Saturday Go-To Guide! IN CONVERSATION WITH PENELOPE ANN MILLER! Earth Day Films at the Neel Auditorium! Wrestlers on the Red Carpet! Under African Skies! Filmmaker Tribute and Awards!
I bet your head's spinning just from that title. I know mine is! Wow, we have Penelope Ann Miller today at her IN CONVERSATION, at the FILMMAKER TRIBUTE AWARDS and at the Q&A for her film THINK OF ME! Let's start with a PLAN AHEAD suggestion then hit it hard with quick look guides to today's big events and today's films with filmmakers in attendance! Please note, we have fantastic audio interview with the director and producer of ARCADIA and the director and star of THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT in their entries in today's film picks!
IN CONVERSATION WITH TODD SOLONDZ
SARASOTA HIGH SCHOOL
Moderated by David Carr (The New York Times)
Have you ever met a filmmaker whose work opened your eyes to a way of looking at the world that was at once alien and strange and yet perfectly familiar and speaking to you in a language that you thought only you understood. TODD SOLONDZ is an auteur in the true sense of the word. His films are firestarters. They are also wonderfully human and accessible, brilliantly observed, funny, and breathtakingly real. He is the director of DARK HORSE, WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, HAPPINESS, PALINDROMES and many more. You must see him live and in person (and ask him your questions) in our Inside the Actors Studio style discussion!
TODAY'S HOT LIST: EVENTS!
(Click on event title to buy tickets now!)
IN CONVERSATION WITH PENELOPE ANN MILLER - Moderated by Peter Rainer
1 PM SARASOTA HIGH SCHOOL
Penelope Ann Miller is the very definition of the star. Her most recent film in theaters was THE ARTIST, winner of the Academy Award for best picture. (And maybe a zillion other awards!) She has been in films with legends ranging from Marlon Brando to Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. (with some Al Pacino and Sean Penn for good measure). She's worked with Pee Wee Herman and the Governator. You must come and hear her thrilling tales of the film industry as only a true film icon can relate them!
SFF@SFC: EARTH DAY AT THE NEEL AUDITORIUM
FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE AT ALL THREE!
Sarasota Opera House
5:00 PM RED CARPET EVENT
6:00 PM SCREENING OF UNDER AFRICAN SKIES directed by Oscar-nominee Joe Berlinger
The story of Paul Simon's creation of the historic Graceland. Graceland went on to not only become Simon's most successful album, but also launched the "world music" genre. By recording in South Africa and touring with a band of South African musicians, Simon was accused of violating the cultural boycott of South Africa, erected in an attempt to help bring down the nation's racist apartheid regime. Follow Paul back to South Africa 25 years later for a meeting with one of his harshest critics and a rousing reunion concert that will have you cheering!
REGAL CINEMAS HOLLYWOOD 20
8 PM RED CARPET for THE DAY!
DOMINIC MONAGHAN from LOST and LORD OF THE RINGS
ASHLEY BELL from THE LAST EXORCISM
WWE SUPERSTARS REY MYSTERIO and KELLY KELLY
Director DOUGLAS AARNIOKOSKI
Dominic, Ashley and Douglas will be in attendance for after screening Q&A!
A riveting and intense post-apocalyptian character drama set against a horrifying quest for survival, For fans of the THE WALKING DEAD, only it's not zombies, this is a lot scarier!
Darwin's on 4th
All the cool kids are going. Are you?
The Wrap Party brings us all back together for a final late night of dining, dancing and debating our favorite films. VIP level includes cocktails and complimentary appetizers on the mezzanine, while everyone has access to the dance floor and great DJ. Plus, the Late Night Party is known for surprise guests. Show up to find out!
THE HOT LIST: FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE!
(Click on any title to buy tickets now!)
Three young brothers take a journey across the Mississippi River to experience New Orleans nightlife for the first time. Over the course of a single night, the trio experiences a sense of awe at the adult world of the Big Easy, which features an alluring array of dancers, musicians, hustlers, drag queens, and revelers who parade through the streets at night. But while the children focus on the marvels of city they discover, directors Bill and Turner Ross take time to show us the reality of the adults who call this unique city their home, providing a unique perspective that dances between wonder and compassion.
SPOTLIGHT FILM: ARCADIA
Part of our Narrative Feature Competition. From award-winning director Olivia Silver!
Greta (Ryan Simpkins) and her siblings Caroline (Kendall Toole) and Nat (ty Simpkins) are hurried into the family station wagon by their father (John Hawkes), eager to hit the road and move to their new home in Arcadia, California. But as the family crosses country, doubts begin to creep in; why isn’t their mother coming along and why is their father acting so out of sorts? In ARCADIA, Olivia Silver’s wisely hues to the perspective of her teenage protagonist, delivering on the rich emotional experience of a girl caught living in between the safety of innocence and the wisdom of adulthood.
CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON TO HEAR AN AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH THE FILM'S DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER!
A few years ago, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider and his wife Alexandra Berger discovered that their pregnancy was something rather special; instead of giving birth to one child, they would be having triplets! The experience of using science to help conceive lead Weider to examine the impact of technology on our lives; is technology making us better? More efficient? Happier? And if technology is simply a set of tools developed by mankind, where is the line between technology and humanity? WELCOME TO THE MACHINE is a thoughtful examination of technology and its discontents, a moving exploration of our modern experience.
An NYU@SFF feature presentation!
The battle between the certainty of a relationship and the passion of desire forms the heart of FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY, the stunning feature film debut of Kristina Nikolovoa. Neli (Ana Stojanovska) has a great life and a happy relationship in America, but when she returns to Bulgaria, the country of her birth, she immediately reconnects with her friend Val (Valeri Yordanov), whose lust for life and alcohol-fueled escapades offer Neli unexplored temptations. BUt will it take her too far? The story of a young woman at a crossroads, FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY is a drunken, cinematic wonder.
Part of our Narrative Film Competition. Starring SFF alum (and actress extraordinaire) Melissa Leo!
Drawing on the cinematic tradition of social realism, Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s FRANCINE is a deeply moving portrait of a troubled woman. Just released from prison, Francine (Academy Award winner Melissa Leo) finds herself struggling to find her way in the outside world. Instead, she establishes a deep connection with animals and searches for work that will allow her to care for them. But every job takes its toll, and as Francine makes her way through the world, her mounting isolation only deepens her need to connect. FRANCINE is a careful, intimate study of a woman on the edge.
In RICHARD’S WEDDING, writer, director and star Onur Tukel takes one of film’s most popular genres , the wedding movie, and gives it a much needed overhaul. Tuna (Tukel) and his best friend Alex (Jennifer Prediger) meet up to attend the wedding of their friend Richard (Lawrence Levine), stopping along the way to gather their motley band of friends and head to Central Park for the ceremony. But with storm clouds forming, the entire affair runs the risk of going off the rails. RICHARD’S WEDDING is a wonderfully shaggy, hilarious comedy that calls to mind the ensemble films of the 1970’s.
Part of our Documentary Feature Competition!
The rise of the nuclear power industry has always been a battle between the promise of progress and the unintended consequences unleashed when harnessing the power of the atom. In THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, filmmakers Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce take a clear-eyed look at the impact of nuclear power on the lives of everyday Americans, from well-known disasters like Three Mile Island and Love Canal to present day concerns about plant safety in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Featuring interviews with activists and scientists, ATOMIC STATES serves as a wakeup call for audiences and policy makers.
Just announced: Pelotero has just been picked up for distribution from Strand Releasing!
The prominence of Dominican baseball players in Major League baseball in no accident; driven by the business of developing young men into superstars, the baseball academies of Santo Domingo have produced a bumper crop of famous players. PELOTERO documents the process of identifying and training young stars so that they can sign big league contracts, bringing fame and money home to the island and providing the finances required to keep the academies open. But as in any business, things aren’t always on the up and up; PELOTERO exposes the complex interests and negotiations that drive the business of youth baseball.
Penelope Ann Miller and director Bryan Wizemann in attendance for after screening Q&A!
Bryan Wizeman's powerful THINK OF ME is the story of Angela (Lauren Ambrose), a single mother struggling to make ends meet for her daughter on the fringes of Las Vegas. As her fragile economic situation grows more and more dire, Angela works hard to play by the rules and provide a decent life for her family. But when a co-worker makes an unexpected proposition that could change Angela's fortunes, it forces her to consider the unthinkable in order to give her daughter a better life. THINK OF ME is a provocative look at the reality of a life on the margins.
Star JESS WEIXLER and Director Robert Byington in attendance for after screening Q&A!
SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME is Robert Byington's formally inventive comedy about life, love and the passing of time. Max (Keith Poulson) and Sal (Nick Offerman) both work at the local steakhouse alongside Lyla (Jess Wexler). As their lives continually intersect over the years, the film refuses to play by the traditional rules of cinematic storytelling; major milestones are marked without sentiment, entanglements form and fall away without much protest. Instead of following the dramatic rules, Byington instead focuses on the pace and structure of life, imbuing his film with a unique and hilarious point of view that ticks like clockwork.
Martine (Olivia Thirlby) is a New York based video artist working on her latest piece when she arrives in L.A. to collaborate with a professional sound engineer named Peter (John Krasinski). Invited into Peter's home by his wife Julie Rosemarie DeWitt), Martine soon begins to upset the order of things, driving a wedge between Julie and Peter and forcing them to confront the state of their feelings for one another. Ry Russo-Young's NOBODY WALKS is a compelling drama about the seductive power of creativity and the impact of attraction on the lives of her carefully drawn, deeply flawed characters.
Jackie (Tallie Medel) is your average teenage girl, filled with new emotions and fresh doubts about the world in which she lives. But she also carries a secret that she cannot share; she’s deeply in love with her brother Matthew (Sky Hirschkron). But Matthew, who doesn’t share Jackie’s feelings, has his own life to live; he’s heading off to college and has finally met his first girlfriend. In Dan Sallitt’s THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT, the isolation of teenage desire inspires the most transgressive of feelings, fertile territory for Sallitt’s patient camera to describe the confinement of adolescence.
CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON TO HEAR AN AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR AND STAR!
Recipient of the 2012 Terry Porter Memorial Award.
At once a compendium film and a singular horror movie, V/H/S follows a group of misfits hired by a mysterious party to burglarize a desolate house in the middle of nowhere. Their goal? To find and recover a rare VHS tape that holds undisclosed secrets. But this is not a simple heist; upon arriving at the house, they make a shocking discovery in a room filled with countless videos tapes and banks televisions. The only way to find the prize among the piles? To watch all of the videos, each of which reveals a uniquely horrifying and cryptic tale. A fun, frightening salute to horror films in the age of home video, V/H/S provides thrills and chills.
Wanted by motion picture executives for revealing industry secrets to a public with the Right to Know, "The Insider" has spent over 15 years working behind the scenes in almost every aspect of "The Biz" developing a secret network of contacts, spies, moles, and highly trained counter-intelligence operatives and movie ninjas whose only goal is to inform and entertain you-and help you make this the best year of the Sarasota Film Festival ever!