Film Festival


The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) today announced its full line-up, including its Spotlight Section, Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative Documentary, and Short Films. In addition, SFF announced additional programming oriented around student filmmakers and children and family-friendly content, as well as events and panels.  Tickets can be purchase at the website.

“With the 23rd edition of the Sarasota Film Festival, we are thrilled for yet another year to continue to bring some of the most wonderful films and programming to our Sarasota audiences,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “This year’s lineup includes an incredibly diverse and dynamic selection of narrative, documentary and short films as well as programming for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to being able to welcome everyone both virtually and in-person to enjoy this year’s selections.”

In addition to the complete lineup of films, SFF also announced more programming in the education space for student filmmakers and children’s and family content. These programs include PARALLEL UNIVERSES, a showcase of entries for a unique new student film contest about living in parallel universes; HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS,a culmination of student participation in SFF Education’s long-running Hollywood Nights Young Filmmaker Showcase; and THE GROWING GARDEN, a 27-minute, children’s television show that celebrates growth, values, song, diversity and inclusion in our age demographic of 5-8-year olds, conceptualized by Nate Jacobs and created by Nate Jacobs and Jerry Chambless.

This year’s SFF events include a Street Party taking place on May 7th which will be hosted by Fred Schneider of the B-52’s and will feature local musicians and food trucks from around the world at the festival’s brand new offices. Additionally, the 5th Annual TriForce Pictures Film Festival Soirée will be held on May 1st, in association with the Sarasota Film Festival and Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. All events will follow health and safety guidelines in accordance with COVID-19 regulations.

The festival also announced a panel on environmental issues with local experts following the Centerpiece Screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. In addition, SFF will feature dozens of recorded and live virtual Q&As with filmmakers through the duration of the festival.

The festival will also include spotlight screenings of Maria Sødahl’s HOPE, Carlos Lopez Estrada’s SUMMERTIME and Viridiana Lieberman’s BORN TO PLAY.

Previously announced programming includes the Opening Night film RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT and the Closing Night film DREAM HORSE. The festival also recently announced that the filmmakers behind MY OCTOPUS TEACHER, James Reed and Pippa Ehrlich, will be receiving the festival’s Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking Award.

The Narrative Feature Competition will showcase BEST SUMMER EVER directed by Michael Parks Randa & Lauren Smitelli; CICADA directed by Matthew Fifer; I WAS A SIMPLE MAN directed by Makoto Yogi; and LORELEI directed by Sabrina Doyle.

The Documentary Feature Competition will include CHASING CHILDHOOD directed by Eden Wurmfeld & Margaret Munzer Loe; THE PROCESS OF RECOVERING directed by Jonathan Fisk Bulette, Jason B Kohl, & Nora Mandray; THROUGH THE NIGHT directed by Loira Limbal; and WEED & WINE directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen.

The Independent Vision Competition will feature A KADDISH FOR BERNIE MADOFF directed by Alicia J Rose; BLUEBERRY directed by Stefanie Sparks; STRAWBERRY MANSION directed by Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley; and WINDOW BOY WOULD ALSO LIKE TO HAVE A SUBMARINE directed by Alex Piperno. The jury for the competition films will consist of the following individuals: Mark Johnson (Awards Daily), Caitlin Flieger (Cherry Picks), Caryn James (BBC), Wilson Morales (Black Film & TV), Jamie Zellermeyer (New York Women In Film & Television), Kia Brooks (The Gotham), Kay Kipling (Sarasota Magazine), and Amanda Crown (Red Crown Productions), Keith Uhlich (NYFCC), Scott Mantz (KTLA), and Jeva Lange (The Week).

Narrative films in the 2021 slate also include: DRIVING HOME TO NEW ORLEANS directed by Phil Scarpaci; EAST OF MIDDLE WEST directed byBrian Lucke Anderson; FEBRUARY directed by Kamen Kalev; FILTERED directed byS Roy Saringo & Katie Combs; FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS directed by Ajitpal Singh; HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE directed by Martin Provost; LA RESTAURACION directed by Alonso Llosa; LIFE AFTER YOU directed by Sarah T. Schwab; ONE MOMENT by Deirdre O’Connor; THE DRUMMER directed by Eric Werthman; and UNDER THE STARS OF PARIS directed by Claus Drexel.

Documentary films in the 2021 slate also include: A LIFE’S WORK directed byDavid Licata; CITY OF A MILLION DREAMS directed by Jason Berry; END OF THE LINE: THE WOMEN OF STANDING ROCK directed by Shannon Kring; FEARLESS directed by Wojciech Lorenc; GENERATION GROWTH directed by Mu Sun; LANDFALL directed by Cecilia Aldarondo; LIGO directed by Les Guthman; LILY TOPPLES THE WORLD directed by Jeremy Workman; MARTHA: A PICTURE STORY by Selina Miles; MEAT THE FUTURE directed by Liz Marshall; MISHA AND THE WOLVES directed by Sam Hobkinson; MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY directed by Lisa Molomot & Jeff Bemiss; NO ORDINARY MAN directed by Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt; P.S. BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE directed by Michael Seligman & Jennifer Tiexiera; SAPELO directed by Nick Brandestini; SHTETLERS directed byKatya Ustinova; SNCC directed by Danny Lyon; STATE OF RODEO directed by Scott Barnett; TELEVISION EVENT directed by Scott Barnett; THE BOYS WHO SAID NO directed by Judith Ehrlich; THE BUBBLE directed by Valerie Blankenbyl; THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE directed byMaria Finitzo; THE JUMP directed by Giedre Žickytė; THE ROAD UP directed by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel; WOMEN IN BLUE directed by Deirdre Fisher; WUHAN WUHAN directed by Yung Chang; and YOUTH V. GOV directed by Christi Cooper.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale beginning Thursday, April 15, 2021. This year’s festival will be a hybrid edition featuring both In-Person and Virtual Screenings. All In Competition, Centerpiece, and Spotlight films will be screened In-Person and everything else will be available Virtually HERE.

The 23rd annual Sarasota Film Festival, which will take place from April 30th to May 9th with virtual and in-person events, greatly appreciates the support of its corporate sponsors, including The Famiglio Family, Sack Family, Wallack Family Fund, Amicus Foundation, CMX CinéBistro, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Stella Artois, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WSLR, Netwurx, Jewish Federation, Family Beautiful, Sarasota Scene Magazine, Intermedia Productions, Sande Caplin & Associates, SMAA, iHeart Media, SarasotaOUT, Top 10 Sarasota, SNN, METV, and Sage. The festival is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture as well as the Sarasota County Tourism Development Tax Revenues.

Photo From Deposit Photos

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