‘The Wound,’ ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ lead Sarasota Film Festival award winners

A parade of star presenters announced the winners of Audience and Jury Awards for the Sarasota Film Festival this year. John Tengrove’s The Wound won the Best Narrative Feature Competition and Firas Fayyad’s Last Men in Aleppo (pictured) took the Best Documentary Feature competition in the major juried categories. Other major awards included Mike Ott’s California Dreams, which took the Independent Visions Prize, and Menashe, which won the Terry Porter Visionary Award.

The same evening, legendary actress Diana Lane picked up the Sarasota Film Festival Award for Cinematic Excellence, which was presented to her by Rosanna Arquette. “She really is the greatest actress we have going on screen today,” Arquette said of Lane.

A complete list of awards follows: Continue reading ‘The Wound,’ ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ lead Sarasota Film Festival award winners

Tyler premieres Axis at Sarasota Film Festival

Actress. Comedienne. Podcaster. And now, feature filmmaker. Aisha Tyler has proven her perpetual worth ethic over decades in television and movies in the industry. She passed a major milestone as a director Friday night when Axis, the feature-length directorial debut, world premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival. The charismatic filmmaker strolled the red carpet alongside actor Emmett Hughes, the star of the film, before promising an emotionally challenging experience to film-goers at the Regal Hollywood 20. “Be prepared,” she the audience for the screening. “It’s artsy.” Continue reading Tyler premieres Axis at Sarasota Film Festival

Kopple takes webcam tale to silver screen with ‘This is Everything’

Barbara Kopple’s newest documentary, This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, will likely be seen on the video sharing platform YouTube Red by far more people than ever purchase a ticket to see the movie in theaters. But she’s still excited to have brought the film to the Sarasota Film Festival this weekend as a Centerpiece Film. “Being on a screen in beautiful,” says Kopple, who still loves the idea of movies as a communal experience.

At the end of the day, though, she wants as many people as possible to see her film, which recounts the life of YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous. Continue reading Kopple takes webcam tale to silver screen with ‘This is Everything’

Kennedy’s ‘Take Every Wave’ Coasts Through Sarasota Film Festival

The call of the ocean rings familiar to many of us living on the Gulf Coast. The beach bums, boaters, fishermen, divers—this region calls a siren’s sound to many a waterman. But it remains clear that surfer supreme Laird Hamilton, subject of Rory Kennedy’s new documentary Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton, may feel a deeper attraction even than the ticket holders watching the film at the Sarasota Opera House on Friday night. Continue reading Kennedy’s ‘Take Every Wave’ Coasts Through Sarasota Film Festival