The 11th Annual SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL March 27-April 5th, 2009

Films, Competitions, Events, Tributes, Parties, and Special Guests. Including Steve Buscemi, David Carradine , Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Nick Dawson, Illeana Douglas, Antonio Ferrera, Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, TJ Jagodowski, Norman Jewison, Oren Moverman, David Ortiz, Joe Pantoliano, David Pasquesi, Bill Paxton, Paul Schiff, Richard Schiff, and Jon Voight.

Films, Competitions, Events, Tributes, Parties, and Special Guests. Including Steve Buscemi, David Carradine , Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Nick Dawson, Illeana Douglas, Antonio Ferrera, Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, TJ Jagodowski, Norman Jewison, Oren Moverman, David Ortiz, Joe Pantoliano, David Pasquesi, Bill Paxton, Paul Schiff, Richard Schiff, and Jon Voight.


Sarasota Film Festival


The 11th Annual Regal Entertainment Group SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL will get underway on Friday evening March 27, 2009 and run through Sunday, April 5, 2009.  The Festival will be presented at Sarasota’s Hollywood 20 Cinemas with Opening Night at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Closing Night Tribute at the Sarasota Opera House, screenings and conversations at the Historic Asolo, and other area venues.


This year’s Festival will present over 160 narrative, documentary and short films from the U.S. and around the world throughout the 10-day event.  There will be the acclaimed programs Sarasota audiences have embraced over the years such as the “A Conversation With…” series held at the Historic Asolo Theater; Tribute Awards, film competitions in the narrative, documentary and short film categories – and, of course, audience award competition in all categories; our award-winning Outreach and Education Programs; and there will be three exciting new sidebars – the Green Cinema Now! Program and two retrospective presentations - Being Hal Ashby: Mind of A Hollywood Rebel and Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude On Film.  And, of course, there will be the events, soirees and glamorous parties that the Sarasota Film Festival does so well.


Tickets for individual films go on sale to the general public on Friday March 13 at 11:00 AM at the Festival Box Office, 1991 Main St, in Downtown Sarasota.  Tickets are also available on the Festival website at


“As we enter our second decade of providing the best film programming, special guests, events and parties to our Sarasota audience,” stated SFF President Mark Famiglio, “we thank you for sharing our passion with us all these years and welcome you to continue on our amazing journey.  We have over 160 films, new industry partnerships, as well as those already forged or being strengthened in our West Coast community, our award-winning Outreach and Education program, the conversations, panels and just good old festival excitement.  We have worked hard to make this year’s Festival much more accessible to our audience, by reducing selected ticket prices to expanding our programming to appeal to our diverse Sarasota community.”


"We look forward to sharing our Festival program with the terrific Sarasota audience,” stated Director of Programming Tom Hall.  “We hope that members of the community will join us to celebrate these films and the artists who created them. This year's program features a broad spectrum of ideas, issues and stories and we're excited for audiences to discover them during this year's festival."


The Opening Night Film of the 11th Sarasota Film Festival will be director Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone.  The Messenger, winner of the Silver Bear for Screenwriting at the recent Berlin Film Festival, is a timeless story of military brotherhood and service and examines universal themes of hope, redemption and the resilience of the human spirit. The film is a deeply moving tale about the complex and unexpected ways people reach out to one another to gain strength, and offers a unique and inspiring vision that deftly balances strong emotions with humor, compassion and empathy.  Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Oren Moverman are expected to attend.


In a written statement, the U.S. Army endorsed the film by saying "The United States Army began its support of the feature film The Messenger by working on the script with the writers and director. Once the script was accurate in the portrayal of the military, LTC Paul S from the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Los Angeles Branch, was assigned the mission of working on the production as the Military Technical Advisor. The producers, actors and director met with Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs personnel in Alexandria, Virginia and also visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center in order to make certain the portrayal of all military personnel were accurate and responsible.  In addition, the production filmed for one week at Fort Dix, New Jersey where they used actual military personnel as extras.  In doing so, they were able to add an authenticity to the film not seen in non-DOD/US Army supported projects. The Messenger is a powerful portrayal of military personnel who perform the function of Casualty Notification Officers."


The Sarasota Film Festival will dedicate this special opening night screening of the acclaimed drama The Messenger to the honor of active duty and retired service men and women and their families. Because the themes of this powerful drama honor the service of our men and women in uniform, the festival will be partnering with the filmmakers and MacDill Air Force Base to host over 400 members from all four branches of our armed forces as our special guests for this screening. In addition, veterans from all branches of the service and will be offered a special 25% discount (in person, at the festival’s Box Office at 1991 Main St.) to attend for what promises to be a powerful salute to our soldiers past and present.  The festival will be offering the opportunity for members of the community to donate tickets and "Send a Solider To Opening Night" For each ticket donated, the SFF will "match" with a complimentary ticket for a soldier.  Information on how to "Send a Solider To Opening Night" can be found online, and this ticket will be available online at and at our Box Office starting March 13, 2009.


 SFF’s Closing Night Film will be Every Little Step directed by Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern.  Every Little Step is the story of the smash hit musical “A Chorus Line,” from its humble beginnings in Michael Bennett’s workshop to the new Broadway production of the show, featuring young dancers and actors following their own dreams of landing a role on The Great White Way.  Much like the play itself, backstage rivalries, personal intrigues, histories and hopes mingle with the chance to dance and the film is there every step of the way, from the first auditions to Opening Night on Broadway. A glittering example of the power of Broadway to inspire dreams, Every Little Step is one singular sensation.


This year, the Sarasota Film Festival will present three exciting Sidebar Programs.


Being Hal Ashby: Mind of A Hollywood Rebel.  One of the brightest lights of American cinema in the 1970’s, Hal Ashby is remembered for producing an unprecedented collection of films that defined a generation. Born in Ogden, Utah in 1929, Ashby followed his dream to California where, as a young man, he learned the craft of film editing, culminating in an Oscar for Film Editing in 1967 for his work on Norman Jewison’s classic In The Heat Of The Night. Soon after, with Jewison’s encouragement, Ashby made his directorial debut with the 1970 film The Landlord, starring Beau Bridges. Before his tragic and untimely death in 1988, Ashby went on to make over a dozen films of remarkable diversity, warmth and grace.


Ashby’s influence on the cinema has been profound, inspiring generations of filmmakers and artists who continue to shape the future of the movies. It is with tremendous pleasure that we honor the late Hal Ashby with a program featuring a retrospective of the director’s most important work, including the World Premiere of a never-before-seen Director’s Cut of the film Lookin’ To Get Out, presented in a newly re-mastered Hi-Definition print, and an evening’s salute to the Ashby’s life and career featuring some of the Director’s most important collaborators at our Tribute event on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at The Sarasota Opera House.


Among Hal Ashby’s films that will be screened throughout the 2009 SFF are: Harold And Maude; Shampoo; The Last Detail; The Slugger’s Wife; Bound For Glory; The Landlord; Lookin’ To Get Out; Coming Home and Being There.


The Festival is also proud to partner with author Nick Dawson on the launch of his new biography, Being Hal Ashby: Life Of A Hollywood Rebel. Mr. Dawson will be on hand to sign copies of his book and will be our moderator for the Tribute.  


Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude On Film.  The Sarasota Film Festival presents a complete retrospective of the films documenting the work of the acclaimed artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, beginning with Michael Blackwood’s Wrapped Coast (1969) through to Wolfram Hissen’s Along U.S. 50 (2009), a World Premiere screening of a film in progress that documents the ongoing work to complete the Over The River project. Christo and Jeanne-Claude will attend the festival’s closing weekend.


“Our projects are discussed and argued about, pro and con, before they are realized,” they say. “To understand our work one must realize what is inherent to each project. However there is an important difference between our works of art and the usual architecture and urban planning, we are our own sponsors and we pay for our works of art with our own money, never accepting any sponsors.”


The films of the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude presented at the Sarasota Film Festival include: Along US 50; Christo And Jeanne-Claude; Christo In Paris; Dem Deutsche Volke: Wrapped Reichstag 1971-1995; The Gates; Islands; Running Fence and Umbrellas.  The Shorts Include: Christo’s Valley Curtain; Wrapped Coast;Wrapped Trees and Wrapped Walkways.


The Sarasota Film Festival is proud to announce the Green Cinema Now! program for our 2009 edition. This program is a collection of films and discussions that deal with issues and activism surrounding the environmental challenges that face our community, our nation and our planet.


Presented in partnership with The Video Project (, this program will feature 6 films in our main festival program, including Food Inc.; Upstream Battle; Burning The Future; Crude; Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai; and The End Of The Line.  10 short films will be available during the festival on our website, each with a unique message about our environment and each with a call to action for activism that continues long after the film has ended. beginning March 25, 2009 to view a complete selection of shorts.  In conjunction with the Green Cinema Now! Program, filmmaking activist Steve Michelson and filmmaker David Novack (Burning The Future) will moderate a panel on how to create and build long-term campaigns and calls to action around environmental filmmaking. The panel is free and open to the public.


Among this year’s Special Events are:


Luncheon Under The Banyans on Friday, April 3, 2009 Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  The lush, tropical beauty of the idyllic Marie Selby Botanical Gardens sets the stage for SFF to showcase the life and work of our selected honoree Regal Entertainment Group’s Career Achievement Award winner, Bill Paxton. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Selby Gardens Children’s Rainforest Project.


In Conversation With Bill Paxton at the Historic Asolo Theater on Friday, April 3, 2009.  Bill Paxton’s career spans from his gut-busting performance as Chet in Weird Science through to his major roles in TwisterTitanic and Apollo 13. Already one of the top-grossing box-office performers of all time, Paxton also stars in HBO’s “Big Love,” one of the network’s most popular series. Join us for an evening of conversation with one of the cinema’s most compelling actors.


In Conversation With Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Historic Asolo Theater on Saturday, April 4.  At the artist’s request, this event will be a direct dialogue between the artists and the audience about the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Though not required, guests are encouraged to explore the artist’s work and see the retrospective of films playing at the festival in order to fully participate in this discussion.


World Cinema Film & Celebration on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 with screening at the Hollywood 20 and Celebration following at the Sarasota Bayfront.  Join World Cinema Event Chairman – David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox - for our World Cinema Film & Celebration. The film Sugar, directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, focuses on the world of American minor league baseball and a young Dominican pitcher Miguel “Sugar” Santos who thinks that he has what it takes to achieve the major league dream.  Following the film, the Celebration, a breezy Caribbean-inspired evening, will take place at the Sarasota Bayfront. This celebration benefits the Sarasota City Parks Foundation and contributes toward the construction of a shade structure for the Bayfront Children’s Playground.


Sarasota Film Festival’s 2009 Filmmaker Tribute on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at the Sarasota Opera House.  This Gala event at the Sarasota Opera House will honor the late director Hal Ashby. The festival will be creating a tribute film in Mr. Ashby’s honor, and an on-stage conversation about his life and work will follow. Among those expected in to honor Hal Ashby are David Carradine, Illeana Douglas, Norman Jewison, Jon Voight and the director’s daughter, Leigh MacManus. In addition, the festival will be handing out our filmmaking awards and honoring other special guests in attendance.


And this year, we have a special In Performance… with TJ and Dave on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at the Historic Asolo Theater Winners of numerous awards in New York City and Chicago, TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi are improvisational performers who improvise a unique one-hour play each time they take the stage; no two performances, stories or characters are the same twice! Join us as they bring their unique performance to the Historic Asolo in support of their new film, Trust Us, This Is All Made Up, and be prepared for a true once in a lifetime experience.


The 2009 SFF Feature Film Competition Program


The Sarasota Film Festival, in partnership with the companies Film Movement and First Run Features, is thrilled to present our very first feature film competitions that carry distribution prizes.  The eight films in the Best Documentary Competition will compete for a US Distribution deal with First Run Features, the acclaimed North American distributor of daring independent, foreign and non-fiction films.  The Best Narrative Feature winner will receive an offer for US Distribution from Film Movement, the full-service North American distributor of critically acclaimed and award-winning independent and foreign films.  


The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Award, Presented by Film Movement and BAMcinematek features eight films in competition: Adela by Adolfo Alix Jr.; Children of Invention by Tze Chun; Française by Souad El-Bouhati; The Maid by Sebastián Silva; The Man Who Loved Yngve by Stian Kristiansen;Nurse.Fighter.Boy by Charles Officer; Prince Of Broadway by Sean Baker and You Won't Miss Me by Ry Russo-Young.


The winning film receives a DVD/VOD/Educational/Television and "first look" theatrical offer from Film Movement.  In addition, the film will be screened in New York at BAMcinematek, presented by the Sarasota Film Festival and Film Movement.  The Jury for the 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Award, Presented by Film Movement and BAMcinematek includes: Rebecca Conget, Film Movement; Adley Gartenstein, Film Movement; and Mike Maggiore, Film Forum.


The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Documentary Feature Award, Presented by First Run Features consists of eight films in competition: 21 Below by Samantha Buck;    Blood Trail by Richard Parry; Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same by Jody Lee Lipes; Letters To The President by Petr Lom; Loot by Darius Marder; Old Partner by Chung-Ryoul Lee; Over The Hills And Far Away by Michel O. Scott; Winnebago Man by Ben Steinbauer. 


The winning film receives a DVD/VOD/Educational/Television and "first look" theatrical offer from First Run Features, and a screening in the Fall 2009 “Stranger Than Fiction” line-up, held at the IFC Center in Manhattan.  Jury members for the SFF documentary competition include: Florence Almozini, BAMcinematek; Karina Longworth,; Marc Mauceri, First Run Features.


The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Short Film, Presented by Cinetic Rights Management. The winning film will receive a standard Cinetic Rights Management offer for VOD from Cinetic Rights Management, presented by CRM’s Matt Dentler.


In addition to these above current partnerships, the Sarasota Film Festival is partnering with Indiepix as the Official DVD and Download Partner of the 2009 SarasotaFilm Festival.  The Sarasota Film Festival website will be launching an online DVD store on March 25th, 2009.  DVDs of Official Selections from past Sarasota Film Festivals will be available for purchase on the site, as well as films recommended by the festival.


2009 SFF Films:

All film descriptions are available in the 2009 SFF catalogue and/or online at


21 Below (USA), directed by Samantha Buck. Best Documentary Feature Competition.  

Adela (Philippines), directed by Adolfo Alix Jr. Best Narrative Feature Competition.       

African Underground: Democracy In Dakar (USA, France, Senegal), directed by Magee McIlvaine, Chris Moore, Ben Herson. Documentary Feature (youthFEST). 

Along U.S. 50 (2008)   (USA), directed by Gebrüder Hissen. Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).  Preceded by Wrapped Trees (1998).

Art & Copy (USA), directed by Doug Pray. Documentary Feature.        

Ashes of American Flags: Wilco Live (USA), directed by Brendan Canty, Christoph Green. Documentary Feature.

Beeswax (USA), directed by Andrew Bujalski. Narrative Feature.

Being There (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).       

Blood Trail (UK), directed by Richard Parry. Best Documentary Feature Competition.

Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same (USA), directed by Jody Lee Lipes. Best Documentary Feature Competition. 

Bound For Glory (USA), directed by Hal Ashby. Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).  

Boy Interrupted (USA), directed by Dana Perry. Documentary Feature. 

The Burning Plain (USA), directed by Guillermo Arriaga. Narrative Feature. 

Burning The Future (USA), directed by David Novack.  Documentary Feature.  .

Children of Invention (USA), directed by Tze Chun. Best Narrative Feature Competition.  

Christo & Jeanne-Claude (1995) (USA), directed by Michael Blackwood. Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).             

Christo In Paris (1990) (USA), directed by Albert and David Maysles, Susan Frömke. Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).  Preceded byWrapped Walkways (1978).

Coming Home (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective). 

Crude (USA), directed by Joe Berlinger.  Documentary Feature (Green Cinema Now!).

D-Tour (USA), directed by Jim Granato.  Documentary Feature. 

Dem Deutschen Volke: Wrapped Reichstag 1971-1995 (1996) (France, Geremany), directed by Wolfram and Jörg Daniel Hissen. Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective). 

Egon & Donci (Hungary), directed by Adam Magyar. Animated Feature (youthFEST)

The End of the Line (UK), directed by Rupert Murray. Documentary Feature (Green Cinema Now!).  

The English Surgeon (UK), directed by Geoffrey Smith. Documentary Feature. 

Every Little Step (USA), directed by Adam Del Deo and James Stern. Closing Night Film.

Examined Life (Canada), directed by Astra Taylor. Documentary Feature. 

The Extraordinary Journey of Fernando Bujones (USA), directed by Israel Rodriguez. Documentary Feature.

The Family Jams (USA), directed by Kevin Barker.  Documentary Feature. 

Food Inc. (USA), directed by Robert Kenner. Documentary Feature (Green Cinema Now!)

Française (France/ Morocco), directed by Souad El-Bouhati.  Best Narrative Feature Competition. 

The Gates (USA), directed by Albert and David Maysles, Antonio Ferrera.  Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective). Christo, Jeanne-Claude and Antonio Ferrera in attendance

Girl From Monaco (France), directed by Anne Fontaine.  Narrative Feature. 

Goodbye Solo (USA), directed by Ramin Bahrani.  Narrative Feature. 

Gotta Dance (USA), directed by Dori Berinstein.  Documentary Feature

Harold and Maude (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective). 

Herb and Dorothy (USA), directed by Megumi Sasaki.  Documentary Feature. 

Hounddog (USA), directed by Deborah Kampmeier.  Narrative Feature. 

Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner (USA), directed by Murray Grigor. Documentary Feature.   

Invisible Girlfriend (USA), directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin.  Documentary Feature

Islands (1987) (Canada), directed by Albert and David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin. Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).  Preceded byWrapped Coast (1969).

Julia (Belgium, France, USA), directed by Erick Zonca. Narrative Feature. 

Kimjongilia (France, USA), directed by N.C. Heikin. Documentary Feature

The  Landlord (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).

The Last Detail (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).

Lemon Tree (France, Germany, Israel), directed by Eran Riklis.  Narrative Feature.

Letters To The President (Canada, Iran), directed by Petr Lom.  Documentary Feature.

Lightbulb (USA), directed by Jeff Balsmeyer.  Narrative Feature.

Lion's Den (Argentina, South Korea, Brazil), directed by Pablo Trapero.  Narrative Feature.  

Lookin' To Get Out (Director's Cut) (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).        

Loot (USA), directed by Darius Marder.  Best Documentary Feature Competition.

Making Our Own (USA), directed by Adrianne Jorge.  Documentary Feature. 

The Man Who Loved Yngve, (Norway), directed by Stian Kristensen.  Best Narrative Feature Competition.

The Messenger (USA), directed by Oren Moverman.  Opening Night Film. 

The Missing Person (USA), directed by Noah Buschel.  Narrative Feature. 

Moon (UK), directed by Duncan Jones. Narrative Feature. 

Night And Day (South Korea), directed by Hong Sang-soo.  Narrative Feature. 

No Kidding, Me Too!   (USA), directed by Joe Pantoliano.  Documentary Feature

Nurse.Fighter.Boy (Canada), directed by Charles Officer.  Best Narrative Feature Competition.

Old Partner (South Korea), directed by Chung-Ryoul Lee.  Best Documentary Feature Competition. 

Once More With Feeling (USA), directed by Jeff Lipsky.  Narrative Feature. 

Only (Canada), directed by Ingrid Veninger and Simon Reynolds.  Narrative Feature (youthFEST).

Over The Hills And Far Away (USA), directed by Michel O. Scott.  Best Documentary Feature Competition. 

Paris 36 (France, Germany, Czech Republic), directed by Christophe Barratier.  Narrative Feature. 

Pressure Cooker (USA), directed by Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman.  Documentary Feature, (youthFEST).

Prince of Broadway (USA), directed by Sean Baker. Best Narrative Feature Competition.

A Quiet Little Marriage (USA), directed by Mo Perkins.  Narrative Feature.     

Revanche (Austria), directed by Götz Spielmann.  Narrative Feature. 

Rough Aunties (UK), directed by Kim Longinotto.  Documentary Feature.           

Rudo Y Cursi (USA, Mexico), directed by Carlos Cuarón.  Narrative Feature

Rumba (Belgium, France), directed by Dominique Abel.  Narrative Feature.       

Running Fence (1978) (USA), directed by Charlotte Zwerin, Albert Maysles and David Maysles.  Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).  Preceded by Christo's Valley Curtain (1972).

The Sari Soldiers (USA), directed by Julie Bridgham.  Documentary Feature

Say My Name (UK, USA), directed by Nirit Peled.   Documentary Feature

Shampoo (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).  

Sita Sings The Blues (USA), directed by Nina Paley.  Narrative Feature.   

The Slugger's Wife (USA), directed by Hal Ashby.  Narrative Feature (Hal Ashby Retrospective).  

Somers Town (UK), directed by Shane Meadows.  Narrative Feature.  

Sorry, Thanks (USA), directed by Dia Sokol.  Narrative Feature

St. Nick (USA), directed by David Lowery.  Narrative Feature

Stingray Sam (USA), directed by Cory McAbee.  Narrative Feature

Sugar (USA), directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.  Narrative Feature.  .      

Summer Hours (France), directed by Olivier Assayas.  Narrative Feature.         

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (USA), directed by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton. Documentary Feature (Green Cinema Now!). 

That Evening Sun (USA), directed by Scott Teems.  Narrative Feature

Theater Of War (USA), directed by John Walter. Documentary Feature

Three Blind Mice (Australia), directed by Matthew Newton.  Narrative Feature.

Tokyo Sonata (Japan, Netherlands, Hong Kong), directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. 

Narrative Feature

Tony Manero (Chili, Brazil), directed by Pablo Larrain.  Narrative Feature

Treeless Mountain (USA, South Korea), directed by So Yong Kim.  Narrative Feature. 

Trust Us, This Is All Made Up (USA), directed by Alex Karpovsky.  Documentary Feature. 

Tulpan (Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Germany), dircted by Sergei Dvorstevoy.  Narrative Feature.

Tyson (USA), directed by James Toback.  Documentary Feature

Umbrellas (1994) (USA), directed by Henry Corra, Grahame Weinbren and Albert Maysles.  Documentary Feature (Christo and Jeanne-Claude Retrospective).  

Upstream Battle (Germany), directed by Ben Kempas.  Documentary Feature (Green Cinema Now!). 

VSPRS Show and Tell (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands), directed Sophie Fiennes. Documentary Feature. 

The Way We Get By (USA), directed by Aron Gaudet.  Documentary Feature.

We Live In Public (USA), directed by Ondi Timoner.  Documentary Feature.     

The Window (Argentina, Spain), directed by Carlos Sorin.  Narrative Feature.    

Winnebago Man (USA), directed Ben Steinbauer.  Best Documentary Feature Competition

The World We Want (USA), directed by Patrick Davidson.  Documentary Feature (youthFEST).

You Won't Miss Me (USA), directed by Ry Russo-Young.  Best Narrative Feature Competition

Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (USA), directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.  Documentary Feature


Additionally, the Festival will present approximately 40 short films in the regular shorts programs and 16 short films for children and families as part of youthFEST.  Titles and descriptions are available in the catalogue and website –


Hollywood Nights Student Cinema Showcase

Sunday, March 29 from 5:00pm - 8:30pm, Whole Foods Market

Films, Performances, Awards, and more!

A celebration of the start of the 11th Annual Sarasota Film Festival starring community students, this is a classic night complete with screenings, red carpet award ceremonies, in-the-spotlight paparazzi photography, hor’devours, and glamorous entertainment! The night kicks-off with screenings of the selections for the Young Filmmakers Showcase, Kids Reel Life Studio, Reel Life Studio: SARASOTA, and Kids Jury Best Family Short Film, followed by Youth Screenwriters Circle performances, awards ceremonies, and an unbeatable party! Don't miss the glitz and glamour of the Sarasota Film Festival's first annual all-inclusive young filmmaker celebration!


Youth Screenwriters Circle LIVE!

Monday, 30 March 2009, 7:00pm, Goldstein Cabaret Theatre

Following the Hollywood Nights Student Cinema Showcase, join SFF for a FREE evening of entertainment featuring all Youth Screenwriters Circle screenplays performed by local actors!

Presented by Florida Studio Theater, Phoenix Academy, Anythis Arts, and The Florida Film Consortium


‘In Focus’ Programs

The Kids Reel Life Studio Documentary Program introduces the art of storytelling and filmmaking to elementary school students as they create a documentary that will highlight a particular aspect of the 2009 Festival. Reel Life Studio SARASOTA brings together aspiring high school filmmakers to capture and share a unique view of their hometown.


‘Through The Lens’ Programs

The Youth Screenwriters Circle invites student writers into the film community through comprehensive screenwriting workshops. The Kids Jury and Classroom Criticprograms allow middle school students to become an integral part of the festival's film review process. Students will view and review films, vote on film awards, and learn about critical film analysis and the language of cinema along the way.


‘…And Action!’ Programs

Filmmakers Spotlight brings filmmakers from around the world into high school and college classrooms for screenings and discussions about experiences in the film industry. The Kids VIP Trip facilitates weekday field trips for K-12 students where they will view special selected programs and learn about media and cultural literacy.


Virtual Cannes

“Throw your Tux on over your shorts and enjoy!” (Tom Garrett, Director of Special Initiatives.)

SFF members, students, and the Sarasota community can be a part of this year's Cannes Film Festival (May 13th – May 24th, 2009) with this interactive exhibit. Showcased in local venues, the 24-hour all-access satellite coverage from Virtual Cannes will include daily workshops, panels, press conferences, photo calls, and Red Carpet screenings. While the program is underway in Sarasota, a handful of lucky student interns will be hosted at the festival in France.


The Outreach and Education Program continues its expansion into the community by the formation of The Florida Film Consortium. The FFC’s mission is to both appreciate and advance independent film and filmmaking through the fortification of the budding statewide film community. The Consortium seeks to reinforce Florida's commitment to involvement, exploration, and education in the Arts. Some of the organization’s many offerings include: yearlong community partnerships, event sponsorships, programs and workshops, youth, senior and special needs outreach, and project development support.

On the slate for Summer 2009 are several one-week and four-week student filmmaker camps, as well as in-house curriculum development for schools that would like to focus more on the media arts. The FFC will also sponsor conferences for the film and media industry, making Sarasota and the State of Florida a destination hub for professionals from around the world.


SFF Panels:  Florida -The First Hollywood…Shawn C. Bean writer and film historian reveals one of show business’s best-kept secrets: that it was the humble cattle town of Jacksonville, Florida, not glitzy Hollywood, California, that served as America’s first filmmaking capital in the early 20th century.  Museum Of Motion Picture History With Richard Lariviere, Director…An exploration of the museum’s collection, one of the most comprehensive available and consisting of over 10,000 artifacts.

Breaking In Acting, A Workshop For Young People…Panel on the "how to's and don’ts" w/film and commercial casting agents and young actors. Anatomy Of A Locally Shot Feature Film…Discussion of films made in and around the Sarasota area, from Hollywood productions to independent projects.  The Future Is Unwritten: Following The Money And What’s Next For The Independent Film Producer…The state of the economy has had a profound impact on film production. This panel is a discussion of producing film in this environment.  Red One Camera Demo W/ Cinematographer…The RED camera system is unlike any other piece of technology available to the industry and will change the way you think about cinematography.  Regional Stories, Indigenous Voices: The New Global Cinema…As filmmakers travel the nation and the globe, new stories are emerging from communities and cultures not traditionally represented on the big screen.  KODAK Presents: Stop By. Shoot Film…You'll talk with a top cinematographer, learn how to use a 16mm camera and film, then shoot your own scene - all in under two hours! Following the event, we'll send you a DVD of your footage, so you can see for yourself what film quality means.  Called To Action: Building Activist Campaigns Around Cause-Driven Films…This panel will focus on the development of activist campaigns around films from the conception of a project and selection of a subject through to online calls to action and grassroots organizing.  Environmental And Wildlife Documentary Filmmaking For Young People…Local wildlife documentarians Daryl Saffer & Diane Mason.  Florida Production Coalition Roundtable…Panel of Florida Film Professionals from Miami to Tallahassee discuss the State of film production in Florida and their recent “Rally in Tally” to lobby for re-instatement of Florida film tax incentives.


The Sarasota Film Festival has received international acclaim for its Festival Galas & Parties, and this year won’t be any different.  Opening Night Film & Gala, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  Don’t miss the first film screening of the Festival and the opportunity to mingle with the cast and other luminaries at the Opening Night Gala. Enjoy a magical evening filled with music, cocktails and fabulous hors d’oeuvres, while Sarasota Bay provides the stunning backdrop for dancing under the stars and other spectacular surprises.  Hollywood Nights Student Cinema Showcase, Historic Asolo Theater.  Films, Performances, Awards, and more!  Starring students from the community film program, this is a classic evening complete with student screenings, a red carpet award ceremony, paparazzi, hors d’oeuvres, and glamorous entertainment!  World Cinema Celebration, Sarasota Bayfront.  Following the screening of our spectacular World Cinema film, Sugar, join the Chairman of World Cinema, Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, down by the bay for a breezy Caribbean-inspired evening. Soak up the gentle air while sampling tropical-style cuisine. Relax and mingle or cha-cha and mambo the night away! This celebration benefits the Sarasota City Parks Foundation and contributes toward the construction of a shade structure for the Bayfront Children’s Playground.  Luncheon Under The Banyans, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  The lush, tropical beauty of the idyllic Marie Selby Botanical Gardens sets the stage for SFF to showcase the life and work of our selected honoree Regal Entertainment Group’s Career Achievement Award winner, Bill Paxton. Enjoy an exquisite lunch paired with excellent wines at this beautiful oasis – a perfect day and a perfect way to pay homage to one of the most distinguished artists of our day.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the Selby Gardens Children’s Rainforest Project.  Night Of A Thousand Stars, Michael’s on East.  Dance, dine and mingle with the stars and filmmakers at this favorite high-energy festival event, and help celebrate the Festival’s cinematic delights.  Filmmaker's Tribute, Sarasota Opera House.  Each year, the Sarasota Film Festival honors cinema’s greatest stars at The Filmmaker’s Tribute event, the centerpiece of our annual Festival. This year, the Sarasota Opera House plays host as we hand out the awards to our winning filmmakers. The evening features a cocktail party for our special guests, followed by an evening of entertainment, film, and conversation that is not to be missed.  Late Night Wrap Party, Ceviche.  After an evening of filmmaker tributes and awards, celebrate another successful year atFlorida’s and one of the nation’s premier festivals. Join the stars one last time to enjoy tasty tapas, cocktails and dance into the night.


Lead Sponsors: Amicus Foundation Inc, Famiglio Family Foundation, Florida Film Consortium, Longboat Key Club & Resort, Michael’s On East, Regal Entertainment Group;  Major Presenting Sponsors: At Large Inc, Brighthouse, Copytalk, SNN6, Tampa Bay On Demand;  Co-Presenting Sponsors: ABC 7, Canvas Café, Ceviche, Comcast, European Goddess Margo Bohati Design, Heineken( Official Beer Sponsor of the Sarasota Film Festival), JJ Taylor, Lexjet, Leiter Group, Libby’s, Marina Jack, O’Leary’s, Sarasota Magazine, Scene Magazine, SRQ Magazine, The Observer, Trinity Digital / Graphics, US Tent Rental, Inc, WUSFGranting Organizations: AMPAS, City of Sarasota, Arts Council, Publix.


The 11th Annual Sarasota Film Festival opens Friday night, March 27th, and runs through Sunday, April 5th, 2009.  The 10-day Regal Entertainment Group Sarasota Film Festival has grown into one of the leading film festivals in North America.  Our Mission is to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the contribution of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival and developing year-long programs for the economic, educational and cultural benefit of our community. The Festival supports and encourages the filmmaker by supplying indispensable networking opportunities and open dialogue with knowledgeable, creative and inquisitive consumers of film. The Festival attracts audiences from local, national, and international markets as well as promotes Sarasota, Manatee and surrounding Gulf Coast communities as cultural centers which contribute to the financial and cultural success of our region.

Tags: Sarasota Film Festival