The 2008 Sarasota Film Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary year by kicking off with opening-night film The Deal directed by Steven Schachter and starring William H Macy.

The festival will give its Breakthrough Award to The Lives Of Others director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck. Producer Paula Wagner will present the award.

The Centerpiece Film will be Blind Date starring Stanley Tucci and the closing film will be Battle In Seattle by Stuart Townsend.

Other guests expected to attend include Charlize Theron, Stanley Tucci, Rick Nicita, Ted Hope, Steve Buscemi and Michael Barker.

'As the Sarasota Film Festival heads into our 10th year, it's been amazing to see the growth and development of the festival into one of the largest events in the country,' states Tom Hall, Director of Programming. 'It's been a great decade, and we're so grateful that we've been able to bring together artists, whose work continues to surprise and amaze us, with an appreciative audience who know and love the art of cinema.'

Narrative features in the programme include Alexandra, Battle For Haditha, XXY, Before The Rains, Mister Lonely and Momma's Man. Documentaries include All God's Chiildren, Chris & Don: A Love Story, Durakovo: Village Of Fools, Encounters At The End Of The World, Greensboro: Closer To The Truth, and Young@Heart.

There are competitions for best narrative feature, best documentary feature and independent visions.

Special programmes are devoted to Israel@60 and Ingmar Bergman.

The festival runs April 4-13. For the full programme, visit