All posts by Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles is the senior editor for SRQ Media Group. He is covering his fourth Sarasota Film Festival this year. In the past, he has ridden in an SUV with Bill Paxton, followed Geena Davis from students talks to film screenings, and had one red carpet argument with Stanley Tucci. While covering business in Southwest Florida, he has seen the burgeoning Sarasota film industry grow tremendously and has written about the matter regularly in the pages of SRQ Magazine and other publications with the SRQ family.

Sarasota Film Festival to Spotlight Heroes of Science, Sport and Sustainability

Science, sustainability and celebrity will soon blast across Sarasota movie screens. The Sarasota Film Festival released its full program Monday evening, and in addition to bring such star filmmakers as Diane Lane, Aisha Tylor and Rory Kennedy to town, programmers announced documentaries on the space program and environmental protection along with films celebrating cultures around the globe. “It’s important to take films from all over the world and create comprehensive programming that makes sense and that will showcase the most original and innovative,” says Larisa Apan, senior programmer. Continue reading Sarasota Film Festival to Spotlight Heroes of Science, Sport and Sustainability

‘Laird Hamilton,’ ‘Paris Can Wait’ to Tentpole Sarasota Film Festival

The Sarasota Film Festival today announced Rory Kennedy’s documentary Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton as its Opening Night film and Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait (pictured) starring Diane Lane as its Closing Night film. It also announced Michael Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime and Barbara Kopple’s documentary This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous as its Centerpiece films, a special screening of Jill Campbell’s documentary Mr. Chibbs focused on the life of former NBA star Kenny Anderson produced by Coastal Transportation President Barry Greenstein, and Aisha Tyler’s Axis as part of the Independent Visions Competition.

“This year’s festival is reflective of the power and strength women around the world showcase every day, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “To have iconic and talented women such as Diane Lane, Rory Kennedy, and Aisha Tyler attend the festival this year is a great honor.”

From the release: Continue reading ‘Laird Hamilton,’ ‘Paris Can Wait’ to Tentpole Sarasota Film Festival

Veterans Filmmaking Academy Launches in Sarasota

Soldiers who dream of bringing a military perspective to the screen will get a boost from the new Veteran’s Filmmaking Academy. Created in collaboration with Project Rebirth, the first film produced through the program will premier at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival. Continue reading Veterans Filmmaking Academy Launches in Sarasota

The Fabulous Independent Film Festival this week announced its full line-up of films.

The event runs September 30 through October 2. The festival has moved out from the auspices of the Sarasota Film Society and under the oversight of the Harvey Milk Festival, but the spirit in true independence, both in the sense of film and of the individual, remains clear in the festival’s programming. Festival founder Magda Diouri promises the event this year will showcase self-discovery. “I don’t start with a theme in mind,” Diouri says. “It appears throughout the selection process. This year’s theme is ‘finding oneself.”

The LGBT-themed event will open with a screening of Closet Monster, starring True Crime’s Connor Jessup. The movie won Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival. There will also be a special beachfront screening Real Boy. An exact location for the screening has yet to be announced. Other films will screen at Burns Court Cinema. An Opening Night Party will be held September 30 at Made, starting at 10pm.

This will be the fifth year of the event since it relaunched as the Fabulous Independent Film Festival. Last year, Diouri turned the independent event, itself an offshoot of the Film Society’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Read the Sept. 8 edition of SRQ Daily to learn more about the event.

Closet Monster, 7:30pm, 9/30


The film follows the emotionally scarred life of Oscar (True Crime’s Connor Jessup), a gay Canadian teen guided by his ‘spirit animal’ Buffy the hamster (voiced by Isabella Rossellini) during his first tumultuous boyfriend experience. The film has won numerous awards including Best Canadian Feature Film at The Toronto International Film Festival.

Where Are You Going Habibi?, 1pm, 10/1

Ibrahim, a young German of Turkish Descent, leads a dual life: he lives with his tradition-bound family, but outside home he is a confident gay man looking to find love and a job. 

Me, Myself and Her, 3:30pm, 10/1

An Italian comedic-drama exploring the dynamics between two mature women, Marina and Frederica. Marina is a once popular and loved actress, confident about her sexuality, whereas Frederica, a divorced architect is in a her first ever relationship with a woman.

Lazy Eye, 6pm, 10/1

Passions reignite and secrets are revealed when a graphic designer reconnects with the great, lost love of his life for a weekend tryst at a house in the desert near Joshua Tree.

Real Boy, 8:30p, 10/1, beach screening, location TBD

The documentary, which won the Audience Award at Frameline Film Festival, offers an intimate glimpse into the family life of a transgender adolescent male dealing with family conflict as he works on becoming a musician. Featured image above.

Love is All You Need?, 2:30pm, 10/2

When a female quarterback falls in love with a male journalist, they are harassed after their relationship becomes public in an overwhelmingly homosexual world where heterosexuality is publicly reviled. Based on the multi-award winning short film of the same name.

Hunky Dory, 5pm, 10/2

Sidney’s constant search for cash, drugs, and sex (with men and women) is interrupted when he finds his 11-year-old son Georgie in his apartment, dropped off by Sidney’s ex who has left town without warning or an explanation. Winner of Best Narrative at Slamdance Film Festival.

Leslie Glass Wins National Award for Recovery Doc

Leslie Glass

Like many families throughout the nation, Leslie Glass has seen the challenges of addiction unfold in her own family. But even if her children had never experimented with drugs and alcohol, she had a pretty good idea of what substance abuse could do to people. “Everybody knows what addiction looks like,” Glass said. “We have all seen that produced in movies and television series.” But as she led her daughter Lindsey through recovery, Glass hungered for different imagery, and when she didn’t find it, she made a documentary herself, the 2011 film The Secret World of Recovery.

The film, shot as Leslie and Lindsey traveled the country speaking with people about the recovery process, will be honored on Saturday by the American Society of Addiction Medicine with the organization’s annual Media Award. After its debut five years ago at the Van bezel Performing Arts Hall, the documentary has become a widely viewed film among others seeking recovery.

Glass figures the film also has earned the attention of the medical community now in large part to her and Lindsey’s other work for recovering addicts. Glass serves today as the founding CEO for the Sarasota-based Reach Out Recovery, the largest nonprofit recovery portal on the internet. The website shares personal stories of recovery and directs users to resources for fighting addiction.

But while the personal honor gratifies Glass, she most appreciates that more professionals identify substance abuse not simply as a social problem but a public health matter. She notes startling statistics, such as the 38,000 annual deaths from opiate abuse, a mere 11 percent of identified addicts undergoing treatment “Addiction is the No. 1 health issue in America, and it has been for a long time,” she said. “I think the press, the media and the world is beginning to understand and does not want to tolerate the number of deaths we have.”

The award will be given to Glass at the ASAM Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland this Saturday.

‘Men & Chicken,”Cameraperson,’ ‘Ma’ Big Winners at Sarasota Film Festival

The Sarasota Film Festival announced winners in its major juried categories for 2016. Men & Chicken won the Narrative Feature Jury Prize, while Cameraperson won the Documentary Jury Prize. Meanwhile, Ma took the Independent Visions Award, which comes with a distribution deal from Factory 25. The top award for Animated Shorts went to The Itching, Killer won Narrative Short and My Aleppo won Documentary Short.

Read a full list of awards, including special jury awards, audience awards and other recognitions, below the fold: Continue reading ‘Men & Chicken,”Cameraperson,’ ‘Ma’ Big Winners at Sarasota Film Festival