Sarasota Film Festival Announces Virtual Festival Audience Award Winner

The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced today that Tony Rammos’ RIDE ‘TILL I DIE was the virtual festival’s Audience Award Winner. The festival also announced the winners of this year’s Hollywood Nights Short Film collection. This student-made, short-film competition was open to students ages 18 and under. It celebrates the accomplishments of young filmmakers by giving them the opportunity to have their work seen in the official Sarasota Film Festival catalogue.

Each winning filmmaker will receive a pass for the 2021 Sarasota Film Festival. The judges for the Hollywood Nights Young Filmmaker Showcase were Sarasota Judge Charles Williams, MTV’s “Siesta Key” Producer Gary Kompothecras, and SFF Creative Producer and New York’s 710AM-WOR film critic Joe Neumaier.

“All Ages” category

In the “All Ages” category, the winning film was Iroet Marteni’s SOLUNSUG, followed by Jarom Su’as’ SOMEDAY I WILL in second place. Ella Wolfgang and Nya Richardson’s LOST in third place. In the “High School +” category, the winning film was Mackenzie Arters’ COLD BLOODED DAME. That was followed by Ethan Long’s EMPTY NEST in second place, and Sara Vigne’s CAPTURED in third place.

Special Awards

The judges were also pleased to announce two special awards among the competing film’s this year, with one film in each category receiving the awards. The first award “Courage in Storytelling” highlights the bravery of filmmakers in tackling emotional and noteworthy social issues in storytelling. The judges commended these filmmakers for their thoughtful efforts to shine a light on these issues. The recipients of this award were Ella Wolfgang and Nya Richardson’s LOST and Janeth Rivas’s ON LOOP.

The second special award was for “Comedy Appreciation.” This award highlights the power of comedy in short films, especially during a point in time when audiences need laughs. The judges saluted these filmmakers for their humorous endeavors and for bringing more smiles and laughs into the world. The recipients of this award were Layla Howard & Abel Martinez’s SORRY ‘BOUT YOUR LUCK and Heidi Iwansky’s THE FATE OF OKLAHOMA RIDERS.

From the judges

“We all had the distinct pleasure to watch and enjoy these films that brought our global arts community together. These films represented a variety of different voices and viewpoints with a lot of energy and creativity. From animated films with spunk, to important documentaries that demonstrated the importance of a film’s potential, we congratulate all the participants in this year’s competition and look forward to these young filmmakers’ future work,” said Willliams, Kompothecras and Neumaier in a joint statement.

“Congratulations to all of our winners, including local Florida documentary feature RIDE ‘TILL I DIE, along with an impressive lineup of student films this year,” said Mark Famiglio, Co-founder and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “These films have given us a bright future to look forward to, knowing these filmmakers will continue to bring such unique and powerful stories to the screen.”

Stills for the award-winning Hollywood Nights films are available here. Additionally, this past weekend was the premiere of Chapter 1 of the World’s Largest Zombie Movie. There were with over 350 participants from 15 countries presented by Sarasota Film Festival’s education team.

Thanks to sponsors

The virtual edition of the Sarasota Film Festival greatly appreciated the support of its sponsors from the Sarasota community including: Famiglio Family, Amicus Foundation, 332 Cocoanut, Moon & Co Eyewear, Sage Restaurant, Sack Family, Wallack Family Fund, Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office, New College, Ringling College, Gates Construction, DSDG architects, BMW/Lamborghini of Sarasota, Embassy Suites-Hilton as well as granting organization Sarasota County Tourist Development Cultural/Arts and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

About Sarasota Film Festival

Held annually in Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 22nd year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization and also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops.

Photo from Sarasota Film Festival Facebook Page.

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2020-05-11