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Arts and Entertainment Friday, Mar. 9, 2012 9 years ago

Sarasota Film Festival Announces Opening Night, Centerpiece and Closing Night films

by: John Ewing

The Sarasota Film Festival is proud to announce that Jake Schreier's ROBOT & FRANK will open the 2012 Festival with a screening at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday, April 13th. Frank Langella and Mr. Schreier will attend the festival’s Opening Night festivities.

Set in the near future, ROBOT & FRANK is the story of Frank (Frank Langella), a retired thief living alone and resigned to longing for the local librarian (Susan Sarandon). Concerned about his father’s health, Frank’s son brings him a new caretaker; a state-of-the-art robot with a perfect memory and an inexhaustible desire to make Frank’s life better. Initially reluctant to accept help, Frank soon recognizes the benefits of his robot, treating his electronic helper like a true friend. So, when Frank decides to get back into the business of theft, who else to turn to but his newfound companion? ROBOT & FRANK is a Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions release.This year’s Centerpiece film is Todd Solondz's DARK HORSE, a Double Hope Films production.  DARK HORSE is the story of Abe (Jordan Gelber), a confident young man who is stuck in a rut. Living at home with his parents (Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken) and working for his father’s company, Abe can’t escape from his family’s expectations. But when he meets a young woman named Miranda (Selma Blair), things temporarily start looking up and Abe can’t help but believe he must be on the road to happiness. Director Todd Solondz will attend.

Sarasota Film Festival proudly presents Academy Award® Nominee Joe Berlinger's UNDER AFRICAN SKIES as SFF's Closing Night Film.  In 1985, the singer-songwriter Paul Simon set out to South Africa to record with local musicians who could help him emulate the sound of their music, with which he had fallen in love. The result of that collaboration was the 1986 album Graceland, which went on to not only become Simon’s most successful album, but also launched the “world music” genre. But not everyone was happy; Simon was accused of violating the cultural boycott of South Africa, erected in an attempt to help bring down the nation’s racist apartheid regime. UNDER AFRICAN SKIES is an A&E Indie Films release.

“Each year, we strive to bring the best in film to our Gulf Coast community and this year’s festival will be no different,“ says Sarasota Film Festival Board President Mark Famiglio.  “We are excited for the opportunity to engage our audience with these tremendous films.”

“From the incomparable Frank Langella to the visionary Todd Solondz and the Academy Award® nominated Joe Berlinger, I am thrilled to welcome these cinematic trailblazers to our festival,” says Sarasota Film Festival Director Tom Hall.  “Their vital work exemplifies this year’s film program, which we will proudly announce in the coming weeks.”


Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 14th year, we're proud to bring the best new and veteran independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community.

For more information about the Festival, please visit our website at

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