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From Herald, October 25, 2021


Open calls for young filmmakers looking to share their art with the Sarasota region are underway for the third annual Visions of the Black Experience Film Festival.

This year, organizers have expanded the footprint of the festival with an inaugural scholarship award for local up-and-coming filmmakers.

The scholarship is open to any filmmaker 25 years old or younger who resides in Sarasota or Manatee counties, with awards ranging in value from $500 to $1,000, said Sarasota Film Festival Managing Director Paul Ratner.

“We wanted to create a series that specifically is focused on experiences of Black Americans,” Ratner said. “We started this three years ago, and now it’s in a new edition with this scholarship.”

A collaboration between SFF, Boxser Diversity Initiative, New College of Florida, the Multicultural Health Institute, and the Manasota Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Visons festival aims to share young filmmakers’ viewpoint of “historical, social, and cultural aspects of Black life” with the local community.

The festival will run from Nov. 12 to Nov. 21 and will showcase documentaries, narrative films, and shorts in both live and virtual formats. Attendees can participate in live panel discussions and opportunities to meet filmmakers.

To apply to the Visons of the Black Experience Film Festival’s Emerging Filmmaker scholarship program, visit  Submissions will be accepted until Nov. 15.