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The 2006 Sarasota Film Festival

The 2006 Sarasota Film Festival

On Thursday March 9, about 400 press and guests gathered at the gorgeous The Long Boat Key Club and Resort here in Sarasota, FL for the announcement of our 2006 Sarasota Film Festival lineup. As I mentioned before, the city loves its film festival; Friday’s newspapers had us above the fold on Page 1, and the local excitement has been palpable since we announced. Why, you ask? Well. This year’s line up of films and talent is really pretty exciting, if I do say so myself; there is something for everyone, and I am really proud of what we’ve accomplished. What’s that, you say? 185 films, 105 features from 19 countries with 35 premieres of one sort or another. And you wondered why I haven’t been religious with the blogging… The Back Row Manifesto proudly presents the films and programs of the 2006 Sarasota Film Festival.

First and foremost, in a program of truly exciting screenings and events, I am really most excited to talk about Werner Herzog. This year, Werner Herzog will attend the Sarasota Film Festival and pick up our World Cinema Master Award at our World Cinema Celebration on April 5th. In addition, we will also be hosting An Evening With Werner Herzog, where Werner will screen his classic film Little Dieter Needs To Fly and we will take a (first time ever!) sneak peek at scenes from his upcoming fiction film, Rescue Dawn (which was based on Little Dieter). The highlight for me has been putting together a 14 film retrospective of Werner’s non-fiction films, a project I have been working on for months and months.

MAN AGAINST NATURE: THE NON-FICTION FILMS OF WERNER HERZOG

No artist has represented the powerful conflict between mankind and the natural world with more insight and daring than Werner Herzog. As part of our salute to Mr. Herzog’s career, the Sarasota Film Festival is honored to present an extensive retrospective of his non-fiction filmmaking.

Echoes From A Sombre Empire (1990)
Fata Morgana (1970)
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1974)
Grizzly Man (2005)
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (1976)
La Soufrière (1977)
Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Lessons of Darkness (1992)
Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997)
My Best Fiend (1999)
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe(1980, Directed by Les Blank)
Wheel of Time (2003)
The White Diamond (2004)
The Wild Blue Yonder (2005)

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Werner Herzog will receive the 2006 World Cinema Master Award

The Competitions

For the second year, we’re featuring three competitions; Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Independent Visions Competition. I think we have some great films in this line-up, and I am hopeful that we can properly honor celebrate this tremendous work at our festival.

Best Narrative Feature Competition

Beowulf & Grendel
Director: Sturla Gunnarsson

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Director: Cristi Puiu

Kilomètre Zéro
Director: Hiner Saleem

Mary
Director: Abel Ferrara

Old Joy
Director: Kelly Reichardt

Somersault
Director: Cate Shortland

Twelve and Holding
Director: Michael Cuesta

Best Documentary Feature

51 Birch Street
Director: Doug Block

American Blackout
Director: Ian Inaba

Black Sun
Director: Gary Tarn

Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, OR
Director: Peter Richardson

Huldufólk 102 (World Premiere)
Director: Nisha Inalsingh

Rank
Director: John Hyams

What Remains
Dir: Steven Cantor

Independent Visions Competition

Cocaine Angel
Director: Michael Tully

Find Love
Director: Erica Dunton

The Guatemalan Handshake
Director: Todd Rohal

Our Very Own
Director: Cameron Watson

Somebodies
Director: Hadji

Sweet Land
Director: Ali Selim

Three Dollars
Director: Robert Connolly

Wild Tigers I Have Known
Director: Cam Archer

Opening Night
This year, the festival is Opening with the East Coast premiere of Leslie Greif’s Funny Money which stars Chevy Chase in a performance that should re-establish him as one of America’s top funnymen, Penelope Ann Miller, Christopher McDonald and many more. Chevy Chase, Penelope Ann Miller, and Christopher McDonald will all be attending the screening at The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center for 1,736 film goers and the after party for about 1,000 or so, held in the gorgeous palazzo of the Ringling Museum Of Art on March 31st. In addition, I just found out that Gene Simmons of KISS will be bringing his crew from the A&E reality show Family Jewels to the Opening Night party, and as a Michigan boy, I have already put in my request for Detroit Rock City. It is going to be a fun evening.

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Chevy Chase and Penelope Ann Miller in Funny Money

Closing Night
This year is the first year the Sarasota FF has ever had a Closing Night Film! In previous years, when the fest was scheduled in late January/early February, we always had to compete with the Super Bowl (a huge bummer). Now, with our new dates, we are thrilled to be announce that we will be hosting the East Coast Premiere of Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion. I can’t divulge who is attending the screening quite yet, but let me just say that if all of our i’s get dotted and t’s crossed in the coming few days, there will be a big announcement on this front (fingers crossed). Regardless, a tremendous movie and I am so excited to share it with our community. I am not only a huge Robert Altman fan, but I love Garrison Keillor’s radio program as well. What would Sunday be without This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion? Public radio is HOT!

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Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan in A Prairie Home Companion

The Regal Cinemas Filmmakers Tribute, April 8th, 2006

The Regal Cinemas Filmmakers Tribute dinner is our festival’s big gala; 850 people enjoy a four course meal at the Long Boat Key Club. This year, we have an amazing line-up of honorees, all of whom we are thrilled to have as our guests. This year’s Filmmaker’s Tributees are:

Ms. Paula Wagner receiving our 2006 Excellence in Producing Award
Ms. Felicity Huffman receiving our 2006 Breakthrough Performer Award
Mr. Robert Towne receiving our 2006 Filmmaker Award
Mr. William H Macy receiving our 2006 Career Achievement Award

and we may be annoucing more in the coming days. We’re deeply honored these amazing artists will be joining us for what should be a powerhouse night. I have to say, Robert Towne is one of my all-time heroes, and I can’t believe I get to host both he and Werner Herzog in the same festival. But William H Macy and Felicity Huffman, and Paula Wagner? Sort of unreal to me.
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Robert Towne, William H Macy, Felicity Huffman, Paula Wagner

Saturday night features two events, as the Tribute Dinner followed by our Late Night Wrap party, which this year features a Mission Impossible 3 theme and will feature a live performance by Brazilian Girls (whose debut record has basically been the soundtrack of the SFF offices for the past three months).

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Brazilian Girls

Speaking of music, we are bringing back the Independent Visions celebration this year. After last year’s three show juggernaut, this year, we’re celebrating Queer Cinema with the U.S. Festival premiere of Lesli Klainberg and Lisa Ades’ Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema, Alex Hinton’s history of queer hip hop Pick Up The Mic with a performance by punk rock drag cabaret superstars Kiki and Herb and rappers Aggracyst, JenRo, Juba Kalamka, Katastrophe from Pick Up The Mic. It all takes place on Thursday April 6th.

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Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: Kiki and Herb

There are so many other things to talk about. We’re showing the amazing A Lion In The House twice, and donating 50% of all proceeds to filmmaker Julia Reichert and the other 50% to the Sarasota Wellness Community, a local charity that benefits cancer patients. I am hopeful we can raise some serious cash for both.

In addition, we have a cool SFF Classics program this year, including new 35mm prints of Spirit of The Beehive and Black Orpheus (if you can’t get to the Film Forum, bring the Film Forum to you!), as well as a screening of William A. Seiter’s Skinner’s Dress Suit from 1926, the first movie ever shown in Sarasota.

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And on and on and on… I’ll post more as we draw closer. I am really excited. I know this may be the longest post ever, but with SXSW going on, it is tough to get the word out there. Might as well DIY, no? Full list of films below. I hope that you can join us this year for some Sun, Cinema, and Celebration!

The films:

51 Birch Street
Abel Raises Cain
The Aluminum Fowl
The Amateurs
American Blackout
Anamnesis
Andrew Jenks Room 335
Anna und der Soldat
Apologist
Arnie the Doughnut
Armonia
Art School Confidential
Asylum
Before The Music Dies
Beowulf and Grendel
Bing Can Sing
The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania
Black Orpheus
Black Sun
Blame Falls
Boxed
Boynton Beach Club
The Bridesmaid
Bright Lights
Carhenge: Genius or Junk?
Causa Noble, Una
Celamy
Christy Rd
Cigarettes and Fresh Air
City of Mermaids
Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, OR
Cocaine Angel
A Cold Day for Johnson
The Conventioneers
Dammi Il La
The Day the World Saved Shane Sawyer
Dealbreaker
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
District B13
Down In The Valley
The Dreaded Beard
Ears,Open. Eyeballs, Click.
Echoes From A Somber Empire
Edmond
Elles Ètaient Cinq
Ellington Was Not a Street
The Empire In Africa
Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema
Fata Morgana
The Filchak’s Take a Gamble
Find Love
Five Minutes, Mr. Welles
The Flooded Playground
Free Lunch
From Philadelphia to the Front
Funny Money
Gabrielle
Give ‘Em Belle!
Gran Salto, El
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner
Grizzly Man
The Guatemalan Handshake
Hansel and Gretel
Hello, Thanks
Hibernation
The Hidden Blade
Historia de Invierno, Una
Hold Up
The Hole Story
The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound To Lose
Hoot
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
How’s My Driving
Huldufólk 102
Hung
I Was a Dancer
The Intruder
Iron Island
Ish
Johnny Berlin
Journey To Justice
Juxtaposer
Kiki and Herb Reloaded
Kilometre Zero
The King
Kinky Boots
KZ
La Soufrière
Lady and The Tramp
Lady Vengeance
Land of Silence and Darkness
Lessons of Darkness
Life
A Life to Live
A Lion In The House
Little Dieter Needs To Fly
Lonesome Jim
Look Both Ways
Lucid
Lucky Number Slevin
Lyra Lezama
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
The Mantis Parable
Mary
Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company
Mongolian Ping Pong
Mr. Malikai Battles the Airplane
Muerte Es Pequeña, La
Mute
My Backyard Was a Mountain
My Best Fiend
My Dad is 100 Years Old
My Suicidal Sweetheart
Neo Ned
La Neuvaine
No Vacancy
Note Of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin
The Notorious Bettie Page
November Guest
Old Joy
One Sung Hero
Only Human
O-Nu-Ri
Our Very Own
Passive Smoker
The Peace Tree
A Perfect Couple
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
Pick Up The Mic
A Prairie Home Companion
Prom Date
Purvis of Overtown
Puzzlehead
Range
Rank
Roberto the Insect Architect
Robots Are Blue
The Rope
Runaway
Skinner’s Dress Suit
Slow Time
Solidarity
Somebodies
Somersault
The Sonnets
Special People
Spirit of the Beehive
Stars! Stars! Stars!
Stomp! Shout! Scream!
Sweet Land
Syd Solomon: the Man, the Artist
Tanzmäuse
Tears in the Rain
The Ten Steps
Tes Cheveux Noirs Ihsan
Three Dollars
Tina Barney: Social Studies
‘Tis Autumn: The Search For Jackie Paris
Transamerica
Troop 1500
Twelve and Holding
Twitch
Two Harbors
The Unseen Kind-Hearted Beast
Up on the Rope
Vers le Sud
The Virgin of Juarez
Volare
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
Westbound/Eastbound
What Are the Odds?
What Remains
The Wheel Of Time
The White Diamond
Who Gets To Call It Art?
Who’s the Top?
Why Shakespeare?
Wild About Books
The Wild Blue Yonder
Wild Tigers I Have Known
Winter Sea
Word Play
Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner
Wristcutters: A Love Story
You’re Gonna Miss Me

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