Why do they make us choose?! For reasons known only to the Sarasota Film Festival, we have a conflict today of some magnitude in the 7 o’clock hour and can’t quite decide which way to send you. But regardless of which way you choose, we assure you following the festival guide on the beautiful Thursday will lead to festival-goer success. It’s a solid day of events and screenings whether you are a filmmaker or a film lover.
12:00 — Side By Side Symposium If you can get in, this is worth it, especially if you have a particular interest in empowering women in film. The mission is foster collaboration among women filmmakers if a field that too often encourages competition among the under-represented. This event will be at The Francis, and we can tell out-of-towners that the venue is one of the best for gathering spaces in town, and one SRQ rents for many events ourselves. See out coverage of last year here.
1:00 — Brand Once Russell Brand cancelled on a keynote at South By Southwest because this documentary on his life made him too uncomfortable, we knew two things. One, our hope of heckling him with Katy Perry questions on the red carpet had completely passed. Two, this film is sure to offer some incredible insight into this fascinating figure in politics and entertainment. Head to the Opera House to check it out.
5:15 — Cartel Land This documentary takes a surprisingly close look at the lives of vigilantes fighting drug cartels on both sides of the Mexican border—basically a tale of lawlessness fighting lawlessness. It cleaned up at Sundance, is being spotlighted by the Sarasota Film Festival staff and the screening is sponsored by SRQ Media Group. Check it out.
7:00 — SRQ Shorts If you are interested in the filmmaking scene in Southwest Florida, this theater is a place you want to be—though we realize its a little tough to get into. From the ultra-artistic The Sunny Side to the socially-consicious When The Party Ends, this program has fascinating work from local filmmakers, and marks a great chance for local visionaries to compare their work.
7:30 — Newtown at 100 WE KNOW! You can’t be at two places at once, but this documentary by Booker High students with the help from local filmmakers Charles Williams and Samuel Curtis was not only made by people in this community but will offer better inside into the community itself. The movie looks at Newtown’s first century, and the entire effort was driven by SFF’s Education arm, so the fest has some skin in the game. Of course, if you really want to enjoy the full Newtown at 100 experience, you ought to attend a 4:30 red carpet when young filmmakers make a triumphant arrival at the Opera House and a 5:30 reception.