Sarasota Film Festival 2016

Festival reveals films, celebrities

Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez (image courtesy of Facebook)

From The Orlando Weekly, March 18, 2016

The Sarasota Film Festival, in Sarasota, Fla., revealed its lineup of movies and special events yesterday, including a celebrity list that includes Olympia Dukakis, Rosie Perez, Matthew Modine, George Hamilton, Robert Mrazek, Treat Williams and the previously announced Sophia Loren.

The festivities will get underway on March 31 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, with “An Evening with Sophia Loren,” during which she will receive the 2016 Legend Award. The festival proper will then kick off the next day with the opening-night film, Other People, directed by Chris Kelley.

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

The 18th annual event will run through April 10, when it closes with The Congressman, directed by Jared Martin and Congressman Robert Mrazek. Other notable films include the festival’s Centerpiece movies, Five Nights in Maine and Unlocking the Cage; a presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, with Modine in attendance; and a screening of Mommie Dearest with Rutanya Alda, who played Carol Ann.

This is the first year in more than a decade that the event does not completely overlap Orlando’s Florida Film Festival. The latter event will run April 8-17, which will make it easier for Orlando and Sarasota residents to attend both festivals, which are arguably the two best in the state.

The event will feature more than 250 films – even more than the Florida Film Festival’s 180 – including features and shorts of many genres such as narrative fiction, animation, documentary and kid-friendly material.


Matthew Modine (image via Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Both the Sarasota and Florida film festivals are placing female filmmakers front and center this year.

“We are pleased to honor two female icons in film [Loren and Dukakis], especially at a time where it’s so important to celebrate women in the industry,” says Michael Dunaway, the festival’s programming director. “The Sarasota Film Festival is proud to screen films from 113 female filmmakers.”

A ticket to a single film costs $15 ($10 for students and $11 for members), with film packages ranging from $30 to $1,200. Most movies will be shown at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 Theater on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. The venue will devote six screens to the festival.

For more information, including the full schedule, list of films and ticket options, visit

Also see my previous blog.

© 2016 Orlando Weekly / MeierMovies, LLC