Sarasota Film Festival Announces 2018 Film Line-Up

The 20th annual fest takes place April 13-22.

By Kay Kipling March 22, 2018

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Image: Shutterstock

The Sarasota Film Festival has announced its full line-up of movies for the 20th annual event, set to take place April 13-22.

The festival had previously made known its opening and closing night films, along with revealing several of the filmmakers who will be in attendance, including documentarian Rory Kennedy, actors Virginia Madsen and Steve Guttenberg, and actor-director Eric Stolz. Today’s announcement includes the festival’s Centerpiece, Spotlight, Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative, Documentary and Short Films.

The festival also announced five SFF focus panels, on Sports in Cinema; Environment, Science and Sustainability; Women’s Comedic Voices; Redefining Manhood; and Musings on Musicians.

“The selection includes a diverse group of narratives and voices that will create engaging conversations about today’s most important topics,” said SFF president and chair Mark Famiglio in a statement.

In the Festival’s Centerpiece section is 1985, about a closeted gay man during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, in which Madsen stars. Another Centerpiece selection: Bo Burnham’s feature film directorial debut, Eighth Grade, a portrait of teens discovering their identities online and in reality. Burnham will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film’s screening here.

The Spotlight section will include narrative films such as Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud, Silas Howard’s A Kid Like Jake, Madeline Olnek’s Wild Nights with Emily, and documentary films The King, Barbara Kopple’s A Murder in Mansfield and Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The Sports in Cinema focus welcomes Ben and Orson Cummings and their film Killer Bees, produced by Shaquille O’Neal, along with the closing day film, Jason Kohn’s Love Means Zero.

Films with the Environment, Science and Sustainability focus include Susan Kucera’s Living in the Future’s Past and Chad Friedrich’s Experimental City, along with Kennedy’s previously announced Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow.

In the year of the woman, the festival presents a line-up featuring all female directors, screening Wendy McColm’s Birds Without Feathers, Bridey Elliott’s Clara’s Ghost, Caroline Golum’s A Feast of Man and Long Dumb Road.

Within the Redefining Manhood focus, Bing Liu’s Mind the Gap, 1985 and The Rider figure, while the Musing on Musicians category includes Sophie Fiennes’ Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami and Jake Meginsky and Neil Young’s Milford Graves Full Mantis.

The Narrative Feature Competition showcases Don’t Leave Home, directed by Michael Tully; I Am Not a Witch, directed by Rungano Nyoni; Madeline’s Madeline, directed by Josephine Decker; The Queen of Fear, directed by Valeria Bertuccelli and Fabiana Tiscornia; The Seen and the Unseen, directed by Kamila Andini; and Support the Girls, directed by Andrew Bujalski.

The Documentary Feature Competition includes such movies as Generation Wealth; Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders; and Of Fathers and Sons; while the Independent Visions Competition offers Black Mother; Life and Nothing More; Maison du Bonheur; Notes on Appearance and more.

The jury for the competition films consists of producer Autumn Bailey-Ford, writer-producer Mark Bailey, documentary filmmaker Orson Cummings, New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein, Factory 25 film distributor Matt Grady, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Director—New York Programs and Membership Patrick Harrison, film professor Del Jacobs, filmmaker Penny Lane, actress Penelope Ann Miller, Hollywood Reporter writer Tatiana Siegel, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood Melissa Silverstein and Sarasota judge and filmmaker Charles Williams.

For tickets and a complete film schedule, visit

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