The 21st Annual Sarasota Film Festival celebrated its Closing Night on Saturday, April 13, at the Sarasota Opera House after an exciting festival featuring diverse and unique films, inspiring panels, educational outreach, and more. The festival also celebrated the groundbreaking of its new facility 332 Cocoanut, a new arts and residential space establishing a home for the festival in the heart of Sarasota and continuing its commitment to the community and filmmakers around the world.
The 2019 festival concluded with the World Premiere of Greg Kinnear’s directorial debut, PHIL, followed by a conversation with Greg Kinnear and film journalist and creative producer of the festival, Joe Neumaier. During the closing night celebrations, Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-winning actress BLYTHE DANNER was honored with the SFF Icon Award, and Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-nominated actress ANNE HECHE was honored with a Career Tribute Award.
During the Closing Night ceremony, the festival also announced this year’s jury and audience award winners.
The Third Wife directed by Ash Mayfair took home this year’s Narrative Feature Jury prize. American Factory directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert was the Documentary Feature Jury Prize winner.
The festival’s Independent Visions Jury Prize went to The World is Full of Secrets directed by Graham Swon.
The Terry Porter Visionary Award presented by The Huisking Foundation went to The Plagiarists directed by Peter Parlow for its spirit of independence and experimentation.
The narrative jury gave special recognition to the original and creative vision of In Fabric. The documentary jury gave a special jury prize to Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov for their direction of Honeyland. The Independent Visions Jury gave a special jury prize for Sean Price Williams’ Cinematography for One Man Dies A Million Times.
This year’s Animated Shorts Jury Prize winner is Two Balloons, directed by Mark C. Smith. The jury awarded How Does it Start, directed by Amber Sealey, best Narrative Short and the Documentary Short award winner is Hingakawa, directed by Luanne Dietz.
This year’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was Surviving Lunch directed by KT Curran.
The Audience Award for Best Documentary was presented to The Biggest Little Farm, director John Chester.
The Best In World Cinema Audience Award went to Tel Aviv on Fire, directed by Sameh Zoabi.
Two Balloons, also won the Audience Award for Best Short Film.
“I’m thrilled we celebrated the 21st year of the Sarasota Film Festival by once again bringing together a diverse slate of intriguing films and filmmakers right here in our amazing community,” said President of the Sarasota Film Festival, Mark Famiglio. “Congratulations to this year’s winners, the esteemed Festival Jury, and our special honorees – our audiences have thoroughly enjoyed your engaging and inspiring films, and we thank you for letting us showcase them here in Sarasota.”
Congratulations to the 2019 winners of The Sarasota Film Festival Awards:
Narrative Feature Competition Winner
“The Third Wife”
Director: Ash Mayfair
Documentary Feature Competition Winner
Director: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Independent Visions Competition Winner
“The World is Full of Secrets”
Director: Graham Swon
Terry Porter Visionary Award
Director: Peter Parlow
Animated Shorts Competition Winner
Director: Mark C. Smith
Narrative Short Competition Winner
“How Does It Start”
Director: Amber Sealey
Documentary Short Competition Winner
Director: Luanne Dietz
Best Narrative Feature
Director: by KT Curran
Best Documentary Feature
“The Biggest Little Farm”
Director: John Chester
Best Short Film
Director: Mark C. Smith
Best In World Cinema
“Tel Aviv on Fire”
Director: Sameh Zoabi
2019 Sarasota Film Festival Jury
Judge Charles Williams
For more information visit www.sarasotafilmfestival.com
photo from Deposit Photos / Sarasota Post