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Sarasota awards announce

January 31st, the Competition and Audience Awards for the 6th Annual Sarasota Film Festival were announced.

Among this year’s Jury are Acquisitions Executive for IFC, Kelly DeVine; Managing Editor of IndieWire & IFCRant, Wendy Mitchell; Film Editor, Cynthia Scheider; Exec. Director of Women Make Movies, Debra Zimmerman; Producer & Bravo!FACT Board Member, Paul Gratton; Sundance Channel’s Senior Vice President of Film Programming, Paola Freccero; Producer Jeffrey Kramer; and President, International Film Festival Consultants, Mitch Levine.

Therefore, the jury has made an innovative and unique decision.

The Jury has charged the Sarasota Film Festival and a community of Sarasota to allocate the monies for the Awards for Best Narrative and Best Documentary to seed a development fund to be used for emerging Florida filmmakers to help develop their craft and to aid the growth of filmmaking in Florida.

“After much discussion, we {the jury} felt that the best contribution we could make was not to award traditional prizes to individual films or filmmakers. Rather, we feel that the most dynamic use of the prize monies would be in the formation of an emerging Florida filmmakers’ fund, for the cultivation of the enormous talent in the region. We believe that the Sarasota Film Festival can be a catalyst for the development of a healthy, regional film community.”

Kodak and Universal Studios Production Group Florida presented a unique prize package, valued at $20,000, toward future production for the recipient of our Emerging Filmmaker Award. Programmers select the winner through a combination of juror’s evaluation and audience feedback. This filmmaker who exhibits tremendous potential in the industry will receive a $1,000 film grant from Kodak, along with 3 days’ of backlot or soundstage use along with hair/makeup facilities, green room and 5 days’ use of one production office. Full Sail Real World Education presents a $1,000 cash prize to the director of the Best Short Film, identified by Audience response.

The Emerging Filmmaker Award was presented to Dominic Silipo for his short film Mimmo & Paulie.

The Full Sail Real World Education Best Short Film Award was presented to Tate Taylor for his film Chicken Party.

Special recognition goes to winners of our Audience Favorite Awards for Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Foreign Film, and the Programmer’s Choice Award, all presented courtesy of the Amicus Foundation and the Mark P. Famiglio Foundation.

The Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Drama was presented to director Campbell Scott’s Off The Map.

The Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Comedy was presented to director Vincent Sassone’s A Tale of Two Pizzas.

The Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary was presented to director Lindsay Crystal’s My Uncle Berns.

The Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Foreign Film was presented to the Norwegian film, Morten Tyldum’s Buddy.

This year’s Programmer’s Choice Award was presented to director Sam Chen’s animated short film Eternal Gaze.

The 6th Annual Sarasota Film Festival kicked off on January 23rd with the World Premiere of If Only and the visit of its star Jennifer Love Hewitt, screenwriter Christina Welsh and director Gil Junger. Throughout the next ten days, the festival presented over 150 narrative, documentary and short films in programs including Women’s Voices, World Cinema, Family Films, Industry Spotlight and Independent Spirt. Among the films and guests appearing at the festival were Sam Elliott and Valentina De Angelis with Off The Map; Deborah Kampmeier and Elizabeth Moss with Virgin; Barbara Hammer with her Resisting Paradise; Sandra Hochman with her Year of the Woman; Lindsay Crystal (with a surprise visit from proud papa Billy Crystal) with My Uncle Berns; Juan Gerard with his Cuba Libre; Lawrence Foldes, Louise Fletcher, Lisa Bremer & Justin Henry with Finding Home; Betty Buckley, Brad Renfro, Lori Huering & J.S. Cardone from The Mummy an’ the Armadillo; Michael Pressman with his Frankie and Johnnie are Married; Mario Van Peebles, Howie Mandel & Jeremy Kagen from Crown Heights; Wendie Malick, Stephen Root, Justin Long & Bess Wiley from Raising Genius, and Woody Harrelson with Go Further. Among our special guests and honorees, the festival hosted were Joe Bob Briggs, Luncheon Under the Banyans Honoree Patrick Stewart, CineSymphony! guest conductor Emil de Cou, Musical visits by the B-52’s, Saxophonist Tom Scott, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and legendary record producer Jack Douglas, SFF Excellence in Cinema Honorees Louise Fletcher & Woody Harrelson, Tribute host Betty Buckley, Tribute presenters Justin Henry & producer Paula Wagner, and the SFF Filmmaker Tribute Honoree Robert Benton. And, most exciting, between 750 & 1000 area students a day who passed through the festival and experienced the art of filmmaking via production programs, backstage theatre visits, and screenings as well as many of our filmmakers visiting and talking out in the classrooms.

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