Sarasota Film Festival & Sarasota County Schools Announces REEL TALK! Student Film Contest

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Sarasota Film Festival & Sarasota County Schools Announces

REEL TALK! Student Film Contest

Sarasota, Florida – December  13, 2018 – The Sarasota Film Festival and Sarasota County Schools announced a new partnership today to kickoff the “REEL TALK! Student Film Contest,” to inspire students to craft positive digital entertainment through the production of public service announcements (PSAs). With the new generation of students using social and digital media on a consistent basis, the contest aims to encourage students to leave a lasting, positive digital legacy by creating their own shorts that engage with their community. The Sarasota Film Festival, now in its 21st year, running April 5-14, 2019, will create a new category in the Young Filmmaker Showcase for this initiative.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Sarasota County Schools to launch this exciting new contest for the next wave of storytellers and filmmakers and help these students to create a long-term, artistic digital footprint,” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “Engaging with the Sarasota Film Festival community and the next generation is a priority and we hope our efforts to involve students in the arts industry will help encourage stimulating use of social and digital media.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Sarasota Film Festival to teach our students about positive ways to use social and digital media,” noted Dr. Laura Kingsley, chief academic officer, Sarasota County Schools. “This contest provides an opportunity for our students to showcase their creativity while promoting social good. I am hopeful many of our students will enter the contest and create public service announcements that truly make a difference in our community.”

The contest will be open to students at the traditional Sarasota public schools, where students will be provided with social and digital tutorials, while the festival will provide film screenings in the school as well as a filmmaking workshop and boot camp. Four winners will be selected, one in the Middle School category (grades 6-8), two in High School (one in freshman and sophomore grades, and an overall school district winner. In addition, the public will vote for their favorite PSA or People’s Choice Winner, at a special screening.

Registration for the contest opens on December 18th, 2018 through January 9th, 2019. Students can register online at Submissions will be due February 11, 2019, with reviews and voting happening throughout February and March. The People’s Choice winner will be announced March 7th, 2019, followed by the official contest winners on April 4th, 2019 prior to the festival, April 5 – 14, 2019.

Additional information on the festival can be found on the Sarasota Film Festival website at:

Please find art for the contest available here.


Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 100’s of films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 21st year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops. This year the festival will take place April 5th – 14th, 2019.


Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit

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