'Mr. Chibbs' Screening Part of Dynamic Sarasota Film Festival

Arts & Culture

Some of the Gulf Coast’s aspiring athletes will get the chance to meet with retired NBA point guard Kenny Anderson at a screening of the biographical documentary Mr. Chibbs this year as part of a special event organized by the Sarasota Film Festival. The bridging of the film and sports world in a region working tirelessly to boost its reputation in both fields represents just one of the ways festival organizers this year hope to further engage the community. “The notion of the Sarasota Film Festival becoming a tradition entrenched in the community is already the case,” says SFF President Mark Famiglio. “We don’t want it to become a stodgy old operation. This year, it’s anything but.”

The screening of Mr. Chibbs, announced exclusively to SRQ Media Group, will be held for students of nearby IMG Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County. The movie, directed by Jill Campbell and produced by Coastal Transportation President Barry Greenstein, follows Anderson’s life during a mid-life crisis following a DUI arrest and the death of his mother while exploring chapters of his past including a revelation about being the subject of sexual abuse. In addition to the screening, students will attend motivation speaking engagements with Anderson.

The festival, scheduled to run this year from March 31 through April 9, will announce its tentpole films today (check SRQ Backlot at 10am) and will release its complete program of films at a special event at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Monday. Those involved in the programming promise the selection of movies will satisfy a Sarasota audience famously hungry for engagement with film. “I always describe it as a smart cinephile crowd,” says Joe Neumeier, who this year serves as co-creative director alongside Michael Dunaway.

Neumeier previously covered the Sarasota Film Festival for the New York Daily News before becoming a juror and later joined in programming for the festival. While he could not reveal too many details about this year’s program, he says he;s bursting at the seams to announce the many internationally celebrated filmmakers expected in town this year. “What you can get from this program is the eclecticism and the range of the cinematic experience,” he says. From films on war to movies on modern romance, documentaries on environmental issues and shorts and veteran experiences, the festival is set to explore issues social and cinematic. 

Famiglio says the festival wants to engage the growing Sarasota community as well, and that organizers take note of the changing population. As more condos and hotels rise in town, the festival is bracing for dynamic changes in the community while continuing to bolster the event’s worldwide reputation. 

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