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Sarasota Film Festival awards

The 11th Sarasota Film Festival presented its awards at the Filmmaker Tribute event held at the Sarasota Opera House on Saturday evening, April 4. Actor Stanley Tucci served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and introduced the presentations. SFF Board President, Mark P. Famiglio, made introductory remarks before Tucci introduced the competition winners.

The Sarasota Film Festival, in partnership with the companies Film Movement and First Run Features, presented our very first feature film competitions that carry distribution prizes. The eight films in the Best Documentary Competition competed for a US Distribution deal with First Run Features, the acclaimed North American distributor of daring independent, foreign and non-fiction films. The Best Narrative Feature winner will receive an offer for US Distribution from Film Movement, the full-service North American distributor of critically acclaimed and award-winning independent and foreign films.

The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Award, Presented by Film Movement and BAMcinematek was presented by Film Movement’s Rebeca Conget and Richard Schiff to – The Maid directed by Sebastián Silva.

Special Jury Prize – Children of Invention directed by Tze Chun.

Special Jury Prize for Cinematography - Nurse. Fighter. Boy directed by Charles Officer, with cinematography by Steve Cosens.

The winning film receives a DVD/VOD/Educational/Television and "first look" theatrical offer from Film Movement. In addition, the film will be screened in New York at BAMcinematek, presented by the Sarasota Film Festival and Film Movement. The Jury for the 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Award, presented by Film Movement and BAMcinematek includes: Rebeca Conget, Film Movement; Adley Gartenstein, Film Movement; and Mike Maggiore, Film Forum.

The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Best Documentary Feature Award, Presented by First Run Features
was presented by First Run Features’ Marc Mauceri and Steve Buscemi to - Winnebago Man directed by Ben Steinbauer.

Special Jury Prize for Cinematography - Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same directed and shot by Jody Lee Lipes.

The winning film receives a DVD/VOD/Educational/Television and "first look" theatrical offer from First Run Features, and a screening in the Fall 2009 “Stranger Than Fiction” line-up, held at the IFC Center in Manhattan. Jury members for the SFF documentary competition include: Florence Almozini, BAMcinematek; Karina Longworth, Spout.com; Marc Mauceri, First Run Features.

The ¬2009 Sarasota Film Festival Audience Awards¬ were also presented at the event. The audience awards were presented by Cinetic Rights Management’s Matt Dentler and SFF Programmer Holly Herrick.

2009 Audience Award For Best Narrative Feature - That Evening Sun directed by Scott Teems.

2009 Audience Award For Best Documentary Feature - Over The Hills And Far Away directed by Michel O. Scott.

2009 Audience Award For Best In World Cinema - Nurse. Fighter. Boy directed by Charles Officer.

The 2009 Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award for Best Short Film will receive a standard Cinetic Rights Management offer for VOD from CRM. - Second Guessing Grandma directed by Bob Giraldi.

“We’re incredibly proud of this year’s program and believe that the juries have made wonderful choices,” stated Director of Programming Tom Hall. “We are also greatly honored to see these films make their way into the marketplace as a result of their participation in the Sarasota Film Festival. We thank all the filmmakers for bringing their amazing work to our festival.”

In addition to these above current partnerships with Film Movement, First Run Features and Cinetic Rights Media, the Sarasota Film Festival is partnering with Indiepix as the Official DVD and Download Partner of the 2009 Sarasota Film Festival. The Sarasota Film Festival website has launched an online DVD store hosted by Indiepix. DVDs of Official Selections from past Sarasota Film Festivals will be available for purchase on the site, as well as films recommended by the festival.

~ ~ ~

Following the presentation, the Filmmaker Tribute to Hal Ashby was held on the stage of the Opera House. A half-hour montage of the late filmmaker’s work, introduced by Bill Paxton, was screened with an onstage discussion moderated by SFF Director of Programming, Tom Hall. On stage with Hall were Jon Voight (Coming Home and Lookin’ To Get Out; Burt Young (Lookin’ To Get Out); Dianne Schroeder (Ashby’s close friend and set photographer); and Nick Dawson, whose book Being Hal Ashby: Life Of A Hollywood Rebel is being released this month. On hand to accept the Filmmaker Tribute Award was Mr. Ashby’s daughter, Leigh MacManus.

The SFF presented a retrospective of many of Mr. Ashby’s film’s throughout the 10-day event. Among the
Films screened were Harold And Maude; Shampoo; The Last Detail; The Slugger’s Wife; Bound For Glory; The Landlord; Coming Home; 8 Million Ways to Die; Being There and the world premiere of the director’s cut of Lookin’ To Get Out.

~ ~ ~

The 11th Sarasota Film Festival ran from March 27-April 5, 2009. The Festival opened with Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, with Moverman, and stars Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Jena Malone on hand. The Festival closed with Every Little Step directed by Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern. In between there were over 160 narrative, documentary and short films from the U.S. and around the world; acclaimed programs such as the “A Conversation With…” series held at the Historic Asolo Theater with Regal Entertainment Groups Career Achievement honoree Bill Paxton, as well as with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on whom the films of their work were presented throughout the festival; the Outreach and Education Program’s YouthFest; and a Green Cinema Now! sidebar of films.

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