Last week, in case you missed it, the Sarasota Film Festival announced that actors Diane Lane and Aisha Tyler, and documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, would be in town for the 2017 festival, and named a few of the films that the festival will pay special attention to.
On Monday evening, festival officials announced the full schedule of films and events, which include groups of films and accompanying focus panels on environment, science and sustainability, sports in cinema and the LGBTQ community.
This year’s 19th annual festival gets under way on March 31 and runs through April 9 in several Sarasota locations.
The environment, science and sustainability focus will include seven feature-length films, including “Sarasota Half in Dream,” which the filmmaker describes as “a surrealist documentary specializing in small, iridescent impressions of a tropical city and its secrets.”
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The sports in cinema focus welcomes basketball legend Kenny Anderson to Sarasota for a screening of “Mr. Chibbs,” a documentary about his life and career. The film will screen for local student athletes before Anderson engages them in inspirational games of basketball at both IMG Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota. Other films in the focus include the opening night film “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” directed by Kennedy.
The Sports in Cinema Focus welcomes basketball legend Kenny Anderson to Sarasota for a screening of “Mr. Chibbs,” a documentary about his life and career.
Among the highlights of the LGBTQ community focus are the centerpiece film “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” by Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple. (“Harlan County, USA”).
Competitions in this year’s festival include those for documentaries, independent films (including Tyler’s “Axis”) and narrative films.
The closing night film is “Paris Can Wait,” directed by Eleanor Coppola, the wife of Francis Ford Coppola and an experienced filmmaker in her own right. Lane and Alec Baldwin star in the film, and Lane will be honored after the film, which screens at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Sarasota Opera House, with the Sarasota Film Festival Award for Cinematic Excellence. The ceremony will be followed by the closing night wrap party at the Sarasota Sky Bar & Club.
For tickets and a complete schedule of films and events, go to sarasotafilmfestival.com.