‘Houses’ Explores Artistic Process Amid Sandy Aftermath

The sight of hurricane damage is one Floridians know all too well. Now a film shot in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by a director with family ties to Sarasota County is set to premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival. Houses, a movie with a higher profile than many films screening this year thanks to a cast of familiar faces from Orange is the New Black and The Sopranos, follows characters recovering from a northeastern storm and tells a story of creating art in the wake of disaster. “The film uses the storm outside to explore a storm within,” says director Jenner Furst. Continue reading ‘Houses’ Explores Artistic Process Amid Sandy Aftermath

First SFF. Next, PBS? Myakka Waters Inspire Filmmakers

The pristine environment of the Myakka River provides a backdrop to a short film, Expedition Florida: Moods of the Miakka, screening at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival. The team behind it hopes the work of cinema can also relaunch a PBS series exploring Florida’s natural world. Continue reading First SFF. Next, PBS? Myakka Waters Inspire Filmmakers

Tony Stopperan Anticipates Homecoming For ‘Paradise’

Few productions have generated as much enthusiasm among Sarasota’s filmmaking community as Paradise, FL, a movie shot largely in Cortez with a team consisting primarily of locals.  A buzzworthy operation that showcases both the location and the professional assets has many hoping the film will be the project that raises Sarasota’s cinema profile on a national scale, and now the film has a spot in the Sarasota Film Festival.

At a press unveiling of the festival program for 2015, the announcement of Paradise as an official selection, while surprising no one, drew applause from gathered sponsors and filmmakers. “That makes you feel good,” says writer-producer Tony Stopperan, with a wry grin across his face.
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Booker High Team Brings ‘Newtown at 100’ to Sarasota Film Festival

A century of Newtown’s history will be showcased in a new documentary created by some of Sarasota’s youngest voices. Newtown at 100: A Glimpse Through Our Eyes will premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival this year, bringing to screen the first feature-length product of the Booker High School summer film academy. The film will be the center a major event on April 16, complete with a performance by American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado and a panel with high-profile film leaders in the community.

The documentary promises to showcase Sarasota’s minority leaders, living and past residents and the Booker High students themselves. The student group was led by the guiding hand of Judge Charles E. Williams and filmmaker Samuel Curtis of the SFF Education Department, both of whom have had past works screened at the festival in prior years.

Continue reading Booker High Team Brings ‘Newtown at 100’ to Sarasota Film Festival