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Our mission is to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the contribution of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival and developing year-long programs for the economic, educational and cultural benefit of our community.
In July, 1998, international and independent film enthusiasts founded the Sarasota Film Festival, Inc. (SFF). They sought to create a balanced festival of foreign and domestic film complemented by the participation of the film and entertainment industry.
The following January, SFF launched its first festival. The "mini-festival" featured eight independent films, two premiere screenings, two educational symposiums and a gala fundraiser. Since then, SFF has grown in length, (from three to ten days), attendance (from 2,300 to over 45,000) and scope (from 10 screenings to over 200 films, and adding nationally-recognized education programs, over a dozen special events, and talkbacks and panels with some of the leading voices in film today). Beyond the Festival, SFF has expanded to include year-round activities like the free outdoor Moonlight Movies series in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice; Monday Night Movies at the newly-restored Asolo Theater; Screenwriters' Circle; and more.
The dates of this year's Sarasota Film Festival are April 4-April 13, 2008.