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SRQ DAILY Apr 20, 2016

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"As an actor, so much of your job is sitting by the phone waiting for a call that probably isn’t coming."

- Castille Landon, And Then There Was Light

[Film]  Landon Directing Reynolds-led Cast in Palmetto
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

From memorable roles in films like Sex Ed and Paradise, FL and in television series like The Ghost Whisperer, Castille Landon has kept busy as an actress for close to a decade. But as she embarks on directing her second feature, which will be filmed entirely in the Palmetto area, Landon now sees a long future behind the lens. “As an actor, so much of your job is sitting by the phone waiting for a call that probably isn’t coming,” she tells SRQ. “I was working a lot, doing about three movies a year, but that still totals 20 to 30 days a year working. That was frustrating and I felt out of control of my own life.”

Now, Landon’s attentions are focused on directing And Then There Was Light, a film starring screen legend Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit) and Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Road Trip) and written by Landon. The movie, about a young girl who begins to lose her eyesight after a horse riding accident, will be shot largely at the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus in Palmetto, as well as a nearby horse farm and other local spots.

A relationship with Southeastern Guide Dogs played a major role in Landon choosing to shoot here. She said she would like to do more work in her hometown—she grew up in Terra Ceia—but that will largely depend on whether Florida puts an incentives program back in place. Southeastern Guide Dogs will hold a press conference next week with Reynolds, Smart and other cast members to discuss the film. As for the movie coming together, Smart just became attached to the film in February, with Reynolds signing on shortly after. Landon just finished the script in late 2015, and pulling together a major project with known actors has occurred with relative quickness. 

Just as Landon ramps up work on And Then There Was Light, she has been putting the final touches on Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, another film she penned and directed—partly in Palmetto and partly in Eastern Europe. That film world premieres and competes at Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas this May.

As for the future, Landon still wants to be an actress. She lives in Los Angeles and continues to seek work. But there is no doubt the director’s chair has its benefits. “I like writing, but I am now writing to direct and I think directing, with some acting, is where I see my future,” she said. 

[Lifestyle]  Baur Spreads the Gospel of Green Living
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a national advocacy group striving for increased animal protection, recently paid a visit to the Florida House Institute to speak on matters of ethical eating, compassionate living and sustainability. Hosted by local business leaders Cameron Icard and Catherine Ellis in one of Sarasota’s foremost “green” pioneers, Baur found the gathered audience “very receptive,” in keeping with a growing national trend emphasizing the impact of daily food choices on animals, the environment and the farm industry. “Our food choices are very emotional and the subject matter was presented and discussed in an open, supportive way,” said Baur. “It was great to see such an audience.”

A vegan since 1985, the “bottom line” for Baur is to convert entirely to a plant-based diet as opposed to eating animal products, but he understands that this would be a big jump for many and counterproductive to demand. For most, Baur promotes a Meatless Mondayone day a week where everything is plant-based and vegan-friendly. “That helps them understand and become more familiar with the plant-based options available,” he said. Baur remembers when powdered soy milk was the only option; today he picks from countless milk and meat substitutes.

With Farm Sanctuary celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Baur looks back on what he calls “enormous” progress, including legislative battles won against factory farm confinement practices and force-feeding. Moving forward, Farm Sanctuary will continue that approach, said Baur, but the future may lie in the marketplace. “The marketplace has a way to create change,” he said, whether it is convincing retailers to see the profit in the vegan demographic or the lost profit in supporting unpopular practices. “Our political system moves very slowly, but the marketplace is where the significant movement is starting to happen.” 

Pictured: Gene Baur with Meg.

[Good Bite]  Fresh H2O
Kaye Warr

Looking for a lunch spot that’s convenient to downtown and offers a variety of fresh and seasonal options? Look no further than the Hotel Indigo Sarasota’s full service restaurant H2O Bistro. Besides the regular menu, which features salads like the beet and arugula and sandwiches like the Ringling Reuben, there’s a daily special menu of beautifully presented artisan dishes such as the arugula, goat cheese, and prosciutto board with housemade fig chutney or the Indigo Chopped Salad (pictured) with red and white quinoa, feta cheese, Roma tomatoes, red onions, mango, avocado, lemon emulsion, fresh mint and chili oil.  

H2O Bistro at Hotel Indigo Sarasota, 1223 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, 941-487-3815.

[Recognition]  Pine View Named Best in Florida

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2016 Best High Schools rankings, naming Pine View School the best high school in Florida and the seventh best high school in the nation. Pine View, an Osprey school for gifted students, was one of only two Florida schools ranked among the top 20 best high schools in the nation, along with Design & Architecture Senior High in Miami at number 20. Pine View serves intellectually gifted students in grades 2-12. Its high school component, grades 9-12, was among almost 20,000 schools reviewed for the national and state rankings.  

Pine View School

[Recognition]  Ocean Home Spotlights DWY

DWY Landscape Architects in Sarasota was named among the Top 50 Landscape Architects 2016 by Ocean Home magazine. The inaugural list represents the finest landscape architects practicing in the United States and is featured in the April/May 2016 issue of Ocean Home, which also celebrates the magazine’s 10th year in publication. 

DWY Landscape Architects

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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