Sarasota Film Festival: It’s Like Sundance with Extra Sun (and lots of stars)

As independent film festivals go, Sundance has earned its top-shelf spot as the leading premium brand. It’s where everyone goes. Where the deals get done.

Meanwhile, 1,900 miles, three months, and another fifty degrees warmer away, we’re witnessing the continued growth of another film industry brand:  The Sarasota Film Festival. SFF for short.

SFF has come a long way in its first 14 years. I could hold up factoids like the growth from an eight-film mini-festival to an annual ten-day, 230-film magnet for some of the most talented and respected people in filmmaking. But I’m too lazy to dig up facts, and you’re probably more interested in the names, anyway. So, here goes:  a thick paragraph-length list of just some of the talent that has been to Sarasota for the festival through the years:

Alan Alda, Robert Altman, Kevin Bacon, Robert Benton, Elmer Bernstein, Lawrence Blume, Steve Buscemi, Leslie Caron, Chevy Chase, Patricia Clarkson, Jill Clayburgh, Bryan Cranston, Billy Crystal, Geena Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Richard Dreyfuss, Olympia Dukakis, Sam Elliott, Peter Falk, Louise Fletcher, Ben Foster, Marcia Gay Harden, Woody Harrelson, Rutger Hauer, Todd Haynes, Tippi Hedren, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, Norman Jewison, Shirley Jones, Kevin Kline, John Landis, William H. Macy, Wendy Mallick, Howie Mandel, Jackie Mason, Ismail Merchant, Penelope Ann Miller, Rita Moreno, Connie Nielsen, Edward Norton, Robert Osborne, Bill Paxton, Christopher Plummer, Sidney Pollack, Jeff Probst, Paul Reiser, Jeremy Renner, Gena Rowlands, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Gene Simmons, Christian Slater, Patrick Stewart, Rod Steiger, Michael Stipe, Charlize Theron, Robert Towne, Michelle Trachtenburg, Stanley Tucci, Liv Ullman, Jon Voight, Paula Wagner, Patrick Wilson, Michael York.

Now, if the social network is paying attention, my sneaky little trick of dropping all those names (including the biggie:  Sundance Film Festival) will help generate even more notice for the Sarasota Film Festival. Let the brand expand!

Note:  Next-Mark is proud and a bit humbled to have been entrusted this year with doing much of the design work for SFF.

At Next-Mark, Eric focuses on developing creative strategies for clients including brand development, messaging and communications and messaging strategies. He is known for addressing complex marketing challenges with a mix of analysis, creativity and business sense.