Film festival hullabaloo

Who doesn’t like movies? There are many who might even enjoy more than just the average cinematic adventure – independent films, documentaries, biographies, animated, foreign or even short films. It’s conceivable that those who like these films would enjoy taking in a film festival if there was an opportunity. There are plenty of festivals to choose from in the Tampa area. Here are a few that are coming up.

Eighth Annual Sarasota Film Festival

Although the Sarasota Film Festival is still in its infancy, it’s already begun to create quite a name for itself among the who’s who of film festival extravaganzas. Back in 1998 when the SFF was founded as a non-profit arts organization, the mini-festival only included eight features and a gala fund-raiser.

Gearing up for its eighth year of presenting unique and talented cinema, the SFF will have a lineup of films that will include more than 100 narrative, documentary, world cinema and short films. There is a medley of special events and parties available for those who not only want to watch the features, but also want be a part of it all.

When: March 31-April 9

Where: Sarasota


Ybor Festival of the Moving Images

Tampa is growing rapidly, but one thing it still lacks in comparison to other thriving cities is an artistically vibrant cultural community. That’s what makes events such as the Ybor Festival of the Moving Images so special.

David Audet and Lois Gaston of Hillsborough Community College started the festival four years ago as an annual film and video event that would showcase the Ybor City community. With the historical architecture and entertainment aspects, it’s a good place to hold such an event. On the roster is an array of films with historical interests, discussion groups, forums and live performances.

The lineup is yet to be announced, but the festival will definitely include a retrospective on Florida filmmaker Les Blank.

When: April 5-9

Where: Ybor City


Florida Film Festival

Now in its 15th year, the festival showcases some of the best American independent and foreign films. The prices are lofty, but one solution might be to volunteer in order to gain access to anticipated films.

Located in Orlando, it’s the oldest of all film festivals held in Florida, and each year the number of celebrity attendees grows larger. Last year alone, Oliver Stone, Jason Lee, Steve Buscemi and William H. Macy were reputed to be in attendance.

The film schedule is to be announced soon, but in the meantime, trailers can be viewed online.

When: March 24-April 2,

Where: Orlando


Here are some film festivals to look forward to next year:

Tampa Jewish Film Festival, Tampa, FL

Tampa International Film Festival, Tampa

International Festival of Cinema and Technology, Orlando