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Sarasota Film Festival Day 3: Winners Announced in Narrative Feature and Other Competitions

2019 SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL: On Saturday night, the 21st annual Sarasota Film Festival’s Closing Night Ceremony helped bring the festivities to a wrap at one of the city’s most prestigious locales: The Sarasota Opera House. Academy Award-nominated actor Greg Kinnear, Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-winning actress Blythe Danner (this year’s Icon Award recipient), and Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated actress Anne Heche were in attendance.

At the ceremony, we unveiled our jury and audience award winners. The Narrative Feature prize, for which I was a member of the jury, was awarded to the Vietnamese coming-of-age drama, “The Third Wife,” directed by Ash Mayfair. While there was stiff competition in our category, the jury was unanimous with this selection.

At the closing ceremonies, we were treated to a steak dinner and entertained by a pair of bands. One of the highlights of the festival was being able to watch legendary film score composer, David Amram (“Splendor in the Grass;” “The Manchurian Candidate”), entertain us with his music. The songsmith sang and wowed the crowd by playing three different instruments. We showed our appreciation for the man with two standing ovations.

The 21st Sarasota Film Festival was one of the best ran events I have attended, and the show-runners did an outstanding job of selecting the slate of films. I only wish I could have seen more of the movies that played here, and with time I plan to catch up on what I missed.

Thank you to the wonderful team at Frank PR, who are always the most gracious and accommodating group of individuals. Thank you, as well, to festival Chairman and President, Mark Famiglia, whose generosity was overwhelming, and sense of humor overflowing. I had a truly great time here.

See a complete list of the jury and audience winners below:

Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition Winner
“The Third Wife”
Director: Ash Mayfair

Documentary Feature Competition Winner
“American Factory”
Director: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert 

Independent Visions Competition Winner
“The World is Full of Secrets”
Director: Graham Swon 

Terry Porter Visionary Award
“The Plagiarists”
Director: Peter Parlow 

Animated Shorts Competition Winner
“Two Balloons”
Director: Mark C. Smith 

Narrative Short Competition Winner
“How Does It Start”
Director: Amber Sealey 

Documentary Short Competition Winner
Director: Luanne Dietz

Audience Awards 

Best Narrative Feature
“Surviving Lunch”
Director: by KT Curran

Best Documentary Feature
“The Biggest Little Farm”
Director: John Chester 

Best Short Film
“Two Balloons”
Director: Mark C. Smith

Best In World Cinema
“Tel Aviv on Fire”
Director: Sameh Zoabi

The Sarasota Film Festival runs from April 5, 2019, to April 14, 2019. 


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Written by Mark Johnson

Lover of all things film and Oscar. Fantasy sports’ equivalent of George Steinbrenner. Your very own Han Solo, making friends all over the movie-loving galaxy in spite of himself. When he’s not ranking just about everything or dominating boardgames, Mark is breaking down the Oscar race 24/7 with Rain Man-like stats and knowledge. In his downtime, you can find him commiserating with other Northeast Ohio sports fans because a hero isn’t complete without a little heartbreak. If Game of Thrones, Lost, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Survivor are your style, then congratulations, you have something in common with this inglourious basterd.

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