Steve Tatone shot to local stardom when his homegrown dramatic musical "Beautiful Noise" sold out all six showings at the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival.
But the director/writer/co-producer's latest feature-length film “Blind Pass,” which was also primarily filmed in and around Sarasota and stars recent Booker High School grad Danielle White, has been rejected by the Sarasota Film Festival taking place April 5-14.
As previously reported, "Blind Pass" will be screened at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa later this month.
"Danielle and I are disappointed our film didn't make the cut to our hometown film fest; yet thankful that all our Suncoast fans can drive to Gasparilla on March 22 (in Tampa), or Ft Myers Beach Film Festival on April 25- 28, to catch 'Blind Pass,'" Tatone said. "We're also looking into ways to screen the film for charity here in town in April."
Tom Hall, the director of the Sarasota Film Festival, declined to offer specifics about why "Blind Pass" won't be included in this year's program.
"We don't comment on the particulars of a film at all, so I have no comment on the reasons why the film is not playing the Sarasota Film Festival," Hall said. "We're proud of our program and wish Steve the best, as we do all the filmmakers who have submitted films."
Co-produced with White, "Blind Pass" is a psychological thriller about Carrie (White), a talented singer who begins to go blind following the death of her powerful, eccentric father (played by Armand Assante). Carrie is sent to see a psychiatrist played by Chris McKenna, an actor probably best known for playing Patrick Westhill in the “90210” TV reboot.
In January, Tatone screened “Blind Pass” during an invitation-only event at Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota.
"Whether it will have a reception equal to 'Beautiful Noise' is hard to say," wrote Carrie Seidman in her review of the film for the Herald-Tribune. "While it has a more complex story line, stronger acting and is, overall, a better effort, it suffers from erratic pacing, confusing editing and a perplexing conclusion that I had to get my cineophile son to sort out for me afterward."
Earlier this week, the Sarasota Film Festival announced its opening, closing and centerpiece selections plus appearances by Mariel Hemingway and others. The rest of the lineup will be announced March 13.
Hall said there won't be any feature-length films made in Sarasota screened at the festival this year, but there's a short film program "dedicated to Sarasota area filmmakers."