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.
Legendary documentarian Barbara Kopple returns to the Sarasota Film Festival this year with another film tackling an important topic by following a big personality. Miss Sharon Jones!offers a glimpse at the life of soul singer Sharon Jones, who fought naysayers who cast shade on what would be an enormously successful career. Now, Jones fights an even bigger enemy—pancreatic cancer.
As Mickey Sumner walked into the Sarasota Yacht Club, she was giddy about being invited to the Tribute Luncheon as an honored guest. “This is the first time I’ve won gotten an award ever,” Sumner said. Sumner was honored with the Breakthrough Performance trophy by the Sarasota Film Festival for her work in Frances Ha, the Closing Night film this year.
She was one of six filmmakers this year celebrated at the Tribute Luncheon, which also saw statues handed to Lili Taylor, Mariel Hemingway, Barbara Kopple, Griffin Dunne and Suzanne Clemente.
Barbara Kopple has plenty of reason to be proud on the day she arrives in Sarasota. While in town, the Academy Award-winning director will accept the Sarasota Film Festival’s Director Award and see her film Running From Crazy shown in the Sarasota Opera House as one of the Centerpiece Films of the event this year.
But as she sits down at the Filmmakers Lounge looking at the available food from Supernova Cafe, she is most interested in films besides her own. She discussed Running Wild with filmmakers at the next table and gauges local reaction to Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish. One gets the feeling that no matter what honors are in store for her, she still has the same outlook as any director in town showing off a short film.
“It’s very important to me to be a part of this community,” she says. “I admire and love film festivals because that’s where you really get to see how people think about your films—when they are bored, when they laugh. I’m just deeply honored and thankful to the film festival for even considering me and for playing our film.”
If there is one get that SFF Director Tom Hall seems especially excited by, it is a visit this year by documentarian Barbara Kopple, who comes to town with the Centerpiece Documentary Running From Crazy. The Academy Award-winning director has been on Hall’s invite list for years, but 2013 marks the first time where everything worked out for her to come to Sarasota. Kopple will be here to accept the festival’s Director’s Award, the first non-fiction director to ever receive the honor.