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Penelope Ann Miller To Appear At Sarasota Film Festival

Penelope Ann Miller, who appeared in Academy Award Best Picture "The Artist" will appear at the Sarasota Film Festival being awarded the 2012 Career Tribute.

Actress Penelope Ann Miller will appear at the Sarasota Film Festival this month to receive the festival's 2012 Career Tribute award.

Miller, star of Academy Award Best Picture The Artist, also appears in Think Of Me, which will be screened at this year's festival, organizers of the annual cinema event announced. Miller will receive the award and tribune at the festival's Filmmaker's Luncheon at noon April 20 at the .

“Penelope Ann Miller has been a longtime friend of our festival and we are thrilled to honor her career,” said SFF Board President Mark Famiglio. “Ms. Miller was a guest at our very first Sarasota Film Festival and her work has continued to move and inspire audiences everywhere.”

Miller is also confirmed to take part in the In Conversation series where actors and filmmakers share details of their craft, career and stories during an in-depth interview. Her session will take place 1 p.m. April 21 at  This discussion will highlight Miller’s work over the course of her career — spanning from parts on Family Ties and The Facts of Life and her approach to her craft. (Bonus trivia: Her connection to Sarasota includes acting in 1988's Big Top Pee-Wee with Sarasota's own Paul Reubens.)

Also confirmed for the In Conversation series is Rory Kennedy — documentary filmmaker and daugther of Robert F. Kennedy. 

Kennedy will discuss her career as well as her most recent, critically acclaimed film Ethel.  The feature-length documentary is a personal portrait of her mother, Ethel Kennedy, her political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death.  The film features candid interviews with Ethel Kennedy, seven of her children and offers a rare look inside a political dynasty. The festival's director Tom Hall will moderate the conversation on April 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Sarasota High School.

Todd Solondz and Frank Langella were previously announced to participate in the series as well. 

“We are very proud to bring the ‘In Conversation With’ series back to SFF this year. Once again, we can provide our Festival goers a completely unique, engaging conversation with these important artists,” Hall said. 

Langella, star of the festival's opening night film Robot & Frank, will be interviewed by New York Magazine and NPR Fresh Air’s David Edelstein on  April 14 at 1 p.m. at Sarasota High School

Langella will also sign his new book Dropped Names on April 14 at 11 a.m. at Bookstore1, located at 1359 Main St.. Copies of the book will be available at the SFF Opening Night screening and at Bookstore1 for those interested in attending the signing.

Solondz, writer/director of this year’s Centerpiece Film Dark Horse, will be interviewed by New York Times writer David Carr at noon Sunday at Sarasotta High.

The SFF has also confirmed the attendance of Jordan Gelber (Dark Horse), Jena Malone (In Our Nature) and Jess Weixler (Somebody Up There Likes Me) at the festival. Each guest will participate in Q&A sessions after their respective screenings.

Women Make Movies Receives Award

The festival also announced that Women Make Movies, the non-profit media arts organization that facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films by and about women, will receive the festival's second annual Impact Award, presented in partnership with the Gulf Coast Chapter of United Nations Women.

“On the occasion of its 40th Anniversary, the Sarasota Film Festival is honored to recognize a wonderful partner of ours, Women Make Movies, with its second Impact Award,” said Holly Herrick Director of SFF Women. “Working with filmmakers of diverse ethnicities, races, and socio-economic backgrounds, Women Make Movies has made tremendous strides for all women: ensuring a plurality of voices, on screen and behind the camera.”

The award will be presented in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Women Make Movies and Women Make Movies Executive Director Debra Zimmerman will be on hand to receive this award, presented by UN Women US National Committee Board Member Carol Poteat Buchanan at The Filmmaker Tribute on April 21 at 6 p.m. at the .

“I am thrilled to accept the 2012 IMPACT Award,” Zimmerman said. “Women Make Movies is celebrating its 40thAnniversary this year and we are excited to be partnering again with the Sarasota Film Festival and Through Women’s Eyes on such great programming and with the Side by Side mentorship program.  This program is one of 40 worldwide events spanning the globe that will celebrate the organization’s work in transforming the landscape for independent women’s films and filmmakers.”

Manatee County Conversation Series

The festival has announced details of a free In Conversation series in Manatee County as part of the SFF@SCF program.

In Conversation With Women In Film explores the work of women whose films are shaping today’s cinema.

This discussion takes place on Friday, April 20 at 5:30 PM at The Neel Performing Arts Center on the campus of State College Of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. Panelists include Debra Zimmerman (Executive Director, Women Make Movies), Ingrid Veninger (Director, I Am A Good Person/ I Am A Bad Person), with other panelists to be announced soon at SarasotaFilmFestival.com.

Tickets for the movies and other events are available now at the Sarasota Film Festival Box Office, located at 1993 Main St. inside or online atwww.sarasotafilmfesitval.com.

Charles Schelle (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I forgot how long of a career Penelope had! Kind of makes me want to watch "Kindergarten Cop" for the first time in 20 years.

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