SARASOTA – The Sarasota Film Festival is back April 5-14. This week, officials announced that Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish will open the 2013 Festival with a screening at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday, April 5, while Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha will screen as the closing night film on April 13 at the Sarasota Opera House. James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now and Barbara Kopple’s Running From Crazy were announced as the festival's centerpiece films.
"Once again, the generosity of our filmmakers and the film community has allowed us to assemble a program of which we are very proud," said Sarasota Film Festival Director Tom Hall. "I am particularly excited to be welcoming Factory 25 as a partner. Their commitment to presenting the work of adventurous, independent artists in a compelling way is a true example for our industry."
Factory 25 will team up with the festival to offer a distribution deal to the winning film in the Independent Visions strand. Winning filmmakers will get a deal with the Brooklyn-based boutique label, which has released many films that have been featured in the festival in recent years.
SFF also announced a new Spotlight series, featuring Carlos Puga’s Burma, starring Christopher Abbott and Gaby Hoffman; Justin Schwarz’s The Discoverers starring Griffin Dunne, and the World Premiere of Will Slocombe’s Pasadena, starring Peter Bogdanovich and Cheryl Hines.
The festival will be host their annual Tribute Luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club on Friday, April 12 at 11:00 AM, with Mariel Hemingway set to receive the festival’s third annual Impact Award, honoring women in the film industry for their off-screen impact. Ms. Hemingway will receive the award for her advocacy on the issue of suicide prevention. This award is co-presented by the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women.
Actress Lili Taylor will be receiving the festival’s Career Achievement in Acting Award, and will attend the festival with the North American Premiere of Tom Gilroy's The Cold Lands, playing in the festival’s Narrative Feature Competition.
Two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple will be receiving the festival’s Director’s Award, and the festival’s Achievement in Acting Award will go to Griffin Dunne for his performance in The Discoverers. The festival’s World Cinema Award will be given to the Canadian actress Suzanne Clément for her performance in Xavier Dolan’s film Laurence Anyways, which will also be playing in festival’s the Narrative Feature Competition.
The SFF also announced the participants in their annual Conversation Series, where stars of cinema discuss their careers and their craft. This year’s lineup features Running From Crazy star Mariel Hemingway on Thursday, April 11, The Cold Lands star Lili Taylor on April 12, The Discoverers star Griffin Dunne on April 13, with Pasadena star Peter Bogdanovich closing out the series on April 14.
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