On A Wing And A Prayer
On A Wing And A Prayer directed by Sean McNamara

Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced the initial slate of programming for the milestone 25th anniversary event, taking place across Sarasota March 25 through April 2, 2023. The complementary virtual platform will launch on Friday, March 24 offering exclusive, pre-opening access to select titles.

On Sunday, April 2, the festival will close with a special presentation of Prime Video’s On A Wing And A Prayer, a film from Sean McNamara and starring Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, and Jesse Metcalfe, which tells the true story of a pilot who dies unexpectedly while flying and a passenger who’s forced to land the plane safely in order to save his entire family. Producer Roma Downey will also be in attendance to receive the Sarasota Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. During the festival, Downey will also host a book signing and intimate conversation in support of her newest devotional, “Be An Angel,” at Bookstore1 in downtown Sarasota on Saturday, April 1.

Indigo Girls band members, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, will attend the festival to receive the Sarasota Maestro Award. Ray and Saliers are published authors, community activists and top-selling, Grammy-award winning recording artists. SFF will honor the duo’s decades of contributions to music, social good, and beyond. Past recipients of the award include Kenny G and David Amram. SFF will also screen Alexandria Bombach’s It’s Only Life After All, which offers an intimate portrayal of the Indigo Girls, as the festival’s Documentary Centerpiece film.

It’s Only Life After All will also screen as part of this year’s Music Sidebar program. The program will also include Lisa Cortés’ Little Richard: I Am Everything, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and tells the story behind the one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll icon who shaped the world of music, distributed by Magnolia Pictures; as well as the HBO Documentary Film Love To Love You, Donna Summer, co-directed by Roger Ross Williams and Brooklyn Sudano (Summer’s daughter), which premiered at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival and is an in-depth look at the iconic artist’s life. Donna Summer was a longtime resident of Manasota Key and received the Keys to the City of Sarasota in 2006.

2023 Sarasota Film Festival Highlights


dir. Sean McNamara (USA), 2023

After a small-town pilot mysteriously dies during flight, passenger Doug White is forced to land the plane to safety and save his entire family on board.



East Coast Premiere
dir. Alexandria Bombach (USA), 2023

Blending 40 years of home movies, raw film archive, and intimate present-day verité, a poignant reflection from Amy Ray & Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls – the iconic folk rock duo. A timely look into the obstacles, activism, and life lessons of two queer friends who never expected to make it big.

dir. Lisa Cortés (USA), 2023

The film tells the story of the black queer origins of rock n’ roll. It explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman. Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard’s complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon’s life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions. In interviews with family, musicians and cutting edge black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself. Throughout his life, Richard careened like a shiny cracked pinball between God, sex and rock ‘n roll. The world tried to put him in a box, but Richard was an omnibeing who contained multitudes – he was unabashedly everything.

East Coast Premiere
dirs. Roger Ross Williams & Brooklyn Sudano (USA), 2023

“Love to Love You, Donna Summer” captures a richly complex picture of the woman, the artist, the wife, and mother whose iconic voice changed music forever. An archive of exclusive, previously unseen film, home video, photographs, artwork, personal audio, and other recordings form the film’s vibrant exploration of the life and career of one of the most extraordinary performers ever to shake a room to its timbers.

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