Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s BLACKFISH

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s BLACKFISH will open the 2013 Sarasota Film Festival, taking place April 5-14.  Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA will screen as the Closing Night film, and James Ponsoldt’s THE SPECTACULAR NOW and Barbara Kopple’s RUNNING FROM CRAZY serve as the festival’s Centerpiece Films.

The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced their new Spotlight series, featuring Carlos Puga’s BURMA starring Christopher Abbott and Gaby Hoffman, Justin Schwarz’s THE DISCOVERERS starring Griffin Dunne, and the World Premiere of Will Slocombe’s  PASADENA, starring Peter Bogdanovich and Cheryl Hines.

The SFF will be hosting their annual Tribute Luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club on Friday, April 12th, with Mariel Hemingway set to receive the festival’s third annual Impact Award, honoring women in the film industry for their off-screen impact.

Actress Lili Taylor will be receiving the festival’s Career Achievement in Acting Award, and will attend the festival with the North American Premiere of Tom Gilroy’s THE COLD LANDS, playing in the festival’s Narrative Feature Competition. Two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple will be receiving the festival’s Director’s Award, and the festival’s Achievement in Acting Award will go to Griffin Dunne for his performance in THE DISCOVERERS. The festival’s World Cinema Award will be given to the Canadian actress Suzanne Clément for her performance in Xavier Dolan’s film LAURENCE ANYWAYS, which will also be playing in festival’s the Narrative Feature Competition.

ANNOUNCED FILMS

Opening Night Film

BLACKFISH, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite 
Stunningly photographed at locations in Florida and beyond, Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s BLACKFISH is a breathtaking examination of the consequences of whale captivity. Featuring searing, never-before-seen footage and poignant, in-depth interviews with whale trainers and marine experts, the film is a powerful exploration of the lives of orca whales and the tragic limitations of the human desire to harness their majesty. 
(A Magnolia Pictures Release)

Closing Night Film 

FRANCES HA, directed by Noah Baumbach
Shot in gorgeous black and white, Noah Bombach’s masterful new comedy is a loving portrait of Frances (Greta Gerwig), a young woman full of joy and doubt, looking for that unknown something while trying to make a life for herself in contemporary New York City.  
(An IFC Films Release)

Narrative Centerpiece

THE SPECTACULAR NOW, directed by James Ponsoldt 
Sutter (Miles Teller), a high school senior with a great sense of humor and without much focus who falls for Aimee (Shailene Woodley), a high achieving classmate who opens her heart to him. James Ponsoldt’s THE SPECTACULAR NOW is a moving, deeply human portrait of the power of young love.
(An A24 Release)

Documentary Centerpiece

RUNNING FROM CRAZY, directed by Barbara Kopple
RUNNING FROM  CRAZY is Barbara Kopple’s illuminating, inspirational portrait of the actress and activist Mariel Hemingway and her family’s battles with depression and mental illness. 

Spotlight Films 

BURMA, directed by Carlos Puga
Carlos Puga’s BURMA is the story of Christian (Christopher Abbott), a young man looking for an escape through hard partying and emotional detachment. But when their estranged father arrives on the eve of a family get together, Christian and his siblings must confront their losses and try to find common ground as a family. 

THE DISCOVERERS, directed by Justin Schwarz 
The debut feature from writer/director Justin Schwarz, THE DISCOVERERS is the story of Lewis Birch (Griffin Dunne), an academic struggling to complete his masterwork on the Lewis and Clark expedition who is forced to re-connect as a father and a son on an ill-fated journey to the Pacific Northwest.

PASADENA, directed by Will Slocombe (World Premiere)
In director Will Slocombe’s dysfunctionally comic PASADENA, eminent scholar and patriarch Poppy (Peter Bogdanovich) tries to hold his eccentric family together during a train wreck of a Thanksgiving, as his adult children clash with one another and his new his wife Deborah (Cheryl Hines).

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