Fairly New Film Festival Kicks Off in Sarasota

The 2nd Annual Movieville International Film Festival held its kick off expo on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at Hyatt Place Sarasota/Bradenton. It started off with several vendors attached to the film and entertainment industry showcasing their services, films and products to those interested in the learning more about the industry.

(L) Sofya Skya & (R) Susan Skya at Kick Off Reception.

Alan Bailey is the Executive Artistic Director and Founder of the festival, while he was making announcements, I sat down with Susan Short, Executive Producer to get some details about the weekend events. She told me the festival has interest in drawing emerging filmmakers that make mainstream films into the Sarasota area. When people think about filming, they go to Tampa, Miami or Orlando because they don’t realize Sarasota has a very big arts community. The festival is trying to encourage these filmmakers to use the tax incentives offered by the Sarasota Film Commission who believes in Movieville so much that they are one of the sponsors.

“Sarasota is under utilized, there is so much talent and it’s a great place to live, people are nice and we want to be included a lot more in the filmmaker’s choices,” Short explains. There were over 1800 films submitted from all over the world, only 40  chosen for the festival. Most films start with a short followed by a feature film. There are also several local films included in the festival as well as films from students at Booker High School and the 48hr Guerilla Film Festival. All the films are shown at Burns Court Cinemas, followed by a Q&A session out on the patio after the film. Tickets range from $7 for members and $9 for non-members and can be picked up at the box office. Movie inspired lite bites will be available as well. Films are show Friday-Sunday starting 11:30am each day.

The ladies from Ana Molinari Salon show off their styling skills.

In addition to the films, each night offers a celebration of filmmakers and talent. Friday evening is the Celebrity Opening Night Party held at Salvatore’s Italian Kitchen in Burns Court across from the theater. This will include cocktails, appetizers and live music all starting at 8:30pm, tickets are $25.

Saturday theme is Hottest Beach Party held at Tarpon Pointe Grill and Tiki Bar on the Manatee River. Starting at 6pm -10pm with Live Music by X-Factor Sensation Daniel Landers, a beach/resort fashion show and celebrities will arrive on a 90’ luxury yacht called algorithm.

Sunday’s venue will be held starting at 6:00pm – 10pm at Maximo’s in downtown Sarasota with a Red Carpet Gala & Awards Ceremony – Dine under the stars with the stars! The $85 ticket will include a four course dinner outside, a fall preview fashion show, drinks and music by DJ Magnus.

Short is excited that all the venues are locally owned and made sure no chains were included in the selection. It’s important to support locals all the way around. On Sunday they will recognize Robert Turoff and Roberta McDonalds’s achievement and the work Golden Apple Dinner Theater put in for the past 40 years. For information and tickets call 955-3456.

The outdoor cocktail party just getting under way.

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