Coming Attractions

Sarasota Film Festival Announces a Virtual Movie Lineup

The shows must go on, despite COVID-19.

By Kay Kipling April 21, 2020

An image from American Trial: The Eric Garner Story.

Film fans can still get a fix despite the temporary closing of movie theaters and the upending of plans for the usual Sarasota Film Festival a few weeks ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film festival has just announced the lineup for its online fest, taking place April 27 through May 3, with a mix of features, documentaries, shorts and kid films, and several films with particular local interest as well.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale beginning the first day, with an all-access pass for all films costing $30. Each film or shorts program will cost $3.99; educational programming will be free. And the festival will include an Audience Award competition voted on by online viewers; a local jury will be awarding shorts and student-directed films.

From For Fear of Kofi.

A few highlights of the slate:

American Trial: The Eric Garner Story, by Roee Messinger, which imagines a criminal trial for a New York City police officer in the highly publicized death of Eric Garner.

Bruiser, a crime thriller by Jon Mark Nail set in the American South that follows a low-level enforcer as he tries to keep his family together.

Driven to Abstraction by Daria Price, a look at the demise of M. Knoedler & Co., once a respected art dealership in New York City.

Erotic Fire of the Unattainable by Frank Vitale, about the love lives of witty, literary New Yorkers and a meditation on love after 60.

For Fear of Kofi by Marina Petrovskaia, which investigates the circumstances of a police shooting in 2010 at the University of Florida when a grad student placed a 911 call about her neighbor, who was apparently having a mental breakdown.

Revival, by Josefina Rotman Lyons, featuring four older choreographers who began the task of choreographing dances with a diverse group of New York seniors, most of whom had never danced onstage before.

Ruth Weiss, the Beat Goddess, by Melody C. Miller, a biopic about an underappreciated poet from the Beat generation.

The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried), directed by Aaron Matthews, following novelist O’Brien on the journey of writing his next and last book.

A Way Out, directed by area residents Charles Clapsaddle, Durand Adams and Charles Williams, a documentary exploring how women get out of dangerously abusive relationships.

From Erotic Fire of the Unattainable.

That’s just a sampling, of course; you might also be intrigued by Florida Shorts, including Her Place by Sarasota actress Kathryn Parks; Pie Car, filmed by Sage Hall inside a historic Sarasota train car; and (You’ll Make It In) Florida by Phil Chernyak, where a magazine ad that comes to life leads a depressed English teacher and her dog on a wild ride through the Sunshine State.

From The War and Peace of Tim O'Brien.

To purchase tickets, find a complete schedule and view films, visit or download the Sarasota Film Festival app available for free in the app store.

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