Friday, April 11, 2008

Soaking it up at the Sarasota Film Fest

Top Left to bottom right: Brentwood Elementary kids are eager to jump after
watching Summerwind Skippers perform • Summerwind on cover of Herald-Trib •
Lee hamming before ABC news interview • Magician Elia tries juggling in the ropes •
Fun in the sun • Sarasota has the best signage ("Let's Go Clubbing" & "Seeking
Someone to Share Gummy Bears") • Musicians at farmer's market •
Helen at awesome bookstore

The Sarasota Film Fest rocks! Not only did they have a nice line-up of films, but the location-- by a gorgeous Gulf Coast beach--and festive parties are tough to beat. Plus, my pal and documentary consultant Sarah Jo Marks of At Risk Films and Kelsy, Calli, Shane & Lee of the Summerwind Skippers were able to come, which made for a completely awesome trip.

SFF matched us with a ACI, a local company that generously sponsored the Summerwind Skippers to attend the festival. With Summerwind on board, the festival's educational outreach department worked with the Sarasota School Board Supervisor of Physical Education to plan a couple fun programs. First, we visited Brentwood Elementary School; 300 kids in kindergarden, 4th and 5th grade attended a 1.5 hour assembly in which they got to see clips from the film, a live jump rope show and participate in a an interactive demo. They begged for a jump rope team to start up at their school.
The following morning we were surprised and stoked to see a great front-page picture in the Herald Tribune of the Summerwind Skippers mid-flip in the Brentwood show. See photo above and check out additional photos in the newspaper's image gallery here.

Next up was an assembly for 200+ 8th graders at Booker Middle school, the city's most diverse campus. Booker was also a lot of fun -- enthusiastic kids with great questions about both the sport and the filmmaking process. And of course, they were also psyched to jump.

Other highlights: hearing that Summerwind was picked up from the airport in a limo, seeing Sarah Jo on a panel about distribution, sunset swim, Miami Rice Pudding ("have a rice day!"), the doc Great Speeches from a Dying World, the magicians (more soon), the farmers market and dancing our hearts out at the closing night party.

1 comment:

KelsyMoe said...

We had such an amazing time on this trip! It was awesome to have the opportunity to share jump rope with the local community, be a part of a "fancy smanchy" festival, and play in the sun. The best parts of the trip had to have been being picked up in a limo, jumping for excited elementary/middle school-aged kids, dancing alongside the "black-light performers" and "meeting" Steve Buscemi. They sure knew how to treat us like celebrities down in Sarasota! Summerwind Skippers give this festival a BIG thumbs up!

Thanks for making it happen, Helen! You rule! :)

Summerwind Skippers