The Sarasota Film Festival announced details Tuesday evening of its 24th annual fest, coming up April 1-10, at an event held on the pool deck at 332 Cocoanut Avenue, with supporters and media in attendance.
The 2022 festival will bow with a mix of in-person and virtual programming, and after two years in pandemic mode, with limited guest appearances by filmmakers, will also welcome several stars and creators to town for Q&As, conversations and panels.
SFF opens April 1 with a screening of M. Cahill’s Porcupine, a narrative based on the true story of an adult woman who puts herself up for adoption. The film stars Jena Malone (a previous guest at SFF), who will be honored in person with the Sarasota Film Festival Excellence in Acting Award. She will also take part in an “In Conversation” discussion, and Joe Wright’s 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, in which she stars, will play the festival as a free, outdoor presentation.
HBO’s Listening to Kenny G, directed by Penny Lane, examines the career of jazz man Kenny G (who’s performing April 5 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall). This documentary film, showing April 7, serves as the centerpiece for this year’s Music Sidebar program. Both Lane and Kenny G will attend and participate in a discussion following the screening. Kenny G will receive the Sarasota Maestro Award as well.
Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s neo-Western drama Montana Story is the festival’s Narrative Centerpiece film, telling the tale of two estranged sibling confronting a deep and bitter family legacy. It stars Haley Lu Richardson and Owen Teague, whom old-timers in the Sarasota area may remember for performances as a child in Asolo Rep shows including The Winter’s Tale and A Tale of Two Cities, as well as Players productions of Bye Bye Birdie and Nine.
The festival will close with a screening of Russell Brown’s Loren & Rose, following the indelible bond between a promising filmmaker and a storied actress looking to reinvigorate her career. Star Jacqueline Bisset will be in attendance to receive the Sarasota Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and will also take part in an “In Conversation” talk before the screening April 9.
In between opening and closing night, filmgoers can expect to see such movies as After Yang, with Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith; Maria Loohufvud and Love Martinsen’s Calendar Girls, a documentary about senior volunteer dancers in Southwest Florida making its Florida premiere here; Ron Howard’s documentary We Feed People, spotlighting chef Jose Andres and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen; and Nadia Tass’ Oleg, chronicling the life of Soviet film star Oleg Vidov. That film is narrated by Brian Cox; and Costa Ronin (The Americans, Homeland), who voices Vidov, will be in attendance here.
Besides films in the Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Independent Visions Feature Competitions, the festival will also include an African-American Sidebar and a Spotlight on Sarasota program for feature films. (Among the latter movies: Playing Through, the story of golfer Ann Gregory; The Brightest Moment: A History of One Exceptional Elementary School; and The Fabulous Ohs: The Marriage and the Music.) A host of short films will be presented as well.
Full descriptions of the film lineup will be available at sarasotafilmfestival.com, as will tickets, beginning March 21.