The Sarasota Film Festival held its sponsor/press kickoff party Wednesday, March 16, at Selby Gardens, announcing the films and filmmakers for the 2016 event, which will run April 1-10.
Actually, the festival has an already announced pre-opening event March 31, when actress Sophia Loren will be honored with a Legend Award at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (presenting “An Evening with Sophia Loren”). But most of the other details of the festival had been under wraps.
Festival organizers have scheduled films in the forms of narrative, documentary, world and U.S. cinema, Independent Visions and short films. The opening night film, also at Van Wezel (most screenings are at downtown’s Hollywood 20 cinemas), is Other People, starring Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon and Bradley Whitford; the closing night film is The Congressman, with Treat Williams and George Hamilton in the cast.
Both of those actors will make the trip to Sarasota to take part in conversations at Florida Studio Theatre, as will the movie’s co-director, former Congressman Robert Mrazek. Other stars appearing here: Matthew Modine, who narrates the documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad; Rosie Perez, discussing her film Five Nights in Maine; and Olympia Dukakis, guest at a luncheon and conversation at the Sarasota Yacht Club. (Other conversations are located at Florida Studio Theatre.)
The festival will also host free panels, educational programs and, of course, parties, including an opening night event at Van Wezel, Cinema Tropicale at Michael’s On East, and the 1137 wrap party on closing night.
For complete schedule and ticket information, head to sarasotafilmfestival.com. The box office in the Regal Hollywood 20 lobby opens to the general public March 20. You can also call 366-6200 or (866) 575-FILM.