Rory Kennedy: Last Days in Vietnam holds lessons on how to end, or how not to end, a war

Rory Kennedy
Rory Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy campaigned for president on a promise to end the war in Vietnam, but he didn’t live to see the end of that conflict. Now, his daughter Rory Kennedy has created a film that explores the fall of Saigon, and which just may inform American forces’ exit from contemporary conflicts. Last Days In Vietnam this Friday will act as the Opening Night film for the Sarasota Film Festival, but in advance of her visit to the Suncoast, Kennedy spoke with SRQ about the messages she hopes today’s leaders glean from the film. Continue reading Rory Kennedy: Last Days in Vietnam holds lessons on how to end, or how not to end, a war

Girl is a Maneater: John Stuart Wildman put viewers on side of dangerous Ladies of the House

It’s always bad news when a group of attractive women are wandering around a house in a horror movie at late hours of the night. But for whom? In John Stuart Wildman’s directorial debut The Ladies of the House, the director with Sarasota roots tosses gender politics aside into a very scary basement, leaving audiences laughing confused and most likely terrified. And Sarasota Film Festival audiences will be among some of the earliest audiences to be frightened and entertained en masse.

Continue reading Girl is a Maneater: John Stuart Wildman put viewers on side of dangerous Ladies of the House

Alexia King pulls heartstrings in Jeffrey Boos’ Woodland Dance

Director Jeffrey Boos speaks with actress Alexia King during the filming of Woodland Dance.
Director Jeffrey Boos speaks with actress Alexia King during the filming of Woodland Dance.

‘Never work with children or animals.’ It’s a lesson repeated so often in the film world it’s cliche. Film schools reiterate it. But all the warnings just made Jeffrey Boos determined to break the rule. And when he met Alexia King, he knew he could get away with it.

Now Boos and Alexia are preparing for a screening of the short film Woodland Dance at the Sarasota Film Festival. And there’s a good bet plenty of filmmakers are going to want to work with this child in the future. Continue reading Alexia King pulls heartstrings in Jeffrey Boos’ Woodland Dance

BFE director Shawn Telford escaped from a small town, then returned to make a movie

Urban legend and rural myth alike send the message that the world of drugs and sex and violence and pain was developed within the dark alleys of the big city. Whether the message is reinforced with the moral derision of suspicious schoolmarms or lionized by club kids who view celebrate the great urban underbelly, most anyone who grew up in a small town knows this message is crap. Teenagers in the sticks do drugs, sleep with one another and engage in the same vices as city kids, and sometimes do so with greater regularity simply for lack of better ways to spend their time.

Shawn Telford in Post Falls, Idaho.
Shawn Telford in Post Falls, Idaho.

Filmmaker Shawn Telford knows this. He spend his teen years in Post Falls, Idaho and knows plenty about the lack of options there for teens on a Friday night. He also knows how hard it can be to escape, to get away from a place that, for all its dangers, shortcomings and lack of opportunities, remains your home. So why did he go back to make a movie in his hometown? And can Post Falls ironically provide him with his big break? After BFE premieres at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival, he may learn the answer to the second question. As for his answers to the first, check out what he told SRQ Backlot by heading below the fold. Continue reading BFE director Shawn Telford escaped from a small town, then returned to make a movie

Richard Jenkins and other stars confirm for Sarasota Film Festival

Television and movie star Richard Jenkins confirmed today that he will attend the Sarasota Film Festival in support of God’s Pocket, one of the Centerpiece Films at the Sarasota event this year. The One I Love director Charlie McDowell will come in support of the Closing Night Film and Ivory Tower director Andrew Rossi will come with the festival’s other Centerpiece Film. Along with Rory Kennedy, director of Opening Night film Last Days in Vietnam, that means all of the tentpole films this year come with talent attached.

For more on the talent in attendance this year, check out below the fold.

Continue reading Richard Jenkins and other stars confirm for Sarasota Film Festival

Emily Harris, SFF’s Education Director, has big plans for youthFEST

 

As the Sarasota Film Festival continues to grow, so does it’s Education Department thanks to SFF’s new Education Director, Emily Harris. Harris admits, “I had attended the film festival for the past 14 years before working here and I didn’t really know much about the Education Department or youthFEST, but I’m really trying to change that.”

Continue reading Emily Harris, SFF’s Education Director, has big plans for youthFEST