SARASOTA -- Geena Davis dazzled throngs of fans as she strolled down the red carpet outside the Sarasota Opera House.
Recent Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer -- who played Captain Von Trapp in the classic film “The Sound of Music” -- had a similar affect.
Super producer Sarah Green joined Davis and Plummer for the Sarasota Film Festival’s Filmmaker Tribute at the opulent opera house, which seats about 1,100 and appeared completely filled Saturday.
The festival honored Oscar winner Davis with its inaugural Impact Award.
In addition to starring in feminist films such as the landmark “Thelma & Louise,” “A League of Their Own” and the television show “Commander in Chief,” which won her a Golden Globe for portraying the first female U.S. president, the actor continues to promote equality in Hollywood behind the scenes with the highly influential Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
“Oh wow, you know I thought this being the inaugural award, it would have an image of me on it,” Davis joked.
“It’s an honor to receive this award from such a prestigious festival. I had nothing but a fabulous time and I’m thrilled to be here,” she said.
Davis then mentioned how happy she was that See Jane, the programming arm of her Geena Davis Institute on Media and Gender, had formed a year-round partnership with the festival.
“I will be keeping Sarasota in my heart and will be looking forward to returning here next year to see what the students have made,” Davis said.
Tony and Emmy winner Plummer, who earned his first Oscar nomination last year for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy in the historical drama “The Last Station,” has a good chance of being nominated again for his role in the festival’s closing night film “Beginners.”
He’ll be seen later this year in the highly anticipated blockbuster “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
The festival presented Plummer with its highest honor, the Cinema Master Award.
“This is my first time in Sarasota and if this is the kind of welcome you give strangers I will be coming here a lot,” Plummer said after receiving a standing ovation.
“I am honored and indeed flattered.”
He added, “As I grow older, I realize what an essential ingredient flattery is as a life-sustaining force.”
Producer Award recipient Green has produced pictures by such acclaimed filmmakers as Terrence Malick, John Sayles and David Mamet.
Writer/director Malick chose Green again to produce the eagerly awaited “The Tree of Life,” scheduled to come out late next month.
The movie pairs mega-stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
“We producers usually stay in the background,” Green said. “Thank you for pushing me out of it.”
The Bradenton-shot TV show pilot “Workers’ Comp” also made appearance at the Filmmaker Tribute.
“Workers’ Comp” cast members Robert Carradine (“Revenge of the Nerds,” “Lizzie McGuire,” “The Big Red One”), Jennifer Lee Wiggins (“I Am Omega”),Castille Landon (“Workers’ Comp” creator/co-star), J. Larose (“Saw III,” “Saw IV,” “Insidious”) Charley Koontz (NBC’s “Community”) Harrison Sanborn, the show’s director and co-writer, are scheduled to walk the red carpet.
Morgan Fairchild, star of “Workers’ Comp,” contacted the Herald earlier in the week.
“I leave Saturday,” she said. “So won’t be here for the event. Hope it’s fun!”
Her cast-mates looked forward to attending the event.
“I am so excited to check out,” said Wiggins before her walk down the red carpet.
And then Carradine added with a joke: “I have read about the Sarasota Opera House, I am excited. I just hope I get in.”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at Bradenton.com/blogs.