Screenwriters Colony is delighted to develop our growing partnership with the Sarasota Film Festival through a collaboration with Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida. Board of Directors member Mark Famiglio is underwriting the residencies of two Colony “alumni” — John Henry Summerour (SWC, ’06) and Saschka Unseld (Mentor, 2016 VR Colony). The artists will spend two weeks on the Manasota Key, in the company of other playwrights and visual artists, developing new creative projects for film and virtual reality storytelling. Their residency culminates on closing weekend of SFF, and the writers will participate in festival juries and programming.
Saschka Unseld is a German-born writer and director. After directing multiple awards winning short films including the 2013 Pixar short The Blue Umbrella, he co-founded Oculus Story Studio where he now operates as Creative Director, helping to explore the future of VR storytelling. His latest Story Studio VR Experience “Dear Angelica” and his independent VR Dance project Through You both world premiered at Sundance 2017.
John Henry Summerour grew up in Chickamauga, GA, and earned his degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Films include the narrative feature Sahkanaga (2011) and the recent documentary portrait Saultopaul (2016). He is the recipient of the Screenwriters Colony residency on Nantucket, the IFP Narrative Lab Fellowship in NYC, TheFilmSchool’s Great American Storyteller Prize in Seattle and the Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema. In 2017 John is studying Spanish at the Berges Institute and volunteering for Make the Road New York, a grassroots organization in his neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, that works to protect the civil rights of immigrants, LGBTQ, low-income & working-class communities of color.
The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat in Englewood, Florida founded in 2001. It brings accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers from all over the world for residencies on its historic beachfront campus, among them, Pulitzer, Grammy, Emmy and MacArthur Award winners.
The Sarasota Film Festival is in its 19th year and runs March 31-April 9, 2017.