The 2018 Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced its full line-up, including its Centerpiece, Spotlight, Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative, Documentary, and Short Films. The Festival also announced its five SFF Focus Panels – Sports in Cinema, Environment, Science, and Sustainability, Women’s Comedic Voices, Redefining Manhood, and Musings on Musicians.

“In honor of our 20th anniversary, we have programmed a lineup that celebrates the past, present, and future of the Sarasota Film Festival that is sure to delight our dedicated and passionate audiences,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “The selection includes a diverse group of narratives and voices that will create engaging conversations about today’s most important topics.”

In the Festival’s Centerpiece section is 1985, about a closeted gay man, unable to come out to his friends and family during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, staring Academy Award®-nominated actress Virginia Madsen, who will be attendance at the Festival. Also a Centerpiece selection is Bo Burnham’s feature film directorial debut, EIGHTH GRADE, a portrait of young teenagers discovering their identities online and in reality. Bo will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film’s screening during the Festival.

The Spotlight section will include narrative films Brett Haley’s HEARTS BEAT LOUD, Silas Howard’s A KID LIKE JAKE, Andrew Haigh’s LEAN ON PETE, Hannah Fidell’s THE LONG DUMB ROAD, Dominic Cooke’s ON CHESIL BEACH, Chloé Zhao’s THE RIDER, and Madeline Olnek’s WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY, and documentary films Eugene Jarecki’s THE KING, Ali Weinstein’s MERMAIDS, Barbara Kopple’s A MURDER IN MANSFIELD, and Morgan Neville’s WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Each year the Sarasota Film Festival focuses on social issues to highlight throughout its program. The Sports in Cinema Focus returns this year, welcoming Ben and Orson Cummings and their film KILLER BEES, produced by Shaquille O’Neill. Other films in this focus include the Closing Day Film, Jason Kohn’s LOVE MEANS ZERO and Dana Adam Shapiro’s DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS.

In consideration of sustainability of communities and the planet, films in the SFF Environment, Science, and Sustainability Focus include Susan Kucera’s LIVING IN THE FUTURE’S PAST, Chad Freidrichs’ EXPERIMENTAL CITY, Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler, and Jeff Springer’s RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, and Rory Kennedy’s ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW.

In a groundbreaking year for women, the festival presents SFF Focus: Women’s Comedic Voices, a lineup featuring all female directors. Films in the category include Wendy McColm’s BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS, Bridey Elliott’s CLARA’S GHOST, Caroline Golum’s A FEAST OF MAN as well as LONG DUMB ROAD and WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY.

The films in the SFF Focus: Redefining Manhood, provide a glimpse at the questions regarding masculine identities, include Bing Liu’s MINDING THE GAP, as well as 1985, THE RIDER, and WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

The final SFF Focus: Musings on Musicians, presents an array of films exploring the relationships between music and film. Films in the category include Laura Parnes’ TOUR WITHOUT END, T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch’s A TUBA TO CUBA, Derek Ahonen’s THE TRANSCENDENTS, Sophie Fiennes’ GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, Jake Meginsky and Neil Young’s MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS, Scott Smith’s CHASING THE BLUES, Stephen Loveridge’s MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A, as well as THE KING and HEARTS BEAT LOUD.

The Narrative Feature Competition will showcase DON’T LEAVE HOME directed by Michael Tully, I AM NOT A WITCH, directed by Rungano Nyoni, MADELINE’S MADELINE, directed by Josephine Decker, THE QUEEN OF FEAR directed by Valeria Bertuccelli and Fabiana Tiscornia, THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN directed by Kamila Andini, SUPPORT THE GIRLS directed by Andrew Bujalski as well as CLARA’S GHOST.

The Documentary Feature Competition will include GENERATION WEALTH directed by Lauren Greenfield, GENESIS 2.0 directed by Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING directed by RaMell Ross, OF FATHERS AND SONS directed by Talal Derki, THE SENTENCE directed by Rudy Valdez, as well as DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS and MINDING THE GAP.

The Independent Visions Competition will feature BLACK MOTHER directed by Khalik Allah, LIFE AND NOTHING MORE directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza, MAISON DU BONHEUR directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz, NOTES ON APPEARANCE directed by Ricky D’Ambrose, as well as BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS, A FEAST OF MAN, MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS, and TOUR WITHOUT END.

The jury for the competition films will consist of the following individuals: producer Autumn Bailey-Ford, Emmy®-nominated writer and producer Mark Bailey, documentary filmmaker Orson Cummings, New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein, Factory 25 film distributor Matt Grady, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Director – New York Programs and Membership Patrick Harrison, film professor Del Jacobs, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Penny Lane, actress Penelope Ann Miller, The Hollywood Reporter film writer Tatiana Siegel, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood Melissa Silverstein, and Sarasota County Circuit court judge and filmmaker Charles Williams.

Narrative films include: ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA directed by Ian Lagarde, AMERICAN ANIMALS directed by Bart Layton, AUGUST IN BERLIN directed by Becky Smith, BIKINI MOON directed by Milcho Manchevski, BLACK KITE directed by Tarique Qayumi, CAN HITLER HAPPEN HERE? directed by Saskia Rifkin, COLD SKIN directed by Xavier Gens, COME SUNDAY directed by Joshua Marston, DELENDA directed by Ralph Moffettone, DIMINUENDO directed by Adrian Stewart, EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA directed by Jim McKay, FIRST REFORMED directed by Paul Schrader, A FRENCHMAN IN FLORIDA directed by Dante Rhev, HOLIDAY directed by Isabella Eklof, LET THE SUNSHINE IN directed by Claire Denis, MAKTUB directed by Oded Raz, SANTA INOCENCIA directed by Maritxell Campos Olivé, SHELTER directed by Eran Riklis, TATTERDEMALION directed by Ramaa Mosley, TINKER directed by Sonny Mahrler, VIRGINIA, MINNESOTA directed by Daniel Stine, VIRUS TROPICAL directed by Santiago Caicedo, WE THE ANIMALS directed by Jeremiah Zagar, WHITE RABBIT directed by Daryl Wein, ZAMA directed by Lucrecia Martel, as well as CHASING THE BLUES and THE TRANSCENDENTS.

Documentary films include: 306 HOLLYWOOD directed by Elan Bogarin and Jonathan Bogarin, ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO directed by James Crump, ASK THE SEXPERT directed by Vaishali Sinha, BISBEE ’17 directed by Robert Greene, CHEF FLYNN directed by Cameron Yates, CRACKING ACES: A WOMAN’S PLACE AT THE TABLE directed by H. James Gilmore, CRIME + PUNISHMENT directed by Stephen Maing, DISTANT CONSTELLATION directed by Shevaun Mizrahi, FATHER’S KINGDOM directed by Lenny Feinberg, FREEDOM FOR THE WOLF directed by Rupert Russell, THE GREAT FLIP-OFF directed by Dafna Yachin, HALF THE PICTURE directed by Amy Adrion, LA FLOR DE LA VIDA directed by Adriana Leoff and Claudia Abend, LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE directed by Gustavo Salmerón, MAYNARD directed by Sam Pollard, OLD DOG directed by Sally Rowe, ON HER SHOULDERS directed by Alexandria Bombach, THE PAIN OF OTHERS directed by Penny Lane, RBG directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, SISTERS directed by Justyna Tafel, THAT SUMMER directed by Göran Hugo Olsson, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS directed by Tim Wardle as well as THE EXPERIMENTAL CITY, GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, KILLER BEES, LIVING IN THE FUTURE’S PAST, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, and A TUBA TO CUBA.

As previously announced Golden Globe®-nominated and Independent Spirit Award®-nominated Eric Stoltz’s coming-of-age comedy CLASS RANK will be the Festival’s Opening Night film and Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy®-winning Rory Kennedy’s ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW will serve as Closing Night film. The Festival will also be honoring renowned actor Steve Guttenberg and Academy Award®-nominated actress Virginia Madsen with Career Achievement Awards during the closing weekend.

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