SFF Press Release, March 2019
THE 21st ANNUAL SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
AVI BELKIN’S MIKE WALLACE IS HERE AS OPENING NIGHT FILM,
WORLD PREMIERE OF GREG KINNEAR’S PHIL AS CLOSING NIGHT FILM
FESTIVAL TO HONOR
BLYTHE DANNER WITH SFF ICON AWARD
ANNE HECHE WITH SFF CAREER TRIBUTE AWARD
Festival Running April 5th Through April 14th, 2019
Sarasota, FL (March 13, 2019) – The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced today the documentary MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, from director AVI BELKIN, will serve as the Opening Night Film for the 2019 Sarasota Film Festival, and PHIL, the directorial debut of Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-nominated actor GREG KINNEAR, will make its World Premiere at the festival as the Closing Night Film. Kinnear and Belkin will both be in attendance at the festival. The festival will also screen Noble Jones’ THE TOMORROW MAN, as the Centerpiece film, starring Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-winning actress BLYTHE DANNER.
During the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 13th, prior to the Closing Night Film in the historic Sarasota Opera House, Danner will receive the festival’s SFF Icon Award, and Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-nominated actress ANNE HECHE will receive the festival’s SFF Career Tribute Award. Belkin, Kinnear, Danner, and Heche will all participate in the festival’s popular In Conversation With series.
“The Sarasota audiences are sure to enjoy two engaging and completely different films at the start and end of our festival. Mike Wallace is a historic figure with a remarkable story, and we are delighted to have Greg Kinnear share the World Premiere of his directorial debut,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “We are honored to present awards to Blythe Danner and Anne Heche, whose work over the years have entertained audiences and who could not be more worthy of special, distinguished recognition.”
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, which made its World Premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures, will open the festival on Friday, April 5th at The Historic Sarasota Municipal Auditorium with a 7:30PM screening. From director Avi Belkin, the film explores the work and life of 60 Minutes newsman Mike Wallace through footage and behind-the-scenes moments from his extraordinary 50-plus-year career in broadcast journalism.
PHIL, the closing film of the festival and the directorial debut of Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-nominated actor Greg Kinnear (AS GOOD AS IT GETS, SABRINA, YOU’VE GOT MAIL, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE), focuses on a man (Kinnear) struggling with everyday life and attempting to understand what it means to “have it all.” The film, co-starring Emily Mortimer and Bradley Whitford, will screen at the Sarasota Opera House on Saturday, April 13th beginning at 6:00PM.
THE TOMORROW MAN will screen as the festival Centerpiece film on Saturday, April 13th at 2:00PM at the Regal Hollywood 11. Starring Danner and Academy Award®-nominated, Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-winning actor John Lithgow, the film, which had its World Premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, tells a couple’s eccentric love story during their twilight years. The film will be released on May 24th by Bleecker Street.
Danner will be receiving the festival’s SFF Icon Award. An Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-winning actress, Danner was a guest at the 2015 Sarasota Film Festival. Some of her many notable film credits include THE GREAT SANTINI, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, MR. & MRS. BRIDGE, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, MEET THE PARENTS, WHAT THEY HAD, and I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.
Heche will be honored with the SFF Career Tribute Award. An Emmy Award®-winning and Tony Award®-nominated actress, Heche has starred in renowned films including DONNIE BRASCO, WAG THE DOG, JOHN Q, and SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS as well as indie hits including WALKING AND TALKING, BIRTH, RAMPART, and CEDAR RAPIDS.
The 21st annual Sarasota Film Festival, which will take place from April 5th to April 14th, greatly appreciates the support of its corporate sponsors, including The Famiglio Family, Amicus Foundation, Regal Entertainment, Herald-Tribune Media Group, The Overton, The_Modern, Sage, Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, Sarasota Scene, SNN, SRQ Media, and METV.
About Sarasota Film Festival
Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 21st year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization and also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops. This year the festival will take place April 5th – 14th, 2019.
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2019 SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL
OPENING NIGHT FILM
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE
Director: Avi Belkin
This hard-hitting, fast-moving documentary uses over 60 years of extraordinary footage to capture Mike Wallace, the defining figure of broadcast journalism; his illuminating, always entertaining investigations; and the struggles he kept from the camera. In MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, award-winning director Avi Belkin looks at Wallace’s entire career — before, during, and after 60 Minutes, as well as his memorable sit-downs with presidents, stars, gangsters, and dictators — to create a cinematic dialogue with Wallace, who died in 2012 at age 93. Followed by a panel with Avi Belkin and several esteemed and experienced journalists discussing the importance of the news media in 2019, the hurdles and horrors facing the men and women of the press, and what Mike Wallace’s enduring legacy means today. Director Avi Belkin will be in attendance.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Director: Greg Kinnear
Facing a mid-life crisis, Phil McGuire (Greg Kinnear) is struggling to get through his days as a dentist after the collapse of his marriage and estrangement from his daughter. When patient Michael Fisk (Bradley Whitford) comes for a morning check-up and brags about his charmed and blessed life with his successful wife (Emily Mortimer), Phil sinks further into despair while trying to figure out why some people seem to “have it all.” But when he discovers that Michael Fisk unexpectedly commits suicide, Phil goes on a quest to find out what possibly could have gone wrong — and goes on a darkly comedic adventure that he never could have possibly expected. Jay Duplass, Taylor Schilling, and Luke Wilson costar. Director and star Greg Kinnear will be in attendance.
THE TOMORROW MAN
Director: Noble Jones
Noble Jones’ directorial debut, THE TOMORROW MAN, featuring SFF alum Blythe Danner and John Lithgow’s first major on-screen collaboration, is a love story about two lovably eccentric individuals who find each other in the twilight of their lives. Ed (Lithgow) is a creature of habit and a long-winded talker who enjoys navigating the world from behind the wheel of his treasured pickup. Ronnie (Danner) is a bit of a hoarder with a penchant for vintage WWII documentaries. When their worlds collide, well… one must be the judge of whether their coupling is odd, or just about the most natural match under the setting sun.