Event of the Week: Sarasota Film Festival opening

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SARASOTA - One of the most exciting events of the year is about to kick off on the Suncoast. Every year at this time, Sarasota goes Hollywood, as the Sarasota Film Festival rolls into town.

And it brings with it new movies to make you think, make you laugh and make you cry. And that makes it our Event of the Week.

The 2013 festival opens with all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Friday night at the Van Wezel. "We have a red carpet at 6pm, and then there is the film at 7, and then there is a party afterwards catered with Mattison's food," says associate marketing director Tia Castle.

Walking the red carpet with be producers, directors, actors, and other filmmakers involved in the festival. "We are going to open with a film called Black Fish. It's got a real Florida story of Tilikum the whale in Sea World in Orlando. It's the story of killer whales in captivity and the controversy about keeping whales in captivity, and also the impact it has on the lives of the whales and the trainers who train them," says festival director Tom Hall.

And those involved in the film will be there to discuss it. "We are bringing in 5 former Sea World trainers, the director of the film will be here; we expect a really provocative conversation after the movie about this really important documentary."

Also a part of the Sarasota Film Festival is the Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival. "We start our movies on Saturday morning at 10:00, so we'll have movies all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Saturday night we have a reception at Art Center Sarasota where we will have many of our directors," says festival chair Terry Brackett.

The opening movie is called Trailblazers in Habits. "Which is a documentary about the Maryknoll Nuns, and it is just wonderful. It starts off in 1923 in Hong Kong, and it has some terrific historical footage and interviews with these nuns who are in their 90s."

That's at 10am on Saturday. The Through Women's Eyes Festival contains 18 other films that will show during the weekend.