Greta Gerwig in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha

Sarasota brings in Baumbach, Bogdanovich and many more for year 14
The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) announced part of its lineup on Tuesday, including Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish. The Sundance award-winning documentary about the often deadly consequences of training animals like killer whales will open the festival on April 5. Closing Night will feature a screening of Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (NYFF50), and this year's Centerpieces include James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, about an unexpected high school relationship, and Barbara Kopple’s Running From Crazy, a documentary about actress Mariel Hemingway (granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway).

In person appearances include Pasadena stars Cheryl Hines and Peter Bogdanovich, while actress Lili Taylor (The Cold Lands) will receive the festival’s Career Achievement in Acting Award and Mariel Hemingway will receive the Impact Award at the Tribute Luncheon on April 12 for her advocacy for suicide prevention.

“As a leader in the cultural life of our community, The Sarasota Film Festival once again looks forward to introducing Sarasota to a new group of superlative films and artists,” says SFF Board President Mark Famiglio. “Our festival continues to thrive in no small part because of the support of our patrons and sponsors, and I know they share our excitement for this year’s event. ”

The festival runs April 5-14 and features more than 180 feature length and short films. SFF will announce the full lineup on March 13. 

Sundance launches four-day LA fest Next Weekend
The Sundance Institute announced on Tuesday a new festival project called Next Weekend, which will run August 8-11 in Los Angeles. Stemming from the NEXT portion of Sundance Film Festival, Next Weekend will highlight “stylistically adventurous films that take a bold approach to storytelling.”

Next Weekend includes films that have screened at NEXT as well as a panel discussion on how films get made, ShortsLab: Los Angeles, a half-day short filmmaking workshop, and eight feature film premieres.

“The best part of independent filmmaking is the freedom to tell your stories your own way, to take risks and not be beholden to convention of any kind,” said President and Founder of Sundance Robert Redford. “At the core of Next Weekend are artists that are taking risks and pushing boundaries. As such, it’s fitting that Sundance Cinemas will be the home for this festival and these films.”

Check out the full press release at Indiewire.

Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways

Cannes success Laurence Anyways coming to America in June
Breaking Glass Pictures announced a June U.S. release for Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, according to Indiewire. The director’s third feature premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes last year, winning the Queer Palm and Best Actress award.

French teacher Laurence (Broken English’s Melvil Poupard) just turned 35 and told his fiancé (I Killed My Mother’s Suzanne Clement) that he wants to become a woman. At 24, Dolan has three impressive films on his resumé, including I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats

“There was this time in the 90s when I saw this film that made me fall in love with a woman, a man, costumes, cinema itself, the art of telling a story,” Dolan told Film Society’s Eugene Hernandez at a cafe on the Rue d'Antibes in Cannes. “That's what I admire most about American cinema.”

Check out the full interview with Dolan and Hernandez here.

Almodóvar's I’m So Excited pumps up the camp with latest trailer
When an average flight goes awry and the flight to Mexico City suddenly turns grim, flight attendants, pilots and passengers attempt to forget the inevitable and face the danger within themselves in Pedro Almodóvar's I’m So Excited. Sony Pictures Classics has not issued a U.S. release date, but the film opens March 8 in Spain and May 3 in the UK. Check out the latest trailer: