My Sarasota Film Festival Diary (2023)

The old saying is true; There is truly no rest for the wicked. After the curtain fell on this yearSarasota Film Festival, I immediately started packing here in Sarasota before heading home to Brooklyn. The little details add up and after a few days of exhausting email and working through the remaining work, I finally feel like I'm done. It's really been a great year and I'm really proud of the festival. I think a little summary of my experiences is in order.


Programming is an interesting process; You literally spend months in stacks of movies, emails, and negotiations, trying as hard as you can to get as many movies out there as possible that represent the best of what you've seen. But you do this in a sort of vacuum; WhileStechpalmeand I have developed what I consider to be the most positive and fruitful collaboration of my professional life. We both tend to react to similar movies. As we agree and sometimes have different opinions, a program is slowly being put together. But what about the physical reality of showing films to audiences and inviting artists to present their works? During the programming process, it feels like a mirage; Always in the distance, hovering but never reached.

But then, hell, the festival dates actually arrive, and what seemed almost theoretical becomes a physical reality; Prints arrive, projectors and stages are installed, the staff grows to four times its original size, the office starts buzzing with energy and suddenly it's opening night and all systems go! This year we installed a Hi-Def system in our 1700 seat cinema and screened David Sington's theaterIn the shadow of the moonto two (yes, two) enthusiastic standing ovations. David and Apollo astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man to walk on the moon) wowed the audience with his Q&A (which I had the honor of moderating) and the screening and after party for 2000 guests was a great success.

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But when I got there, I had a job as a salesman in front of me; Sarasota had never opened a documentary before, and I think there was some concern that the community might not be ready for the experience. All doubts were swept aside as person after person approached Holly and I and expressed their love for the film. Mark Urman from THINKFilm was here (it's their film) and I think the evening confirmed what he already knew; If THINK handles this film correctly, we can talk about big numbers and an Oscar contender. I wasn't prepared for the ecstasy the movie evoked, but Sarasota was safeIn the shadow of the moonand the screening was the start of a fantastic ten days.

Trotzclaims the opposite, Sarasota is by no means a predominantly conservative community; The reality is that the political and economic diversity of the region is the main driver of the program. Looking at electoral politics, the electronic voting machine malfunction calls into question an already hotly contested congressional race; Political diversity is central here, and we work hard to bring films to the festival that challenge prejudices of all kinds. That's why it's so nice to see people of all kinds come to the festival to see films they would otherwise never see. I often talk to other programmers and film guys who don't get it; Why bother programming a festival in Florida? My answer is always the same; What reward is there in bringing great films to this audience, presenting ideas and opinions that would otherwise never be heard, and letting them enjoy the experience and celebrate the artists themselves? That's the kind of work I can support. Programming other, less diverse places seems like a much easier task.

Nevertheless, this year's festival lived up to all expectations in terms of audience reception. All the films were very well received and I think the artists were a little surprised at how well their films did here. The motto of our festival is "Sun. Cinema. Party." And this is no joke; the films were not only taken seriously, they were also truly celebrated. Literally. A representative selection of our filmmakers' and guests' opinions can be found at the following locations:

James Israel

Mike Brune

David Lowery

Michael Tully

AJ Schnack

Doug Block

(Video) From Russia My Love, documentary by Tatyana Bronstein

Mark Rabinowitz

It's exactly what we've always hoped for. So our artists can take full advantage of the festival to promote their work, have fun, socialize and have positive thoughts about the Sarasota Film Festival. I am very proud of this overwhelmingly positive feedback because I know it is authentic and because our mission as a festival has been fulfilled knowing that we have achieved what we set out to do; Celebrate the art of cinema.

Personal highlights

Looking back at the ten-day event, a few moments really stand out to me…

opening night
As I mentioned, the opening film and party was a resounding success, but the experience of having such an overwhelmingly positive response to the evening was a real highlight; I have literally not heard a single negative word.

Ben Niles
When Ben Niles accepted the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at our little awards ceremony, I was happy for him. We had been working hard to get the film to the festival and there was back and forth for a minute. Ben is an old friend from my programming days atNantucket, and it was exciting to see how the jury reacted to his film in the same way that I did. I think our best documentary competition was an outstanding group of films and every one of them deserved the award. But for me that moment was special; Ben approached me after the ceremony and shared a little secret with me. He had never won anything in his life. Always. So a nice round for a nice movie. When someone doesn't pick upnote for note, it would be a great loss. The audience here loved this movie.

Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi comes to Sarasotaparis i love youand accepted our World Cinema Award, but he also agreed to participate in an hour-long speech in front of a live audience. When the moderator had to cancel at the last minute, you really stepped in and had a great conversation with Steve. He was as lovable as you could imagine, told compelling stories about his own career, made a big impression on Quentin Tarantino, and really carried the show. I met Steve in Nantucket a few years ago (we were programming).Lonely Jimand he brought his lovely family to the island) so I think we had a good relationship. Anyway, he was a real pro, time flew by and I think everyone had a great time that night. Represent Park Slope!

Sophie Fiennes
Every once in a while you meet an artist you really connect with and this year I was lucky enough to sit next to Sophie Fiennes at The Filmmaker's Tribute Dinner. We talked non-stop for three hours about everything from her films and her work with Slavoj Zizek and her upcoming projects to literature, philosophy, film and travel; It was a wonderful conversation. By the end of the night I had convinced her to come to the last night karaoke where she treated us to her finest Bowie covers. I feel like I have found a new friend and she is one of the most interesting and lovely people I have ever met. Speaking of…

We've had some serious karaoke nights from TheBlutautoBeat the first Sunday to Chad Lowe and Sophie Fiennes hitting the dance floor on the closing Sunday. Aside from these vague clues, let's just say what happens in karaokeremainat karaoke.

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Foreign Film: Challenges in the American Market
This panel, which I had the privilege of moderating, was a light-hearted and relaxed conversation about a company in the midst of radical change. It was cause for celebration on this blog, and the only reason I scheduled this panel was to have a conversation about the changes for foreign films here in the US. Jonathan Sehring (IFC Films), Josh Braun (U-Boot), Jon Gerrans (Strand Releasing) and Paul Hudson (Outsider Pictures) each brought a unique perspective on the issues facing foreign films, and while I can't say that I'd agree with all of them (especially Jonathan Sehring, whose own day-and-date strategy as IFC's film/DVD/VOD hub on First Take/cable TV on IFC is a position bolstered by Cablevision's presence in NYC, is well covered though. , his network's desire to expand its relevance to cable and satellite TV providers fails me, I (I think theater-going Americans fare pretty poorly outside of NYC, though their numbers are decreasing). The talk was very funny. and I can really say that I understand the point of view from which all the participants in the panel came from. I encourage all festivals to work with a panel like this; Very informative and worth a conversation .

Fra Montreal
First of all a big THANK YOU to Mike Tully for putting us in touch with the band; Montreal is killed at the festival. I also have to say a big thank you to the band for playing my favorite song ("The Past Is A Grotesque Animal") and I have to say the encores "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks and "Suffragette City" covered by Bowie' was life changing. Since words can't really describe it, how about a little piece of YouTube?

From Montreal, live at the Sarasota Film Festival

After hours
Beach parties, swimming in pools, hotel rooms, late nights. I felt like we were all part of a wonderful artistic community and it was great fun to have everyone here.

(Video) Kate Plays Christine

I don't want to overdo it, but I will post some pictures from the event as soon as possible and then more SFF when we get the ball rolling in September. At this point a big thank you to everyone involved; Employees, guests, board, artists, patrons, everyone. It's been a wonderful ten days and I can't wait for next year.


My Sarasota Film Festival Diary? ›

The Sarasota Film Festival awarded INÉS UNFORTUNATELY, directed by Anna Salinas, Best US Narrative Short; HIDDEN GEMS, directed by Marquis Dawsey, Best Documentary Short; and ASTROMAN, directed by Alistair Simpson, Best International Short.

Who won the Sarasota Film Festival in 2023? ›

The Sarasota Film Festival awarded INÉS UNFORTUNATELY, directed by Anna Salinas, Best US Narrative Short; HIDDEN GEMS, directed by Marquis Dawsey, Best Documentary Short; and ASTROMAN, directed by Alistair Simpson, Best International Short.

What happened to LA Film Festival? ›

As of October 2018, the LA Film Festival has been discontinued and Film Independent is no longer soliciting or accepting Festival submissions, or taking part in a traditional programming process.

Where was Children Film Festival hosted? ›

International Children's Film Festival India
LocationHyderabad, Telangana, India
Hosted byChildren's Film Society
Festival dateNovember 14–20
WebsiteOfficial website

Where is the Treasure Coast Film festival? ›

Treasure Coast International Film Festival | Port Saint Lucie FL.

What is the oldest US film festival? ›

Held annually in October, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest all-documentary film festival in North America and one of the longest running non-fiction festivals in the world.

Who is the oldest film festival? ›

The Venice Film Festival in Italy began in 1932 and is the oldest film festival still running. Mainland Europe's biggest independent film festival is ÉCU The European Independent Film Festival, which started in 2006 and takes place every spring in Paris, France.

Where is Hot Springs film festival? ›

Where is the American Black film festival? ›

Where is Telluride film festival? ›

Where is the oldest film festival? ›

The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious.

Where is the Robert Redford film festival? ›

Sundance began in Salt Lake City in August 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen, head of Robert Redford's company Wildwood, and John Earle of the Utah Film Commission.

Does Hollywood still shoot on film? ›

Major films shot on digital video overtook those shot on film in 2013. Since 2016 over 90% of major films were shot on digital video. As of 2017, 92% of films are shot on digital. Only 24 major films released in 2018 were shot on 35mm.

What is the name of the famous film festival that takes place every year? ›

The Cannes Film Festival (/kæn/; French: Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (Festival international du film), is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world.

Where is the Sarasota film festival? ›

What film festival was founded by Robert Redford? ›

2 | It's called the Sundance Film Festival because ...

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Sundance Institute took over the festival in 1985 and changed its name to the United States Film Festival. It wasn't renamed the Sundance Film Festival until 1991.

What was the first movie shown in the United States? ›

1889 or 1890. Monkeyshines, by William Kennedy Dickson and William Heise. Believed to be the first film shot in the United States.

What are the three film festivals? ›

First on our list is the Berlin International Film Festival, also known as Berlinale. BFF is considered to be one of the “Big Three” European film festivals, alongside Cannes and Venice.

Where is the oldest movie Theatre in the US? ›

The State Theatre, located in a rural community about 30 miles outside of Iowa City, is the oldest continually operating movie theater in the world.

What is the biggest student film festival in the world? ›

Campus MovieFest (CMF) is the world's largest student film festival.

What is the largest high school film festival? ›

The All-American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) is the premier destination for talented high school filmmakers and media arts enthusiasts from around the world.

Can normal people attend Venice Film Festival? ›

Many of the film screenings each year are open to the public. However, some of the festival screens exclusively for attendees over the age of 18 with accreditation. There are three main “accreditation typologies”: Press, Industry, and Cinema (for filmmakers).

What movie is being filmed at Harrison Hot Springs? ›

1. Long Lost Christmas (2022 TV Movie)

Is Hot Springs still open? ›

Hot Springs National Park is open all year.

What town is the Sundance Film Festival in? ›

Sundance Film Festival, independent-film festival held in Park City, Utah, each January. It is one of the most respected and celebrated film festivals in the United States.

What is the largest black festival? ›

Billed as the largest African street festival in the United States, the Odunde Festival is an annual celebration that spans 15 blocks from Philadelphia's Schuylkill River to 23rd and South Street. Going 45 years strong, this event focused on Yoruba culture is designed to celebrate the prospect of the new year.

Where is Woodstock film festival held? ›

Where is Torino Film Festival? ›

Torino Film Festival is an international film festival held in Turin, Italy every November. it is the second largest film festival in Italy.

Where is the Deauville film festival held? ›

Where is Tribeca film festival held? ›

Where is the Napa Valley Film Festival? ›

Napa Valley Film Festival – Napa Valley, CA –

Who won the International film festival? ›

Winner(s)Work/ director
Golden Peacock (Best Film)
Vahid MobasheriNo End
Best Actress
Daniela Marin NavarroI Have Electric Dreams
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Who won Golden Cinema film festival? ›

Winners Of The 41st Golden Cinema Film Festival
  • Best Film: “The Book of Fish”
  • Best Director: Lee Joon Ik (“The Book of Fish”)
  • Cinematographer Gold Award: Lee Eui Tae (“The Book of Fish”)
  • Cinematographer Silver Award: Kim Byung Jung (“Beyond That Mountain”)
  • Cinematographer Bronze Award: Son Won Ho (“The Swordsman”)
Nov 21, 2021

Who won Red Sea film festival? ›

'Vagabonds' was presented the Red Sea Souk Production Award with a grant of 100,000 USD.

Who won Torino film festival? ›

39th edition of the festival was held from 27 November to 4 December 2021. The festival opened with animated musical comedy Sing 2 by Garth Jennings and honoured Monica Bellucci with a lifetime achievement award.

Do film festivals have winners? ›

In addition to getting a distribution deal on their festival film or a deal on a new film, filmmakers stand to make money from a festival if they win a prize. If your film is accepted to a festival, you have a chance of winning prize money.

What is the most prestigious award presented at the International film festival? ›

Academy Awards, popularly known as "Oscar" — the award of the American Academy of cinema — is the most famous and prestigious award in film making industry, both domestic and international.

What is the cash prize for IFFI? ›

The award carries a cash prize of ₹40 lakh (US$50,000) shared equally between the director and producer. The director will receive the 'Golden Peacock' and a certificate in addition to the cash prize. The Producer will receive a certificate in addition to the cash.

What movie won all the awards? ›

Which film has been nominated for the most awards at the 2023 Golden Globes? ›

The Banshees of Inisherin leads the film categories with eight nominations, while Everything Everywhere All at Once clocks in at six.

Who won Rome Film Festival? ›

film profile] by Latvian director Viesturs Kairišs is the big winner of the 17th edition of the Rome Film Festival, which this year returned to award its official prizes through the jury chaired by director and cartoonist Marjane Satrapi.

Who won the Miami Film Festival? ›

'The Beasts' Wins Three Prizes, Including Top Jury Award, at Miami Film Festival.

What is the prize money for Torino? ›

An undefeated champion at the Nitto ATP Finals, held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, will earn 1,500 Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin points (and 1,500 Pepperstone ATP Rankings points).
Singles Prize Money (2022)
Singles Prize Money (2022)
Semi-final match win$1,070,000
Final win$2,200,400
Undefeated champion$4,740,300
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