As Ben Vereen sits in a Sarasota restaurant wearing a cap that reads “Spiritual Enforcer,” intermittently piping pleasant sounds from a wood recorder, he waxes about the promises Baby Boomers made for the future, recounting his hopes from the past to a reporter born well after the Vietnam War. “Taking things back to the ’60s,” he recalls, “we were going to make it a better world for you guys.” He ponders that promise for a moment, then speaks up again. “I’m sorry.”
But whatever ills of humanity his generation failed to expunge, whether by negligence or because such goals were futile to start with, Vereen himself has never given up. Today, he takes a break from preparing a production of Hair—his revival of the musical his the stage at the Venice Theatre in the fall—and discusses his role in Time Out Of Mind, a drama about homelessness set to open the Sarasota Film Festival this evening. “We need a dialogue,” he says. “That’s the first solution.” Continue reading Vereen Hopes Work Starts Dialogue on Homelessness, Human Compassion→
Could there be four tentpole films in this year’s Sarasota Film Festival line-up? It a very real possibility, according to festival director Tom Hall. “We may have two centerpiece films—a documentary and a fiction film—as well a Closing Night Film and Opening Night Film,” he said.
But whether a new centerpiece is added or not, it seems certain the film festival schedule will be larger than ever, Hall told SRQ Backlot in an interview earlier this week. “I’ve got films up to my eyeballs,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about what we have to select from this year.”
So after being misinformed as to the correct location of the Dark Horse screening/red carpet, I found myself beelining it down Main from the Hollywood 20 to the Opera House where I stumbled upon not only a red carpet for Dark Horse, but the spill out from The Show Must Go On. Glad I made it just barely in time to still grab a photo of Dark Horse director Todd Solondz and lead actor Jordan Gelber!