Once upon a time, you had to search far and wide for a venue to preview and profile new films, and up-and-coming filmmakers who were breaking new ground in the world of movie making.
But no more.
While Cannes and Sundance remain two of the leading places to showcase new films, an abundance of venues hosting film festivals and encouraging filmmakers to present their stories, are now available across the country, and around the world.
While youtube has provided its own unique avenue for people to post an almost endless supply of videos, covering an almost equally endless range of subjects, nothing beats the sensation of watching stories unfold in a dark theater on a giant screen with people willing to suspend their disbelief for the next couple of hours. With the bonus - a chance to run elbows with the people who make all of it possible.
But one city that has been expanding its commitment to host an annual film festival may surprise you.
Coming on its fifteenth year, the 2013 Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) is slated to run from April 5-14 and promises to be another exciting opportunity for film buffs and novice movie goers to delve into the realm of just how movies are crafted, and at the same time interact with professionals who make movies their business.
Whether you prefer feature films, animated shorts, documentaries, or a host of other genres, the festival is sure to delight, educate, entertain, and invite you to experience the drama, humor, disappointments, and emotional journey these stories stir within us.
Stars attending the SFF in the recent past have included Kevin Kline, Geena Davis, Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer, and Ashley Bell, among other notable actors. Frank Langella appeared last year in the SFF Opening Night Film, Robot & Frank, where Langella portrayed an aging, retired jewel thief, whose children had concerns about him being alone.
To remedy that, Frank's two children, played by Liv Tyler and James Marsden, present him with a robot to help him around the house and keep him company. Frank, initially opposed to the idea, soon finds that the robot may be his ticket back to burglary and his jewel-thieving days.
The story is a wonderful mix of humor, mischief-making, and realization that getting older doesn't necessarily mean giving up.
While Robot & Frank premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, tying with two other films for the Alfred P. Sloan Prize – $20,000 awarded for films with science and technology themes, or featuring characters who are mathematicians, scientists, or engineers – its showing at the SFF provided another opportunity to expose another audience to the remarkable story about the relationship between man and machine.
Having Frank Langella “In Conversation,” a recurring SFF event, enables the audience and the actor to engage in dialogue about the film, the process, and countless other discussions. "In Conversation" has been one of the most popular parts of the annual festival and sells out early.)
While details for the 2013 SFF events and film guide have yet to be announced, the box office is scheduled to open on March 15. To keep up-to-date with all the action, go online, and consider becoming a member, www.sarasotafilmfestival.com
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