By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall March 30, 2007 at 5:37AM
I know, I know. I promised I wouldn't be posting a ton about the upcoming Sarasota Film Festival, but I have been reading all of my favorite blogs these past few weeks and, to be fair, I want to write and the festival is just about all I have to talk about. Let's be honest; I have nothing else happening in my life. I have been totally consumed by work and I feel compelled to write so what to do? Stay quiet or talk about all of the great things that will be happening at the festival, which opens a mere two weeks from today? Hmm. Looks like I am going to be spending the next couple of weeks keeping everyone posted on what we've got planned for this year's festival...
Opening Night Film: In The Shadow Of The Moon
This film is popping up everywhere as an Opening Night Film: Hot Docs, True/False, and so many other festivals. When Holly and I saw this movie at Sundance, I leaned in at about the 75 minute mark and said "Opening Night Film." Programmers know a good film when they see one, and seeing it playing at such great festivals speaks volumes about In The Shadow Of The Moon; This is a special movie, and I have no doubt that our Opening Night is going to be very special. First, we've installed a 50 foot screen and a Hi Def projection system in The Van Wezel, our festival's beautiful 1750 seat home for Opening Night.
A Vision In Purple: The Van Wezel
Most importantly, we have a lot of guests attending the Opening Weekend, but I am most excited about our honored guests for Opening Night; Director David Sington and Astronaut and the sixth man (of twelve) to ever walk on the Moon, Dr. Edgar Mitchell. It's funny, I was talking to someone last night about this, and to think that only twelve people in the history of the world have ever walked on the Moon and to be able to host a Q&A with one of them? Well, it's a huge honor. It is also a Florida movie; All of the Apollo missions launched from Cape Canaveral and we've been in touch with NASA and the state government, all of whom have been helping us with this event.
David Sington's In The Shadow Of The Moon
The film is followed by a party under the stars for 1,500 guests in the courtyard of the Ringling Museum of Art. It is an incredible space, and with 19 bars, tons of food, and a great performance by the crooner Matt Dusk, it is a going to be a great night. This is the first documentary film ever to open our festival, and I am so pleased that everyone here in Sarasota is as excited as I am about the film as the best possible kick-off for an amazing ten days. We're an ambitious bunch down here at the Sarasota Film Festival and it is somtimes hard to convey that to our friends in the industry, so I owe a big THANK YOU to Erin Owens, Mark Urman and the gang at THINKFilm for working with us, buying into our vision for the night, and for making this possible. It's going to be a great way to get it all started...
The Courtyard At the Ringling Museum Of Art: Home of The Opening Night Party