Box Office Open At Regal Cinema On Main Street Sarasota

Author: Sarasota Film Festival

2022 SFF Winners

  • Narrative Jury, OUT OF BREATH
  • Indie Vision Jury, LONG ISLAND GUS
  • Audience Award for Feature, PLAYING THROUGH
  • Audience Award for Short, SIRENS OF THE SWAMP
  • Best US Narrative Short, ALWAYS TOGETHER
  • Best International Narrative Short, TODAY’S THE DAY
  • Best Documentary Short, GENERATION 328

Opening Night Film – April 30th

If you can make it to the in-person Opening Night screening, we invite you to come and hang out on the red carpet with SFF fans, get a drink at the beautiful CineBistro bar, and enjoy a meal as you lounge in a luxurious armchair and watch our Opening Film, which is a look at the life and work of Rita Moreno from her humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to her success on Broadway and in Hollywood.

Buy SFF 2021 tickets now!

Entering our 23rd year this year, The Sarasota Film Festival will take place both in-person and virtually this year, from April 30th through May 9th. Our in-person screenings take place at the beautiful CMX CinéBistro Siesta Key while a program of over a 100 amazing films will be available online.

The Opening Night film this year will be the hit documentary RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT and the Closing Night film will be DREAM HORSE, starring Toni Collette. The festival will include spotlight screenings of Maria Sødahl’s HOPE, Carlos Lopez Estrada’s SUMMERTIME and Viridiana Lieberman’s BORN TO PLAY. We will be showcasing a Centerpiece Screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary MY OCTOPUS TEACHER with a panel on environmental issues with local experts to follow.

In addition to the complete lineup of films, SFF is also featuring educational programs that include PARALLEL UNIVERSES CONTEST, HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS Young Filmmaker Showcase, and the pilot THE GROWING GARDEN.

The Sarasota Film Festival 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.


Watch Sarasota Native American Film Festival 2021 Now

The Sarasota Film Festival is proud to present the 2021 Sarasota Native American Film Festival, showing virtually from March 19th-28th, 2021. This FREE virtual festival showcases 20+ films that speak to the Native American/Indigenous Peoples experience in America. The festival includes the World Premiere of the feature documentary “Finding Angola: Manatee’s County First Black Community,” directed by Charles Clapsaddle, and a retrospective of films from the First Nations Mi’kmaq filmmaker Catherine Anne Martin, including the World Premiere of her new feature documentary “The Basket Maker.” Among other programming highlights are films by the noted Seminole/Muskogee director Sterlin Harjo, short films by emerging indigenous filmmakers, and music videos. The festival also showcases “Smoke Signals,” the seminal 1998 road-trip dramedy directed by Chris Eyre, as well as “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” the debut feature from the celebrated, Academy Award-nominated director Chloe Zhao. Please also check out our Live Streams that feature Q&As with the filmmakers behind the films, and panels that speak to the Indigenous Peoples experience.

The festival is presented by the Sarasota Film Festival with support from the Boxser Diversity Initiative, in collaboration with the Native Reel Cinema Festival, the Stranahan House Museum, and the Ah-Tah-Thi- Ki Museum of Seminole Culture and History. The event is free and open to the public to watch.


Sarasota Film Festival Online

In response to popular demand from the Sarasota community and audiences across the country and around the globe for continued arts and storytelling, the 2020 virtual edition of the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) has now extended its online edition to Sunday, May 10th. In conjunction with this extension, the festival has announced an additional feature film to the lineup 9/11 KIDS directed by Elizabeth St. Philip, Q&As for the upcoming weekend, and more visionary programming.

“The public has spoken and in an effort to continue providing dynamic and thoughtful entertainment, we are pleased to extend our programming for an additional week so that audiences can continue to enjoy these engaging films and celebrate independent storytellers that showcase the local Florida community,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival.

SFF is presented with the generous support of various sponsors and partners from the Sarasota community including: The Famiglio Family, Amicus Foundation, 332 Cocoanut, Moon & Co Eyewear, Sage Restaurant, The Sack Family, Wallack Family Fund, Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office, New College, Ringling College, Gates Construction, DSDG architects, BMW/Lamborghini of Sarasota, Embassy Suites-Hilton as well as granting organization Sarasota County Tourist Development Cultural/Arts and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

EXTENDED DATE | SFF will now run through Sunday, May 10th, 2020.

UPDATED PROGRAMMING | A list of updated programming for the festival including an additional feature film, filmmaker Q&A’s, and updated educational programming listed below.

Additional Feature Film Announced

9/11 KIDS | Directed by: Elizabeth St. Philip

Summary : The President of the United States wasn’t in Washington DC on September 11, 2001. He was in a classroom in Sarasota, at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School. George W. Bush received the news of the 9/11 attacks in a room full of 2nd grade students from Newtown and Bayou Oaks, two of Sarasota’s historically black neighborhoods. This documentary catches up with those students, nearly two decades later, and delves into the realities of black and brown life since the dawn of the 21st Century. The film is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company.


The festival will present the following Q&A’s and filmmaker panel this upcoming weekend, available to the public for free :

Saturday, May 2

12:00PM – RUTH WEISS, THE BEAT GODDESS Filmmaker Q&A with Director Melody C. Miller
6:00PM – MICROPLASTIC MADNESS Filmmaker Q&A with Directors Atsuko Quirk, Debby Lee Cohen

Sunday, May 3

12:00PM – Sarasota Filmmaker Panel

Panelists to Include:

Kathryn Parks (Director, HER PLACE), Parker Alexander Meyers (Director, AND-1139), Sage Hall (Director, PIE CAR)

2:00PM – AMERICAN TRIAL: THE ERIC GARNER STORY Filmmaker Q&A with Director Roee Messinger
4:00PM – EROTIC FIRE OF THE UNATTAINABLE Filmmaker Q&A with Director Frank Vitale
For an updated slate of the Sarasota Film Festival’s virtual edition, please visit

Additional Educational Programming

The festival has added 5 additional films to youth program Hollywood Nights, featuring the work of local filmmakers from Booker High school, Riverview High school and the Sarasota Military Academy, available to the public for free . The judges for the Hollywood Nights Young Filmmaker Showcase will be Sarasota Judge Charles Williams, MTV’s “Siesta Key” Producer Gary Kompothecras, and SFF Creative Producer and Critic Joe Neumaier, with the winners announced next week.

Next weekend, the premiere of Chapter 1 of the World’s Largest Zombie Movie, with over 350 participants from 15 countries.

FOR TICKETS, FILMS, & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION | Tickets can be purchased along with Q&A’s and films viewed through the Sarasota Film Festival app available for download in the app store or the Film Festival website . An all-access pass for all films in the program costs $30, with each film or each shorts program costing $3.99 and educational programming free to audiences.

ABOUT SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL | Held annually in Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 22nd year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization and also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops.

Bess Donoghue |
Courtney Turner |

Media Alert: 2020 Sarasota Film Festival Postponed

March 12, 2020, SARASOTA, FL – Under the guidance of The Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis to postpone any mass gatherings in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19, the 2020 Sarasota Film Festival, scheduled for March 27- April 5, 2020 has been postponed.

The festival will look to another time when public health officials have determined a time when the public can safely attend large-scale events. The Sarasota Film Festival remains committed to continuing efforts to promote the vision and art of storytelling and filmmaking while ensuring the health and safety of their audiences and patrons. Plans for the festival’s future will be shared in the coming weeks.

“We are very appreciative of all the support we have received from the industry and local community and as always the health and safety of our audiences remains a top priority, and we look forward to determining a new vision for this festival at the appropriate time and supporting our filmmakers in the months to come,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. For additional information please visit

About Sarasota Film Festival

Held annually in Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 22nd year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization and also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops.

Press Contact
Frank PR | 646.861.0843

Lina Plath |
Clare Anne Darragh |
Bess Donoghue |

Sarasota Film Festival Releases The Vision of Film In Their 2020 Poster

SFF 2020 Poster

“As the film industry matures over the last many years, it becomes increasingly important that we recognize the vision and spirit of filmmakers who have allowed us to better understand our own lives and the global condition with more clarity,” said Chairman and Co-Founder of the Festival Mark Famiglio. “This year the SFF vision poster represents the simplicity of text and yet underscores the complexity of our social dynamics and communication within the U.S.  and around the world, demonstrating various and many dimensions to this poster just has there are many dimensions to a seemingly simple film.”

Festival Chairman and Co-Founder Mark Famiglio

SFF Presents “Visions of the Black Experience”

  • Films

The Sarasota Film Festival proudly presents a film series it helped organize. From December 5th through 7th, 2019 the inaugural Visions of the Black Experience film series will take place on the campus of New College of Florida at the Harry Sudakoff Conference Center. Seating is limited and while admission is free, reservations for the films are required.

This event will celebrate, study, and explore various aspects of the African-American life experience through film. Visions of the Black Experience seeks to involve the patrons with panel discussions, audience talkbacks and other related events to enhance the film viewing experience.

The series is a collaboration involving the Sarasota Film Festival, New College of Florida, the Boxser Diversity Initiative, the Multicultural Health Institute and the Manasota ASALH, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This series is funded by the Mellon Foundation, the New College Foundation of Florida and other organizations.

The lineup of films includes:

No Lye: An American Beauty Story (2019) – a WORLD PREMIERE of a new documentary film by Bayer Mack that chronicles the rise and decline of the black-owned ethnic beauty industry in America. Executive producer Frances Presley Rice will introduce the screening on December 5th at 6pm.

Something the Lord Made (2004) – a film that explores the life of Dr. Vivien Thomas, an African-American pioneer in the field of heart surgery. The film stars Mos Def, Gabrielle Union and Alan Rickman. Screens on December 6th at 6pm, followed by panel.

Back to Natural (2019) – a documentary film about the contemporary natural hair movement, followed by a discussion with the natural hair stylist Monique Moore. Screens on December 7th at 11am.

An American Ascent (2014) – a documentary film about the first black rock climbing expedition to the highest mountain in North America. Screens on December 7th at 1:30pm.

Oscar Micheaux, the Czar of Black Hollywood – Oscar Micheaux was an African- American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 African- American themed films. Screens on December 7th at 6pm.

This program also includes interactive workshops on natural hairstyling and professional success facilitated by Monique Moore, an inspirational public speaker and stylist.

The address for the Harry Sudakoff Center where all the screenings take place is New College of Florida, 5845 General Dougher Pl, Sarasota, FL 34243.

For more information please go to VisionsOfThe or find us on Eventbrite or Facebook.

SFF New Offices Coming Soon!

We’re Getting A New Home!
Our new offices are well under construction. 332 Cocoanut in Sarasota will offer a lifestyle we are excited to be a part of as it is a unique blend of culture and community in a state-of-the-art building. Not only will it provide commercial spaces that will place a focus on the arts but it will also include 36 affordable luxury condos.

Our vision is to cohabit with our neighbors, creating meaningful relationships, and contributing to the ever-growing Arts District of Downtown Sarasota — becoming a hub of culture and creatives in our own right.

SFF Press Release, March 2019



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Plan Your Visit

Plan your visit to sunny Sarasota for the 2020 Sarasota Film Festival! Many of our partners offer special rates and discounts for Festival attendees. 

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Sarasota Film Festival 2018

Our 2018 festival was successful because of our wonderful community. Thanks to SCF students who put together this lovely recap of our 2018 festival season! See if you can find yourself!

SFF One of the “5 Festivals You Must See This Year”

TravelPulse named Sarasota Film Festival one of the “5 Festivals You Must See This Year“! We are honored to make this list along with our friends at the Tribeca and Austin Film Festivals. Our staff is hard at work preparing for another ten-day celebration of independent cinema in the beachy paradise that is Sarasota, Florida. Join us! March 31 – April 9, 2017. 

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