While not exactly featuring the household names of past years, the Sarasota Film Festival announced today an interesting, eclectic lineup of attendees for next month's event. Taking place April 4-13, SFF promises more than 100 filmmakers and industry guests in attendance. These visitors will be coming from premium cable television programs, this country's most legendary political family and a civil war that ravaged northern Uganda and South Sudan.
Richard Jenkins — costar of "Mad Men" actor John Slattery’s directorial feature debut "God's Pocket," a black comedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christina Hendricks — will attend the festival screening of the film at the Sarasota Opera House. He'll also participate in a conversation with New York Magazine critic David Edelstein at 3 p.m. April 11 at Florida Studio Theatre’s Bowne’s Lab. Jenkins has appeared in numerous films and television series, including his role as Nathaniel Fischer on the HBO beloved series "Six Feet Under" and the 2008 SFF film "The Visitor," which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
This year’s Tribute Luncheon will be held in honor of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the subject of the film "Sewing Hope." For the last 30 years, Sister Rosemary of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus based in Juba, South Sudan, gave hope and comfort to those plagued by the civil wars that slaughtered the peoples of northern Uganda and South Sudan. Armed with only a sewing machine, Sister Rosemary openly defied Joseph Kony and the rebel soldiers and commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army in their 20-year reign of terror.
Since 2002, Sister Rosemary has enrolled more than 2,000 girls who had been previously abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families. Sister Rosemary will be traveling to Sarasota from Uganda to receive this award and will be in attendance at the festival’s screenings of "Sewing Hope." The festival and the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women will co-present their annual Impact Award to Sister Rosemary at the Sarasota Yacht Club at 11 a.m. April 11.
In addition, Jason Momoa, star of HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "The Red Road," will attend the world premiere screening of "Road to Paloma," which he wrote and directed and in which he stars. The Atlanta band Radio Birds, which provide songs to the film’s soundtrack, will attend the screening and will perform live at the festival’s 1137 Party on April 12 at Louie's Modern.
Charlie McDowell, director of SFF’s Closing Night Film "The One I Love," will receive the festival’s Breakthrough Award for his directorial debut. The award will be presented prior to the festival’s screening of the film. Director Rory Kennedy and Captain Paul Johnson of the USS Kirk, which participated in the evacuation of Saigon, will attend the Opening Night screening of "Last Days in Vietnam" and will participate in a post-screening Q&A. Director Andrew Rossi returns to Sarasota to present "Ivory Tower" and will also participate in a post-screening Q&A after the Centerpiece screening.
SFF has also added John Magary’s debut feature "The Mend" to the festival schedule. The film, which stars Josh Lucas and SFF 2013 Breakthrough Award winner Mickey Sumner (daughter of rock star Sting), will screen at 7:30 p.m. April 8 at the Regal Hollywood 20.