SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota Film Festival showcased a record 278 films in 2015, and this year's event promises even more. So which of the roughly 300 movies showing over the next few days should be on your radar? Here are a few suggestions...
-The 2015 Sarasota Film Festival focused on a social issue – a trend the 2016 event is continuing. Last year, the big issue was homelessness. This year, it's mental health. Touched with Fire, screening on April 5th, is among the movies to focus on the issue. It stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby in an unlikely and challenging love story of two people who meet in a mental hospital.
-Winner of the Sundance Documentary Award, Kate Plays Christine – screening April 2nd and 3rd – follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the part of Christine Chubbuck, the real Sarasota reporter who committed suicide on air in the 70s on WXLT – which later became WWSB, ABC 7.
-All is not well in High-Rise, where people living in a skyscraper are divided up based on a class system. Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy irons, Sienna Miller and Elizabeth Moss make up the star-studded cast. High-Rise is playing on April 9th.
-Midnight Special – playing April 2nd – is a science fiction drama starring Michael Shannon as a father on the run with his young son who has mysterious abilities. Director Jeff Nichols has said the less we know about the movie, the better. If his previous work like Mud and Take Shelter tells us anything, it's that Midnight Special should be spectacular.
-Love & Friendship – showing on April 9th – finds Kate Beckinsale starring in a humorous adaptation of a Jane Austen novella. She plays a widow looking for a couple of husbands – one for her daughter, and one for herself.
-The closing night film – The Congressman – will screen at the Sarasota Opera House, also on the 9th.