White God wins the 2015 Sarasota Film Festival Narrative Feature prize; The End of the Tour wins Narrative Audience Award; Walking Under Water wins Documentary Feature prize; Actors Blythe Danner, Jane Seymour and Rachel Weiszamong 17th Annual Festival Attendees

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White God wins the 2015

Sarasota Film Festival Narrative Feature prize


The End of the Tour wins Narrative Audience Award


Walking Under Water wins Documentary Feature prize


Actors Blythe Danner, Jane Seymour and Rachel Weisz

among 17th Annual Festival Attendees


Sarasota, Florida – (April 18, 2015) – The 2015 Sarasota Film Festival announced this year’s jury and audience award winners at a ceremony at the historic Sarasota Opera House. Kornel Mundruczo’s Cannes award-winning White God took home this year’s Narrative Feature Jury prize. Walking Under Water, directed by Eliza Kubarska, was the Documentary Jury Prize winner. Actors Blythe Danner, Jane Seymour and Rachel Weisz were among this year’s festival attendees.


Four special jury prizes were awarded; in the Narrative Feature Competition category, Radiator directed by Tom Browne took home two Special Jury Prizes, one for Excellence in Acting to Gemma Jones and one for Excellence in Production Design to Sarah Kane. In the Documentary Feature Competition category, a Special Jury Prize was awarded to Almost There, directed by Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, for complex hands-on storytelling. A second Special Jury Prize for Artistic Portraiture was awarded to Scott Teems’ Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey.


The festival’s Independent Visions Award, presented by FACTORY 25, went to Lamb, directed by Ross Partridge. In addition, the jury gave a Best Ensemble Cast Award to Uncertain Terms, directed by Nathan Silver, and an Excellence in Cinematography Award to Adam Ginsberg for Tired Moonlight.


The festival’s Shorts Jury awarded Angel Kristi Williams’ Charlotte for their Narrative Competition, Meg Smaker’sBoxeadora for their Documentary Competition, and Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow their Animation Competition.


The Terry Porter Visionary Award went to Khalik Allah for Field Niggas, and the Tangerine Juice Award went to Maya Vitkova for Viktoria.


This year’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was The End of the Tour, directed by James Ponsoldt.


The Audience Award for Best Documentary was presented to The Surgery Ship, directed by Madeleine Hetherton.


The Best in World Cinema Audience Award went to The Connection, directed by Cédric Jimenez.


Pony and director Candice Carella won the Audience Award for Best Short Film.


In addition, I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS’ Blythe Danner received the Impact Award, Ondi Timoner received the Dramatic Storytelling in Documentary Award for BRAND: A SECOND COMING. Rachel Weisz presented director Tom Browne the Emerging World Cinema Auteur Award for their film RADIATOR, and Lynda Obst received the Polly Platt Award for Producing.  Charles E. Williams received the Poitier Family Award.

“We had a very competitive line up this year.  It is an honor for us to award and spotlight these talented filmmakers for the 17th installment of our festival,” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “These films thrive on genuine passion and ambition, which is a sentiment we truly capitalize on at the Sarasota Film Festival.  We continue to lay the groundwork and look forward to many more engaging and exciting years ahead.”


Congratulations to the 2015 winners of The Sarasota Film Festival Awards:


Narrative Feature Competition Winner

White God

Director – Kornél Mundruczó


Narrative Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Acting


Actor – Gemma Jones

Director – Tom Browne


Narrative Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Production Design


Production Designer – Sarah Kane

Director – Tom Browne


Documentary Feature Competition Winner

Walking Under Water

Director – Eliza Kubarska


Documentary Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Complex Hands-on Storytelling

Almost There

Directors – Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden


Documentary Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Artistic Portraiture

Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey

Director – Scott Teems


Independent Visions Competition Winner

Presented by Factory 25


Director – Ross Partridge


Independent Visions

Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Cast

Uncertain Terms

Director – Nathan Silver


Independent Visions

Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Cinematography

Tired Moonlight

Cinematographer – Adam Ginsberg


Shorts Narrative Competition


Director – Angel Kristi Williams


Shorts Documentary Competition


Director – Meg Smaker


Shorts Animation Competition

World of Tomorrow

Director – Don Hertzfeldt


Audience Award Winner

Best Narrative Feature

The End of the Tour

Director – James Ponsoldt


Audience Award Winner

Best Documentary Feature

The Surgery Ship

Director – Madeleine Hetherton


Audience Award Winner

Best Short Film


Director – Candice Carella


Audience Award Winner

Best in World Cinema

The Connection

Director – Cédric Jimenez


The Jurors


Narrative Feature

David Edelstein – Chief Film Critic, New York Magazine

Louis Black – Co-founder of SXSW and Austin Chronicle

Ilyse McKimme – Lab Director of Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program


Documentary Feature

Steve Dollar – Feature Film Writer, Wall Street Journal

Maureen Masters – Director of Regional Publicity, Magnolia Pictures

Jess Weixler – Actor, APARTMENT TROUBLES


Independent Visions

Matt Grady – Founder, Factory 25

Regina Weinreich – Feature Film Writer, The Huffington Post

Alicia Witt – Actress and singer/songwriter



Leah Meyerhoff – Director (Student Academy Award Winner)
Robin Fryday – Director (Academy Award nominee)
Emily Best – Producer, Founder of Seed & Spark



Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 180 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 17th year, we’re proud to bring the best new and veteran independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community.

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