Sarasota Fest Honors Richard Dreyfuss, Presents Awards
by Wendy Mitchell
The fifth-annual Sarasota Film Festival ended its 10-day run on Saturday, at a black-tie dinner honoring actor Richard Dreyfuss, this year's recipient of the Regal Entertainment Career Achievement Award. Earlier that day, the festival held its awards ceremony, with Vanessa Parise's "Kiss the Bride" taking a special prize for excellence in filmmaking. Audience awards went to Jeff Blitz's "Spellbound" for best documentary, Deepa Mehta's "Bollywood/Hollywood" for best comedy, and Leopoldo Labode's "A Beautiful Secret" for best drama. Kodak's emerging filmmaker short film award, including a $1,000 grant, went to Paul Quarrington's "A Man's Life."
The jury in Sarasota picked Gary Null's "Deconstructing the Myth of AIDS" for the cultural impressions documentary film award, with a special mention going to AJ Schnack's "Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)." The jury voted Terrance Odette's "Saint Monica" winner of the cultural expressions narrative film award, with a special mention to Tara Judelle's "Manfast."
In other awards, Mirra Bank's "Last Dance" won the programmer's choice prize. The excellence in student filmmaking award went to Florida State University in Tallahassee.
This year's Sarasota festival drew more than 25,000 attendees for 140 films. Dates set for the 2004 event are January 23-February 1.