The 2007 Sarasota Film Festival’s Outreach and Education Programs have been awarded a prestigious grant of $15,000 from the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This grant marks the second such commendation conferred by the Festival Grants Program on the Sarasota Film Festival. In the top half of this year’s recipients, the Sarasota Film Festival joins 27 of the nation’s finest film festivals in this receiving this great honor for their 2007 festivals.
At last year’s Festival, the Outreach and Education programs reached over 10,000 participants and benefited approximately 50 public and private schools from three area counties. Thanks in part to this generous grant, 2007 will again offer children from throughout Sarasota and surrounding counties such programs as Filmmakers in the Classroom, which brings visiting filmmakers to area schools to discuss the art of filmmaking; Kids Trip, where students visit the festival to view short films and explore behind-the-scenes filmmaking exhibits; Kids Jury, which gives kids a chance to engage in discussions about film and to present the award for Best Short Family Film; and Young Filmmakers Showcase, a presentation of local student films along with a panel discussion and presentation of college scholarships to winning filmmakers.
The Outreach and Education Department also offers all-ages events such as the larger-than-life Hollywood Family Fair, featuring street performers, live music, food, crafts and games; Moonlight Movies, a series of free outdoor screenings on our two-story inflatable screen; and the interactive Conversation Series and Filmmaker Talkbacks which encourage dialogue between visiting filmmakers and Festival audiences.
The 9th Annual Sarasota Film Festival opens Friday night, April 13, and runs through April 22, 2007. The 10-day Regal Entertainment Group Sarasota Film Festival has grown into one of the leading film festivals in North America. The mission of the Sarasota Film Festival is to present unique and quality cinema in a festival atmosphere for the purpose of educating, stimulating and entertaining audiences. The Festival supports and encourages the filmmaker by supplying essential networking opportunities and open dialogue with intelligent, 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.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Foundation instituted their Festival Grants Program in 1999. Through 2006, the Program has distributed 123 grants to film festivals based in the Untied States totaling over $2.4 million in funding. Allocations made for 2007 will benefit 28 U.S. festivals and amount to $290,000. Grants have been made for a variety of purposes, from making festival events more accessible to the general public to giving screening access to minority and less visible filmmakers.