Review of Sarasota Film Festival’s Opening Night Film: “Other People” by Director, Chris Kelly; Producers, Ada Scott, Naomi Scott, Sam Bisbee

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By Pam Sherrod

Red Carpet Event/Arrival of Guests

Much like the iconic glamour of the annual Oscar night in Los Angeles, on April 1, 2016, the Sarasota Film Festival opened its 18th season with a glittery array of participants who arrived and walked along the Red Carpet to view the first of several notable films.

Other People

Director, Chris Kelly

Producers, Ada Scott, Naomi Scott, Sam Bisbee

Other People, with its comic treatment of death and other life-changing events, was featured as the opening night film at Sundance, and again, on the opening night of Sarasota’s Film Festival.

Written and directed by Chris Kelly, a Saturday Night Live staff writer, the plot revolves around David, a gay T.V. sitcom writer in New York who returns home to Sacramento when his mother is dying of cancer.

Saturday Night Live alumni, Molly Shannon, tackled the role of a mother fighting cancer while she tries to unite her estranged family members with the time that she has left. For David, the pace of life in Sacramento is considerably slower – nearly suffocating – and it offers him considerably fewer social choices, particularly for his gay lifestyle. The audience, too, can feel a deep sense of inertia, both in the aura of a city that hasn’t changed much, and the deliberate pacing of the film. David faces more than just the crisis surrounding his mother’s illness; he’s reached a stalemate in his career and as well as his broken relationship, all of which force him to contemplate universal questions about immortality, faith, identity and the real meaning and purpose of life.




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