As Cinema Tropicale came to a close on Friday night, patrons headed towards the front doors of the Sarasota Yacht Club. On the bench sat Tom Hall, director of the SFF. I took the opportunity to ask him his thoughts on this years festival.
How do you think the festival is going so far?
We’re in the middle of it; it feels pretty good. Everyone seems happy. We haven’t had a chance to step back and analyze everything, but the events seem successful, films are well attended, there’s a lot of positive feeling going around with the filmmakers and I am very pleased.
Have you had any feedback on cutting down the parties?
We only have one event less. The Wednesday night middle party we removed and we placed it here at the Sarasota Yacht Club; it’s been a big success.
Most major film festivals don’t throw their own parties. If you go to Sundance, they throw one event and filmmakers who come to town throw their own.
Thursday, we had three separate private receptions thrown by John Simms, YPG and Women Make Movies. It’s an opportunity to get into private parties and do some fun networking.
Many of the film topics have a theme of strong women. Was that on purpose?
No, that’s organic, women are making good movies. We have a lot of younger filmmakers coming up now who are women; it’s a new generation. We always catch people on the way up and I think they’ve all done a great job.
Do you have a favorite film in the festival?
I loved Alps, Compliance, Alana, and most of the films in the narrative feature competition as well as the European cinema.
I saw Alps on a whim. An older women said “It shook her up,” and that had me curious.
You took a chance on a movie based on someone else’s reaction. That’s the kind of chain reaction we are trying to create with the films.
Filmmakers are going out every night and getting together. Join us and get in the loop. We are happy to have people hang out with us. Not everything is a private exclusive dressy event.- Tom Hall