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SFF: 10 movies with buzz

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  • God's pocket AP

    Christina Kendricks, right, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, in a scene from the film, "God's Pocket." The movie will be shown during the Sarasota Film Festival, which runs April 4-13.  (AP Photo/Sundance Institute, Lance Acord)

    Ten films with buzz

    Even cinephiles must get a little overwhelmed by the Sarasota Film Festival’s latest guide containing 252 titles. To help with the selection process, we consulted Tom Hall, the festival’s director, and created a list of 10 buzzed-about films playing this year at SFF, which runs April 4-13. These are movies that have already wowed critics and attendees at prestigious festivals held earlier this year, or, in the case of one pick, is having its world premiere in Sarasota. Main screening venue and ticket sales at Hollywood 20, 1993 Main St., Sarasota. Ticket prices vary. 366-6200; sarasotafilmfestival.com. Check out our "Festival party planner."

  • ACTRESS

    6:45 p.m. April 11; 2:30 p.m. April 12

    “Actress”

    The breakthrough film last month at the annual True/False documentary festival, “Actress” has been selected as the Closing Night Film at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new documentary festival The Art of The Real. Brandy Burre (HBO’s “The Wire)” is the star/subject of the film and will be in attendance with director Robert Greene. “It is a great movie and walks a fascinating line between fiction and non-fiction,” Hall says.

  • GOD'S POCKET

    7 p.m. April 11, Sarasota Opera House

    "God's Pocket"

    Nominated for a grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, "Mad Men" star John Slattery’s directorial feature debut is a black comedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final screen performances. The cast also includes Slattery’s ‘Mad Men” costar Christina Hendricks and Oscar-nominee Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”). Jenkins will attend the screening of the film at the Sarasota Opera House and 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.

  • GREAT INVISIBLE, THE

    3:45 p.m. April 12

    “The Great Invisible”

    The South by Southwest grand jury award winner for best documentary feature, the film tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Director Margaret Brown will be in attendance to discuss the movie. “As a Gulf Coast community, we think people will be profoundly interested in this subject,” Hall says.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    4:45 p.m. April 11; 3 p.m. April 12

    “Happy Valley”

    Director Amir Bar-Lev will be in attendance for the screening of his potent documentary about the Penn State football scandal. “This movie was one of the best reviewed at Sundance and Amir, who won an Emmy for his film ‘The Tillman Story,’ does not focus on the details of the case,” Hall says. “Rather, he focuses on the impact of Jerry Sandusky on the Penn State community and Joe Paterno, and what it says about our culture and our belief in institutions.”

  • HELLION

    7:45 p.m. April 12; 1:15 p.m. April 13

    “Hellion”

    Recipient of a “Gamechanger Award - Special Mention” at South by Southwest and nominated for a grand jury prize at Sundance, “Hellion” features an outstanding cast that includes Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) and a “breakthrough performance by Josh Wiggins in this story of a family battling loss,” Hall says. “It’s a powerful drama.” Director Kat Candler will be in attendance to discuss the film.

  • OBVIOUS CHILD

    7 p.m. April 11

    “Obvious Child”

    Nominated for two awards at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, “Obvious Child” stars “Saturday Night Live” alum Jenny Slate. “This movie was one of the biggest acquisitions out of Sundance and a huge, crowd-pleasing hit at the festival,” Hall says. “The movie is in the foul and funny tradition of films like ‘Bridesmaids.’”

  • ONE I LOVE, THE

    6 p.m. Apr 12, Sarasota Opera House

    “The One I Love”

    Having premiered at Sundance and playing later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival, “The One I Love” is SFF’s Closing Night Film. A contemporary love story about a couple struggling for a romantic connection, it stars Mark Duplass (“The League,” “The Puffy Chair”), Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” “On the Road”) and TV legend Ted Danson as a marriage therapist. Charlie McDowell will receive the festival’s Breakthrough Award for his directorial debut.

  • RICH HILL

    4:15 April 11; 4:45 April 12

    “Rich Hill”

    The Sundance grand jury prize winner for best documentary, “it is a slice of life story about a small town in decline and a trio of boys who live there,” Hall says. “It’s a must see.” Director Andrew Droz Palermo will be attending for a Q&A.

  • ROAD TO PALOMA

    7:30 p.m. April 12

    “Road to Paloma”

    Jason Momoa, star of  HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "The Red Road," will attend the world premiere screening of "Road to Paloma," the biker road movie which he wrote, directed and stars. “It is a lot of fun and audiences will be the first in the world to see the film,” Hall says.

  • THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY

    7:15 April 11; 7 p.m. April 12

     

    “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely”

    Josephine Decker’s Berlin International Film Festival breakout is a sensual thriller getting its North American Premiere in Sarasota. “The film drew raves from serious-minded cinema lovers in Berlin and (Decker) is most certainly a rising star as a young, emerging film-making voice,” Hall says. “She’ll be here for the Q&A.”

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