Now Showing: the 13th Annual Sarasota Film Festival

by | Apr 10, 2011 | Arts, Culture, Downtown Sarasota, Education, Events, Kids, Main Street Sarasota, Walk from Laurel Park

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Our apologies for being a bit tardy with this post, but we’ve had stars in our eyes! Now that the opening ceremonies, which included a performance at Van Wezel by Harry Connick and his orchestra as well as a film screening at the Sarasota Opera House, are over, the main program of the festival is under way. Lots of great films are waiting to be discovered, some by local students—the next big thing could be here in Sarasota right now, and what’s cooler than being able to say you knew them before they were famous?

Here’s a brief description and history of the festival taken from the official website:

In July 1998, international and independent film enthusiasts founded the Sarasota Film Festival, Inc. (SFF). They sought to create a balanced festival of foreign and domestic film complemented by the participation of the film and entertainment industry.

The following January, SFF launched its first festival. The “mini-festival” featured eight independent films, two premiere screenings, two educational symposiums and a gala fundraiser. Since then, SFF has grown in length (from three days to ten), attendance (from 2,300 attendees to over 45,000) and scope (from 10 screenings to hosting over 200 films and adding nationally-recognized education programs, dozens of  special events, talkbacks and panels with some of the leading voices in film today). Beyond the Festival, SFF has expanded to include year-round activities like the free outdoor Moonlight Movies series in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice; Monday Night Movies at the newly-restored Asolo Theater; Screenwriters’ Circle; and more.

Got questions? Want to know more? Here are some answers, also straight from the source.

When is the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival?
The 13th Annual Sarasota Film Festival will take place April 7, 2011 through April 17, 2011

How do I purchase tickets to films and events?
Tickets to all of our films and events are available for purchase online. You may also visit our box office, located in the lobby of the Regal Hollywood 20 Theater at 1993 Main Street. Additionally, Passes and Special Event tickets can be purchased at (941) 366-6200 or Toll Free at 1-866-575-FILM.

When is the Box Office open?
March 18th – April 3rd | Mon-Fri: 11am-6pm, Sat-Sun: 12pm-5pm
April 4th – 8th | Daily: 10am-8pm
April 9th-17th | Daily: 10am-10pm

Where are all of the film screenings and events?
You can find all of our locations and venues listed here.

How much do film tickets cost?
We have a variety of ticketing options for our audience:
MATINEE FILM TICKET: $8 Matinee prices are available Mon-Thurs before 5pm
Children age 12 and younger enter free to youthFEST family films. Tickets required.

STUDENT PASSPORT: $20 Any 4 regularly-priced film tickets. Student ID required.
DISCOVERY PACKAGE: $50 Any 5 regularly-priced film ticket
FILM BUFF PACKAGE: $90 Any 10 regularly-priced film tickets
FILM FANATIC PACKAGE: $120 Any 15 regularly-priced film tickets
CINEPHILE EXPRESS PASS: $1,000 Unlimited, with preferred seating and access to the Filmmaker Lounge. Also includes: 1 ticket to the Opening Night Film and Party, 1 ticket to Cinema Tropicale Celebration, 1 ticket to Night Under a Thousand Stars – Beach Edition, 1 ticket to Filmmaker Tribute, 1 ticket to Late Night After Party, 1 ticket to the Closing Night Film, 1 ticket to each “In Conversation With” event

What if a film or event I want to see has limited space?
For films with limited space, there is a cash only RUSH line. On a first-in-line basis, people in the RUSH line may be able to purchase seats that are open moments before the film begins.

How can I learn more about all of the SFF films and events?
Information about all of our events and films can be found in our Film Guide. It is availableonline, at our box office, and at many of our local business partners throughout Sarasota.

Does SFF offer any educational programs to students?
Yes. The SFF Outreach & Education Department offers FREE 12 educational programs to students in elementary school through college. To learn more about our educational programming click here.

Can I volunteer to work at the Sarasota Film Festival?
Absolutely! Our volunteer work force is key to the success of festival. You can find out more information about how to volunteer here.