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Sarasota Film Festival Executive Director leaves

Jody Kielbasa, who joined the Sarasota Film Festival in its infancy, is leaving his post as Executive Director. Kielbasa, during his tenure, expanded the scope and depth of the festival each year, culminating in this year’s tenth anniversary extravaganza which included Academy Award Winner Charlize Theron, Liv Ullmann, Stanley Tucci, and more than 200 films. Kielbasa is leaving the festival to pursue other artistic ventures according to the Festival’s Executive Board of Directors.

Mark Famiglio, Executive Board Member and one of the Founding Members of the Sarasota Film Festival, was unanimously elected President of the Board, succeeding Ian Black. Famiglio states, “The Board of Directors and, indeed, the entire community is grateful for Jody’s passion for and commitment to the success of the Festival.” He continues, “Through his efforts over the past ten years, we have become one of this country’s premier film events and have secured our standing in the international film community. The Board, Staff, and I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”

Kielbasa was welcomed as Executive Director of the Sarasota Film Festival when Festival founders hired him to guide its first event. Ten years later, the Sarasota Film Festival is a world class event, strongly supported by the entire Gulf Coast community as well as the film industry. It has become a ‘must’ on the international festival calendar.

Famiglio, a businessman and entrepreneur, says he is excited about the opportunity to continue working with the Board, the staff, and the many supporters of the Festival. “I am eager to meet the challenge of supporting the meteoric rise of the Festival as it continues to achieve regional, national and international prominence.”

“In the early years I found the work at the festival very challenging and over the last several years very rewarding,” said Kielbasa. “My tenure in Sarasota has been one of the proudest accomplishments of my career. I have watched the festival grow from a three-day event with eight films to a stunning and internationally acclaimed ten-day festival. “Along with the Board and staff, we have grown the festival into a major cultural institution not only in Sarasota but the entire Gulf Coast and way beyond. I feel that now, with the festival firmly entrenched; it is time for me to follow my desire to expand my creative and artistic visions in other areas. I wish the Festival the greatest success for the future.”


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