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.

Tony Ahedo Brings Aspiring Serial Killer To Life

Sarasota filmmaker and Ringling College graduate Tony Ahedo heads to St. Petersburg today, where the pilot episode of his new web-series, Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer, will premiere as an Official Selection of the Sunscreen Film Festival. Written and directed by Ahedo and starring Peter Konowicz, the planned series follows the bloody and comedic escapades of an earnest but inept Barry Baker as he struggles to find the courage and faculty to brutalize his officemates. Says Ahedo, “Nobody starts as a professional.” Continue reading Tony Ahedo Brings Aspiring Serial Killer To Life

Castille Landon directing Burt Reynolds, Amy Smart in Palmetto production

From memorable roles in films like Sex Ed and Paradise, FL and in television series like The Ghost Whisperer, Castille Landon has kept busy as an actress for close to a decade. But as she embarks on directing her second feature, which will be filmed entirely in the Palmetto area, Landon now sees a long future behind the lens. “As an actor, so much of your job is sitting by the phone waiting for a call that probably isn’t coming,” she tells SRQ. “I was working a lot, doing about three movies a year, but that still totals 20 to 30 days a year working. That was frustrating and I felt out of control of my own life.”

Now, Landon’s attentions are focused on directing And Then There Was Light, a film starring screen legend Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit)and Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Road Trip) and written by Landon. The movie, about a young girl who begins to lose her eyesight after a horse riding accident, will be shot largely at the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus in Palmetto, as well as a nearby horse farm and other local spots. Continue reading Castille Landon directing Burt Reynolds, Amy Smart in Palmetto production

Your peek behind the scenes of Sarasota, Florida's growing film industry

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