Hollywood hits the beach for the 14th Annual Sarasota Film Festival, coming soon, April 13-22, with ten days of screen stars, seven epic events and more than 180 films. Known for its artistic caliber and education programs as well as excellent parties, SFF invites its guests to see their world in a new way by diving into the best independent films and experiencing the passion of new and veteran filmmakers on and around the No. 1 beach in the world.
The 2012 Festival kicks off on Fri., April 13, with Opening Night at the bayfront Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The evening features a highly anticipated film and great party after a red carpet honoring the stars and filmmakers. The Festival then continues for ten days with over 180 films for audience of all ages, more celebrity appearances and special conversation-style events with actors, writers and directors. Films run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Plus, YouthFest film selections are free for children 12 and under. The 2012 film guide will be available and tickets go on sale March 23.
The mission of the Sarasota Film Festival is to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the contributions of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival and developing year-long programs for the economic, educational and cultural benefit of the community. The Festival supports and encourages individual filmmakers by supplying essential networking opportunities and open dialogue with intelligent, creative and inquisitive consumers of film. Further, it promotes Sarasota, Manatee and surrounding Gulf Coast communities as artistic hubs, contributing to the financial and cultural success of our southwest Florida Suncoast region. The Sarasota Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.
The first SFF took place in 1999 with just eight films and six actors and has grown to an annual ten day event with over 200 hundred films, more than 250 filmmakers in attendance, multiple special events, symposiums, panels and conversations featuring leaders in the film industry. In 2010, Variety referred to The Sarasota Film Festival as “the acme of regional film festivals.”
The award-winning Outreach and Education programs of the Sarasota Film Festival are recognized by both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their community involvement. These programs bring the art of filmmaking to students in regional public and private schools and are completely free, fostering year-round creative and cultural development in the Sarasota region. Specific year-round programs target varied audiences including independent and student filmmakers, at-risk and under-served youth, arts organizations in a variety of disciplines, and social service agencies.
The guest actors, directors and producers who visit Sarasota for the Film Festival are an annual highlight too. Attendees have many opportunities to meet them and learn about the art of filmmaking during evening events and the SFF Conversation series. Special guests over the years have included Jon Favereau, Alan Alda, Tippi Hedren, William H. Macy, the late Sydney Pollack, Aerosmith, Billy Crystal, Felicity Huffman, Steve Buscemi, Marcia Gay Harden, Charlize Theron, Kevin Kline, Patricia Clarkson, Patti Smith, Geena Davis and Christopher Plummer.
This year’s films, special guests, event selections and more will be announced on March 19 with tickets on sale Fri., March 23. SFF annual memberships and sponsorships are available now. Get more information online by visiting www.sarasotafilmfestival.com or calling (941)366-6200 and (866)575-FILM.