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Sarasota Film Festival Preview: Jonathan Sehring

Sarasota Film Festival Preview: Jonathan Sehring

Busy week ahead, but I wanted to drop a note to preview our 2007 Producer’s Award Tributee Jonathan Sehring. In the interest of full disclosure, I started my career at IFC/Bravo back in 1997, and I very much enjoyed working with Jonathan; We were even on the Corporate League basketball team together (just ask him about my jump shot! I think I made one basket in 5 games… no confidence in my teammates…*cough*). These were the very early days of IFC Films, and the first projects on which I can remember the company working were Steven Soderbergh’s Gray’s Anatomy which Jonathan Executive Produced in 1996 (with then partner-in-crime, the lovely Caroline Kaplan) and then John Sayles’ terrific Men With Guns, which was picked up by IFC. An auspicious start, but I can’t believe how far the company has come. Jonathan was the leader of the pack on the film side of the house; In two short years, IFC was working on Kimberly Pierce’s Academy Award winning Boys Don’t Cry and Errol Morris’ Mr. Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., and it was a watershed year for the company. They haven’t looked back.

IFC Films President and 2007 Sarasota Film Festival Producer’s Award Honoree Jonathan Sehring

After inaugurating the Producer’s Award last year by honoring Paula Wagner, I invited Jonathan to receive this award last summer and he graciously accepted. His work as both a producer and a distributor rival Norman Jewison’s for both innovation (with InDigEnt and First Take both on the cutting edge of production and distribution strategies in their day) and diversity (anyone seen all 49 films and television shows he’s produced?) We’re honored that Jonathan is coming and it should be a great night. Now, if I can just convince him to put more of those great foreign titles into wider theatrical release… Let’s see what he says with a little champagne in him…

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