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Volunteer Spotlight: Tommy Vu

Spotlight tommyvu

SFF Volunteer | Tommy Vu

From Cocoanut Offices

After Tommy Vu's family moved to America from Vietnam in 1993, they lived in various states until they landed in San Jose, California in 1998 where Tommy was born.When he was only 3 months old, his family settled in Sarasota, Florida.

Now a senior at Sarasota High School, Tommy is an aspiring graphic designer. He began volunteering for the Sarasota Film Festival last year and caught our attention when we hosted a Shiftboard Orientation for Volunteers. Only two people showed up, Tommy and his friend Natalie Luong. Ever since then, Tommy has manned the merchandise table at the Moonlight Movies, worked in Theater-Tech, and screened and reviewed films for our Programming department. You also might recognize him from the Volunteer video...he is the one breakdancing in the Hollywood 20 Theater lobby.

 

ASKING TOMMY

What are your hopes once you graduate high school?

I hope to attend the University of Florida. As of right now I plan to major in Advertisment, focusing more on the artistic side of the field such as creating logos.

You have an interest in graphic design, is there a certain style that would describe your work or a specific graphic designer you follow?
There's no certain style I try and follow, I started dabbling in graphic design last year and let the style basically change naturally with each project. I do on the other hand follow some outstanding artists that inspired me to start designing after seeing their work, as well as tutorials. The artists that inspired me the most are Will Paterson, who does unbelievable hand lettering, and

a graphic designer that goes by the name Swerve.

When you are not busy studying or volunteering for the Sarasota Film Festival, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Recently in my spare time I go running a lot. With most of my time sucked up sitting at a desk working on numerous assignments, my body aches for some way to relieve stress. The reason I chose running is that I can do it whenever and wherever, also

because I love to explore. I run around two to six miles away from my house to some area,

usually to the Celery Fields. When I have more time on my hands I like to longboard large distances,

exploring new areas, or areas more in-depth. For instance, I once longboarded from my house to downtown Sarasota on a day off, which was around 18 miles in total, because I felt adventurous.                                                                                                             


Working with SFF


What inspired you to volunteer with the Sarasota Film Festival in 2016?
I first learned about the opportunity from my AICE - Media Studies teacher, Keith Elsbree. The course studies the film and media industry, and thus he told us about Sarasota Film Festival and the volunteer opportunities. I honestly wasn't very interested at first, but decided to volunteer after hearing more about the festival from my friend, Lana Allen, who was interning for SFF already.

Which departments do you volunteer for? What attracted you to them?
I first volunteered for the Theater Operations - Tech, which helped monitor things in theaters, making sure everything was running smoothly and staying on schedule. I simply chose this department because I thought it would give the better experience than most. Presently, I'm volunteering for the Screening Committee which involves reviewing film submissions. When I first came to SFF, I wanted to join the screening committee, but didn't because they were finishing up the screening process already. So, this year I joined because I felt it fit me the best, and I would've regretted letting this opportunity slip by me again.  

How has your experience been volunteering in Theater-Tech and the Screening Committee? What have you enjoyed most about your experience volunteering?
Both departments I've worked in, the experience is one-of-a-kind and is what I love most about volunteering. While working for Theater-Tech, I saw how much effort and care is put into everything behind the scenes to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Not to mention I either got to see or actually shake hands with outstanding filmmakers and actors, such as Josh Radnor. As for the Screening Committee, I've gained the privilege of being able to watch a myriad amount of incredible -and bad- films before they are released. Also, I get to see more behind-the-scenes work in putting the festival together.


FINDING TOMMY IN FILM

What is your favorite film and why?
While I've watched quite a few amounts of films now, when asked this question, "Inception" is always the first movie that comes to mind. The concepts, ideas, morals, production, and style is what made me become enthralled with it when I first watched it. The movie outclasses that of any other film I've watched so far, and probably will for quite a while because I'm young and arrogant. Nonetheless, "Inception" left me wanting so much more, all the while satisfying me beyond belief. It truly opened the world of film for me when I was younger, and thus it's easily the most memorable film to me and my favorite.

If someone wanted to make a film about YOU.


Who would play you?
I would choose my friend that's an aspiring actor, Quoc-Thong Pham. While he looks nothing like me, he knows me well, and I'm sure he would be fantastic.

Which actor would play your comrade?
If I can choose anyone, I would have to choose Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

What kind of genre of film can you see yourself in?
Now that I think about it, I could totally do a romcom. I like to think I can be romantic.

Which director would direct your film?
Hands down, it would have to be Josh Radnor if it's a romcom.

What composer or genre of music would score your film?
I don't know many composers, but hopefully Lin-Manuel Miranda could save this train wreck of a film.


What are you looking forward to for the 19th year of the Sarasota Film Festival?
It would be wonderful to see a film I reviewed and deemed worthy, be shown at SFF. Other than that, I simply look forward to meeting new people and catching up with everyone I met last year.

By Marlene Baldeweg-Rau | January 10, 2017


LAST DAY @ SFF 2016!

LAST DAY AT SFF!
Last day at SFF!
Thank you all for helping make the 2016 Sarasota Film Festival a SUCCESSTIVAL!
Join us as we end the festival with more great films!
 
ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS ADDED!
 
Sunday, April 10th
 
10:15 AM  THE GUYS NEXT DOOR GET TICKETS
 
6:15 PM  AFTER CIRCUS GET TICKETS
 
8:30 PM   MONTY COMES BACK GET TICKETS
 
9:15 PM NOW MORE THAN EVER: THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO GET TICKETS
CHEVALIER
 
The setup is irresistible - six men on a luxury yacht are stranded in the middle of the Aegean Sea. In order to stave off boredom while their boat is being repaired they decide to test their friendship with a series of contests designed to determine which of them is, in a phrase too wonderful for words, "The Best in General." In this witty exploration of machismo and competitiveness taken to absurd levels the 6 friends will measure and rate each other, they will become enemies, spies, saboteurs and unlikely allies. One man will emerge victorious, and he will have the honor of wearing the Chevalier ring. Director Athina Rachel Tsangari's sophomore feature, CHEVALIER, won Best Film at the London Film Festival and further establishes Tsangari as one of the most exciting talents of the Greek New Wave.
 
Sun, Apr 10 9:15 PM

CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR
 
Thai director Apichatpong Weeasethakul's latest film takes place in a military hospital in a small town in Thailand. The soldiers there seem to have been stricken by a mysterious sleeping sickness. Jen, a new volunteer, is told by the staff that the machines the soldiers are hooked up to are part of their treatment, but she has visions in which mysterious visitors tell her they have a more sinister purpose. CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR is a poetic amalgamation of images, ideas and moods. This emotional and philosophical terrain is where Weeasethakul feels most comfortable, and he's still finding fresh ways to explore it.
 
Sun, Apr 10 10:45 AM
 
MAD
When Mel suffers a nervous breakdown, her daughters Connie and Casey couldn't care less. Convinced she is only seeking attention, they leave her in the care of the hospital's psych ward. Years of repressed emotions and resentment come to light as this dysfunctional family learns to cope with Mel's new situation. The road to recovery is strenuous but, when given the chance, heals those who didn't even know they were suffering. Weaving together comedy and drama, MAD takes a lighthearted approach to family crisis, showing that sometimes all you can do is laugh.
 
In attendance- Director: Robert Putka; Cast: Jennifer Lafleur
 
Sun, Apr 10 12:45 PM
SOME BEASTS
*INDIE VISIONS SPECIAL JURY AWARD WINNER*
Sal (Frank Mosley) aspires to be a modern-day Thoreau, living and working in a remote Appalachian farming community. Facing hardships and the complications of a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend Rene, Sal questions the myth and reality of his values. After a tragedy strikes the close-knit community, Sal must reconcile his place in a world that lives outside of the law. Director Cameron Bruce Nelson's background in anthropology, documentary filmmaking, and experience working in Virginia as a farmhand for 3 years inform the film's intense realism. Yet the film's experimental feel and meditative moments create an intimate view into the culture of contemporary Appalachia.
In attendance: Director: Cameron Bruce Nelson; Cast: Frank Mosley
 
Sun, Apr 10 5:45 PM
DE PALMA

SFF alum Noah Baumbach (FRANCES HA) and Jake Paltrow (YOUNG ONES) team up to showcase the career of the great Brian De Palma, not with a star-studded tribute, but with an in-depth conversation with the man himself. Although De Palma's biggest hits after CARRIE were arguably crime stories like SCARFACE, CARLITO'S WAY and THE UNTOUCHABLES, the bulk of his career was devoted to Hitchockian psychosexual thriller classics like DRESSED TO KILL, BLOW OUT, and BODY DOUBLE. Paltrow says, "The more you talk to Brian, the more valuable this stuff is, and at a certain point, we just thought, 'It must be recorded!'"
Sun, Apr 10 5:00 PM
GET TICKETS
CAMERAPERSON
*BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE WINNER* 

As a cinematographer, Kristen Johnson has garnered acclaim for her work on documentaries such as PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL, THE INVISIBLE WAR, THE OATH, and CITIZENFOUR amongst many others. This time around she takes the director’s chair. The ensuing documentary is a contemplative memoir patched together from disparate excerpts from her previous works, and its intimacy takes you by surprise. Johnson’s camera takes us from Tahrir Square to a Serbian kill site during the war, and from the World Trade Center to a new-born baby struggling to survive in an ill-equipped Nigerian hospital. One of the biggest revelations at Sundance, CAMERAPERSON is a kaleidoscopic gem that illuminates and reframes the art of the craft, as well as the art of life.
Sun, Apr 10 8:00 PM
GET TICKETS

DAY 9 @ SFF!

Day 9 at SFF!
We have so many filmmakers in town and are offering buy one get one free tickets to ALL available films with attending talent. You can check with the box office for a full list. 
The winners are announced tonight at 6:00 pm and will be followed by The Congressman!
See y'all at the 11:37 party!
 
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, both screenings of NARI have been cancelled.  We are happy to refund or exchange your ticket. You can do this in person in the Box Office or call our Call Center at 941-366-6200 or 866-575-FILM.
ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS ADDED!

Saturday, April 9th 
 
2:15 CROSSING BHUTAN GET TICKETS
 
Sunday, April 10th
 
10:15 AM  THE GUYS NEXT DOOR GET TICKETS
 
6:15 PM  AFTER CIRCUS GET TICKETS
 
8:30 PM   MONTY COMES BACK GET TICKETS
 
9:15 PM NOW MORE THAN EVER: THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO GET TICKETS
ROMEO IS BLEEDING
 
A decades-long turf war between Central and North Richmond gangs have created a looming atmosphere of danger and violence in Richmond, California. From North Richmond, Danté Clark seeks to end the violence through education and poetry. Clark applied his skills and passion to help create RAW Talent, a group of underprivileged youth using spoken word and slam poetry to address the unspoken real experiences and issues that plague their lives. In a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" that parallels his hometown's turf war, Clark hopes to inspire those around him to address and bring a voice to the internal and unspoken violence that encompass the residents' lives. In attendance: Producer Michael Klein 
 
Sat, Apr 9 1:45 PM

ACTING FOR FOR TELEVISION PANEL
 
Many argue that television is catching up to film as the most influential medium of our time. But acting for the small screen is often very different from acting for the big screen. Not only have all three of our panelists acted in high profile series, they have each acted in and directed or produced indie films.
 
PARTICIPANTS: Josh Radnor (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER), Caitlin Fitzgerald(MASTERS OF SEX), Jamie Anne Allman (THE KILLING)
Free panel. No tickets necessary.
 
Fri, Apr 8 2:00 PM @ FST
MONEY
Mark (Kellan Lutz, TWILIGHT) and Sean (Jesse Williams, THE BUTLER) are best friends and successful businessmen in search of more. In their case, the "more" turns out to be over $5 million in dirty money, which they hide in Mark's basement one night just before a dinner party with their wives. When a neighbor shows up unannounced, it's all a good time until he turns out to be not quite what he seems. Twists and turns abound, violence erupts, and relationships are tested. SFF favorite Jess Weixler (last year's APARTMENT TROUBLES) turns in an especially good performance that is sure to keep you guessing.
 
In attendance: Jess Weixler
 
Sat, Apr 9 1:30 PM
BOOGER RED
 
One of the most unusual films in the 2016 lineup, Berndt Mayer's BOOGER RED is an unexpected mashup of narrative and documentary filmmaking, a true crime exposé of a case possibly gone wrong, and an acting showcase for Onur Tukel (who won a Special Jury Prize at SFF in 2012 for RICHARD'S WEDDING). Tukel plays a journalist named Onur Tukel (or is he himself, posing as a journalist, because either is plausible) who travels to a small town in Texas to report on an old case in which the owners of a local swinger's club were convicted of running a child sex ring. But the case doesn't turn out to be quite that clear cut, and the truth may be even stranger and more sinister. This film is not for the faint of heart, however it rewards the brave.
In attendance: Director: Berndt Mader
 
Sat, Apr 9 6:30 PM
11:37 PARTY!
Notorious for its outrageous design, surprise guests, and eclectic attendees, the 1137 Party is the perfect way to end the 2016 Festival. Wild performances on and off the stage mixed with a blend of high profile guests from the film and music industry make this event one not to be missed.
 
Musical Performance: Jah Movement
Attire: Hollywood Chic
**Limited Tickets Available**
 
Sat, Apr 9 11:37 PM @ World of Beer
ABOVE AND BELOW

One of the most talked about documentaries on the festival circuit, Nicolas Steiner's sophomore effort is an ode to the American desert and a look at five individuals living there, marginalized by modern society. Three of them live in the drainage canals beneath Las Vegas; one lives a solitary existence in the middle of the desert; one participates in daily simulations of space missions, determined to be the first woman on Mars. Steiner has a documentary master's sensitivity and care for his subjects and a cinematographer's eye for composition. There's a lot of ugliness in ABOVE AND BELOW, to be sure. But there's an awful lot of beauty too.
 
In attendance: 
Director: Nicolas Steiner, Production Manager: Laura Killian

Sat, Apr 9 3:15 PM
GET TICKETS

DAY 8 @ SFF!

Day 8 at SFF! Competition films start today! Each film in competition will screen twice and award winners will be announced tomorrow night! Check out our FREE panels today at FST. 
The Seeker and Liberal Arts are screening today with Josh Radnor in attendance! And tonight is Cinema Tropicale at Michael's on East. Today is a day not miss at SFF!
 
ADDITIONAL SCREENINGS ADDED!

Saturday, April 9th 
 
2:15 CROSSING BHUTAN GET TICKETS
 
Sunday, April 10th
 
10:15 AM  THE GUYS NEXT DOOR GET TICKETS
 
6:15 PM  AFTER CIRCUS GET TICKETS
 
8:30 PM   MONTY COMES BACK GET TICKETS
 
9:15 PM NOW MORE THAN EVER: THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO GET TICKETS
CINEMA TROPICALE
 
Join us at Michael's On East for the most anticipated event of the Festival. Film, food, and fashion collide for this one of a kind event. High energy music and exquisite cuisine come together to provide a truly unique multi-sensory experience. Come see for yourself why Cinema Tropicale is Sarasota's best party of the year!
Attire: Caribbean Cocktail
 
VIP TICKET INCLUDES: Secluded area with exclusive cocktail service and food service.
 
2016 CINEMA TROPICALE FEATURES:
Dancing/ Entertainment
Cuisine by Michael's On East
Lighting Design by LJ Event Production
Decor by The Reserve Vintage Rentals
Special Guest Appearances
 
Fri, Apr 8 9:00 PM

FILM FATALES PANEL: 
COLLABORATION NOT COMPETITION
 
Filmmaking can be a competitive and lonely field. Female 
directors, still drastically underrepresented in the industry, face a specific set of challenges and opportunities. How can we benefit by pooling our resources and joining together to help each other make our
films? Join these successful female directors to find out how they got their films made, the role of collaboration in their work, and how collectives like Film Fatales are helping to close the gender gap in film.
 
PARTICIPANTS: Journalist/Fatale Meredith Alloway moderates a panel of 
Fatales.  
Free panel. No tickets necessary.
 
Fri, Apr 8 4:30 PM @ FST-Keating Theatre
 
MONEY
Mark (Kellan Lutz, TWILIGHT) and Sean (Jesse Williams, THE BUTLER) are best friends and successful businessmen in search of more. In their case, the "more" turns out to be over $5 million in dirty money, which they hide in Mark's basement one night just before a dinner party with their wives. When a neighbor shows up unannounced, it's all a good time until he turns out to be not quite what he seems. Twists and turns abound, violence erupts, and relationships are tested. SFF favorite Jess Weixler (last year's APARTMENT TROUBLES) turns in an especially good performance that is sure to keep you guessing.
In attendance: Jess Weixler
 
Fri, Apr 8 1:30 PM
Sat, Apr 9 1:30 PM
BOOGER RED
 
One of the most unusual films in the 2016 lineup, Berndt Mayer's BOOGER RED is an unexpected mashup of narrative and documentary filmmaking, a true crime exposé of a case possibly gone wrong, and an acting showcase for Onur Tukel (who won a Special Jury Prize at SFF in 2012 for RICHARD'S WEDDING). Tukel plays a journalist named Onur Tukel (or is he himself, posing as a journalist, because either is plausible) who travels to a small town in Texas to report on an old case in which the owners of a local swinger's club were convicted of running a child sex ring. But the case doesn't turn out to be quite that clear cut, and the truth may be even stranger and more sinister. This film is not for the faint of heart, however it rewards the brave.
In attendance: Director: Berndt Mader
Fri, Apr 8 2:00 PM
Sat, Apr 9 6:30 PM
  
THE SEEKER
The golden moments and dark undertow of a woman's life spanning from childhood to adulthood flow together in this evocative and full-hearted movie about life and loss. Nature and searching are constants in this current of images and emotion, magnetically guided by Alex McKenna's rich performance and the fusion of memories and music. Josh Radnor produced the film and plays the lead role, and the music of Cloud Cult provides the constant soundtrack to a story told without dialogue. Chad Amour's dreamlike cinematography leads the viewer into a poetic exploration worthy of Terrence Malick, and likely one of the most imaginative films you'll see at the festival all year.
In attendance: Josh Radnor
 
Thu, Apr 7 5:30 PM
Sat, Apr 9 5:45 PM
SHORTS 2

The films in this category are a part of the Documentary Shorts Competition.

Included Shorts:
KINGDOM OF GARBAGE
THE MANY SAD FATES OF MR. TOLEDANO 
MY ALEPPO 
OPEN AIR 
PINK BOY
 
Thu, Apr 7 8:45 PM
Sun, Apr 10 3:45 PM

GET TICKETS
WRITING FOR TELEVISION PANEL

How does writing for television differ from writing for film and other media?
 
Participants: Screenwriting Colony staff and alumni, and Veena Sud
 
Free panel. No tickets necessary.
 
Fri, Apr 8 6:00 PM

 


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