a smokin’ hot drag queen. I even waved across the room to Frank Langella, and he smiled back at me. (Yes, at me.) The evening’s highlight was the opening night film, Robot and Frank. To all of you who didn’t see it, my deepest apologies: you missed a really great film. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a film critic, but I am a frequent moviegoer and as soon as it was over I wanted to see it again.
All night long we talked with filmmakers and artists as they joined us at the SRQ photo booth, and it turns out that I wasn’t the only first timer. Director Alexia Anastasio is also making her first appearance at SFF, showing her first feature documentary film, Adventures in Plymptoons! Anastasio says the film has been well received on the festival circuit so far, and you can see it for yourself today at 2:30pm and tomorrow at 4pm.
Producer/director Kevin Sean Michaels is another newbie to SFF; he’s the co-producer of the aforementioned Adventures in Plymptoons! as well as director of the short Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest (which you can check out tonight at 9:15pm as part of the Shorts 6: Animated Stories series).
Sarasota local Trevor Kennell also makes his debut at SFF as the cinematographer (and actor) for Just My Luck. Kennell actually made the short for a film class at SCF and describes it as a comedy about a college kid’s first day of school. Just My Luck will be shown as part of Shorts 8 series of SRQ/FLA films, playing today at 1:15pm and Wednesday at 1pm.