The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) has been held annually since 1999 in Sarasota, Florida. The festival is held in April and has become one of the top ten independent festivals in North America. Sarasota Film Festival's mission is 'to present unique and high-quality cinema in a festival atmosphere for the purpose of educating, stimulating and entertaining audiences' and remains its guide as it selects and organizes in-festival and year-around activities. Through the years, many of cinema's leading actors, directors and filmmakers were honored, including Alan Alda, Robert Altman, Kevin Bacon, Steve Buscemi, Leslie Caron, Chevy Chase, Patricia Clarkson, Billy Crystal, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Falk, Marcia Gay Harden, Woody Harrelson, Rutger Hauer, Tippi Hedren, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, Norman Jewison, Shirley Jones, Kevin Kline, William H Macy, Rita Moreno, Edward Norton, Sidney Pollack, Gena Rowlands, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Patty Smith, Patrick Stewart, Charlize Theron, Robert Towne, Stanley Tucci, Liv Ullman, Jon Voight and Paula Wagner.
In addition, SFF developed a national award-winning education and outreach program involving over 10.000 students during the festival, offered the community free year-round Moonlight Movies and monthly Screenwriters' Circle workshops.
The festival has worked with many non-profit organizations including: FSU/Asolo Acting Conservatory, Film School of Florida State University, Ringling College of Art and Design, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, First Step of Sarasota, Florida Film Commission, Florida West Coast Symphony, Girls, Inc., John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, State College of Florida, Manatee County Arts Council, Rowlett Magnet School for the Performing Arts, Sarasota County Arts Council, School Board of Sarasota County, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, United Nations Development Fund for Women, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, YMCA Community Coalition for Children, Young Professionals Group of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, The Warren Backpack Program and UNIFEM.