ManaSota Films is looking to jumpstart the local film community and is now actively searching for quality pitches from regional artists to put into production.
Begun in November 2012 by local actor and filmmaker Mark Troy, ManaSota Films has grown from a screening at Evie’s Tavern with 18 local enthusiasts and artists into a full-fledged Sarasota production company with their first short, “Caster’s Blog: A Geek Love Story,” already underway.
For those of us who wait with baited-breath for the Sarasota Film Festival to return this year in April thankfully there is another cinematic occasion right around the corner—The 5th Annual Jewish Film Festival. “Audience members can expect to experience an outstanding roster of new, award-winning films that will span almost 80 years in time and culture,” says Roz Goldberg, festival Chair, “from Europe and Tel Aviv in the 1930′s; to France in the 1940′s; to Rome in the 1990′s; and to contemporary settings in Israel and in outer space.” The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee presents, in partnership with the Sarasota Film Festival, six outstanding films that all touch upon Jewish life in varying ways. After each film there will take place a discussion and there are three confirmed guest appearances. Abe Feder, Prominent Sarasota Orchestra principal cellist, Robert Jacobvitz, Founder of the International Committee for the Commemoration of Dr. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, and Dan Cohen, director of An Article of Hope (one of two documentaries featured this year) are all scheduled to make appearances during the post-screening discussions.
The six-day long festival kicks off Sunday, March 16 at the Jewish Federation Campus with an afternoon screening followed by a reception. Tickets are currently available for purchase.
To secure your tickets or for more information on screening dates and locations jump over to
A thrilling documentary about the fate of the Stradivarius violin that was stolen from the brilliant, celebrated violinist, Bronislaw Huberman
This is a thrilling, little-known true story of the courageous man who saved almost ten times as many Jews as Schindler did, and 20,000 non-Jews as well
An engrossing, award-winning drama that reflects the conflicts and pressures that both Israelis and Palestinians confront within their respective societies
A powerful, provocative, yet surprisingly tender feature film about the conflict between Orthodox and secular in one Israeli community, Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv
An award-winning feature about the amazing life of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood
A moving documentary about the untold story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, a fighter pilot and son of Holocaust survivors who became the first and only astronaut from Israel
Love. Drama. Bubble wrap. Yes, the short film Love Pops has all the trappings of any superhero blockbuster today, but you won’t see it in front of the next Marvel picture. Instead, the eight-minute saga rolls this week among other shorts at a special Manasota Films industry event. Fortunately for the Backlot staff, we have an in with the director.
Howard Hawks’ award-winning Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper, tells the story of a Tennessee pacifist called to serve in World War I and his return as a war hero, and it’s a story with its own Florida connection.
The kickoff of the Moonlight Movies series on Friday marks the film premiere of The Holding Cell, but school audiences from Sarasota and Manatee counties may already be familiar with the story. The tale, about a girl named Skylar who falls for a drug dealer and enters a world of prescription drug addictions and overdoses, was first told in a stage production of the same name.
“I wrote the play over the course of a year and performed it at high schools all over the area,” recalls filmmaker K.T. Curran. “The longer we did the play, it almost felt like a community catharsis and a way we could all grieve over what was happening together.”
“Burma” is a laurelly perplexing picture necessitating situational, as well as artistic, consideration in review. The project arrived at the Sarasota festival abuzz, fresh off its narrative adornment at SXSW and riding the breaking story of lead, Christopher Abbott’s departure from “Girls”- the success of which emphasized his work preceding the film. The accolade-driven notoriety induced both elevated interest and scrutiny.
One of the most exciting interviews we enjoyed at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival was our exclusive sitdown with legendary actor/director Peter Bogdanovich, comedienne extraordinaire Charyl Hines and young director Will Slocombe, in town for the world premiere of the heavily-buzzed-about Pasadena. You can pick up highlights from the interview in the June issue of SRQ magazine. Here, we have an extended transcript of our meeting where we talk about everything from the cinematic quality of modern television to the need for greater gun control regulations! Trust us, there is plenty of good stuff that we couldn’t fit in the magazine. Continue reading →
The coming-of-age story has long been a Hollywood obsession, and tales of the risk-ridden career path of professional artists has been a understandable and persistent fascination for filmmakers as well. And yet, as Frances Ha played to a Closing Night crowd at the Sarasota Opera House this year, it felt as if something completely fresh and new was being projected on the screen.
Left to Right: Writer/Director Gregory Collins, Executive Producer Patricia Beaury, Lead Actor Rodrigo Lopresti, and Lead Actress Susan Highsmith.
I’m just going to unapologetically declare that A Song Still Inside was probably the best movie at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival. I know, a heavy drama about the challenges of juggling a job and a baby isn’t going to appeal as well to anyone who hasn’t ever had to shut an infant up while they tried to take a work call, but for those of us who have done so, this movie touched somewhere deep.
Of course, we offered the movie plenty of press before its world premiere here, and there is more in the June issue of SRQ (on newsstands today), but we also wanted to share with you another interview we did with director Gregory Collins and lead actor Rodrigo Lopresti. This was one of numerous interviews we conducted with WSRQ, so some of you Sarasota radio listeners may have heard this before. But for the rest of the world, here is a recording of our interview.
You are in luck. The June issue of SRQ magazine hits newsstands tomorrow, where you can read all of our print coverage of the Sarasota Film Festival this year. That includes interviews with organizers, filmmakers and Q&As with some of the biggest stars, as well as fantastic photography of this year’s event.
And you can find additional material here. We will be publishing new content at SRQBacklot.com tomorrow, coinciding with the drop date for the magazine. Have fun reliving SFF 2013.