The Sarasota Film Festival today announced that Michael Dunaway, film editor for Paste Magazine and a frequent SFF juror, will be the new director of programming for the Florida festival, one of the most prestigious regional film festivals in North America. The festival also announced a team of new programmers.
“The Sarasota Film Festival is thrilled to welcome this outstanding creative team,” said President Mark Famiglio. “This talented group with varied backgrounds will allow the Festival to present the hearts and minds of independent films to our ever-expanding audience.”
Dunaway is no stranger to Sarasota, regularly attending the festival in official capacities both for Paste and in roles with the festival itself. He served as a juror for the Independent Visions competition in 2012, MC’d the In Conversation… with Lili Taylor in 2013 and covered last year’s event extensively in Paste.
In recent years, Dunaway developed a close relationship with former SFF Director Tom Hall, who started here as programming director before climbing the SFF ranks. Dunaway told SRQ Backlot in 2012 that the festival already had a tremendous reputation in the world of independent film.
“I have always heard from literally every filmmaker that has been to SFF rave about how well the filmmakers get treated and what a good time the festival is,” he said then. “When I met Tom Hall at Sundance I was really happy to have made a contact here because I knew I wanted to come here eventually. It has surpassed all my expectations.”
Dunaway also beings his own cred as a filmmaker as the the Founding Partner of Gasoline Films and of Poitier & Dunaway Motion Pictures, recently completing a documentary on filmmaker Richard Linklater.