If Samuel Curtis didn’t grow up with a major film festival in his hometown, he may never have been introduced to the world of independent film. Now, a short film by Curtis, The Piano. The Ballerina. The Rain., is screening as part of the same festival that taught him to love images splashed across the silver screen.“I learned about independent cinema from attending the Sarasota Film Festival,” Curtis says, “and went to film school at FSU [Florida State University] because of it. Now after spending years at school, with all the money and passion that goes with that, I make into the festival.”
The Riverview High School graduate’s nine-minute film explores the dreams of a timid musician in love with a dancer. When asked to describe what the film is about, Curtis speaks in emotions instead of plot points. “It’s a film about love,” he says. “Love of music and the love one feels as a musician, and about the beauty musicians create when they come together.”
On a grander scale, Curtis feels a responsibility as a Sarasota filmmaker to elevate the art being produced locally. Sarasota has the chance to be a cultural powerhouse, he feels, if artists just come together to make a larger art scene. “I believe in 20 years we could be hotter than Miami,” he says.
Curtis’ film plays as part of the Shorts 9: SRQ program on Tuesday, April 8, at 9:30pm and again on Thursday, April 11, at 2pm.