Sarasota Film Festival concludes

Event ends with awards, red-carpet ceremony

Stanley Tucci (photo by Cameron Meier)

From The Orlando Weekly, April 10, 2017

The 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival wrapped up over the weekend with an awards and red-carpet ceremony at the Sarasota Opera House and appearances by Rosanna Arquette, Kenny Anderson, Aisha Tyler, Stanley Tucci and Diane Lane. The last three also participated in “conversation with” Q&A sessions at the Florida Studio Theatre.

John Trengove’s The Wound won best narrative feature while Firas Fayyad’s Last Men in Aleppo was awarded best documentary feature. Lane received the festival’s award for cinematic excellence.

Following the awards ceremony, the audience watched Paris Can Wait, directed by Eleanor Coppola and starring Lane. (The film will play the Florida Film Festival on April 27 at Maitland’s Enzian Theater.) I spoke with Lane and asked how she picked her roles.

Diane Lane (photo by Cameron Meier)

“I aspire to live up to what I heard George Roy Hill say at an interview he gave when we were both promoting a film a million years ago, and he said he makes films about innocence,” Lane told me. “And that can’t always be true, but I think there’s always that element of the character is losing some of their innocence inevitably by the [end of the] story. And we do inevitably from our lives. And so I think that valuing that and feeling the preciousness of that and being able to keep it [is important] despite what appearances may say: ‘Gee, you’ve been around the block a few times.’ Oh, no, I feel like a virgin!”

I asked the same of Tucci.

“Every movie is different,” he says. “[I look at] the director, the other people in the film, the location, the money – all those things. They’re all factors.”

I also asked how he prepared for his role in the Oscar-winning Spotlight.

“I looked at a lot of video of that fellow [Mitchell Garabedian],” Tucci explained. “He’s a really interesting, more-than-interesting guy. There’s a lot of footage [of] him on the internet. So that was very helpful. … All he’s trying to do is sort of fight the good fight.”

Though Tucci said, at Sunday’s Q&A session, that he never met or spoke with Garabedian before filming Spotlight, he admitted that Garabedian was so impressed with the finished product that the two became friends after the movie’s release.

For more information on the festival, visit

© 2017 Orlando Weekly / MeierMovies, LLC