Hall Talks Festivals on Indiewire

SFF Director Tom Hall just penned a piece for Indiewire on running film festivals in today’s world of digital distribution. Hall himself notes the piece is somewhat inside baseball, but for followers of the Sarasota festival, it might provide some insight on decisions being made this year.

An excerpt:

As non-profits around the country work harder than ever to secure limited numbers of grants, sponsors and donors, the costs of operating a film festival continue to creep upward; travel costs, new technologies (including the transition to Digital Cinema) and a general decline in sponsor dollars have created a new set of challenges. Thankfully, surviving festivals are working hard to deliver great events to their communities and industry constituencies (filmmakers, distributors, the press), but as these changes require diligent management, an entirely new set of economic pressures are being shifted on to festivals, those of traditional film distribution.

Go read the rest yourself at Indiewire.

More Tentpoles For 2013?

Could there be four tentpole films in this year’s Sarasota Film Festival line-up? It a very real possibility, according to festival director Tom Hall. “We may have two centerpiece films—a documentary and a fiction film—as well a Closing Night Film and Opening Night Film,” he said.

That could also bring more marquis stars to the event this year. Past tentpole films have often determined which headliners end up on the red carpet here. Think Woody Harrelson with The Messenger, Frank Langella with Robot and Frank or Jordan Gelber with Dark Horse. These are the films that attract many a casual festival observer to attend events at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Sarasota Opera House.

But whether a new centerpiece is added or not, it seems certain the film festival schedule will be larger than ever, Hall told SRQ Backlot in an interview earlier this week. “I’ve got films up to my eyeballs,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about what we have to select from this year.”

Continue reading More Tentpoles For 2013?