Honorees Celebrated at Sarasota Film Festival Luncheon

As Mickey Sumner walked into the Sarasota Yacht Club, she was giddy about being invited to the Tribute Luncheon as an honored guest. “This is the first time I’ve won gotten an award ever,” Sumner said. Sumner was honored with the Breakthrough Performance trophy by the Sarasota Film Festival for her work in Frances Ha, the Closing Night film this year.

She was one of six filmmakers this year celebrated at the Tribute Luncheon, which also saw statues handed to Lili Taylor, Mariel Hemingway, Barbara Kopple, Griffin Dunne and Suzanne Clemente.

“This festival is great,” said Lili Taylor, recipient of the Career Achievement Award. “It is a real celebration of film, and a lot of places are marketplaces now. But this is why we make films. We love films, and this is a real reminder of  of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Hemingway spent much of her speech in fact praising Kopple, who took the Director’s Award. Both Kopple and Hemingway are here with the film Running From Crazy, a documentary on Hemingway’s life and her fight to bring issues of depression and suicide into the open. Hemingway’s personal contributions in dealing with depression earned her the Impact Award this year. “There is something called the Hemingway curse, and I can honestly say this film has broken that curse,” Hemingway said.

Griffin Dunne came to town with The Discovers and picked up an Achievement in Acting Award for his performance. “I;m thankful I was able to get back to acting with such a wonderful part,” said Dunne, who spends more time these days in the director’s chair.

And Suzanne Clement took the World Cinema award for her role in Laurence Anyways, where her character deals with a lover who is becoming transexual. Her work in the film also won her acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. “I’d delighted to be here,” said the Quebecoise actress. “I was just doing a movie in Vancouver three days ago, and it feels wonderful to wake up in front of the ocean.”

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