Greg Kinnear's Directorial Debut to Close 2019 Sarasota Film Festival

Fabrizio Maltese
Greg Kinnear

'Phil' focuses on Phil McGuire (Kinnear), a man struggling with everyday life and attempting to understand what it means to "have it all." Bradley Whitford, Emily Mortimer, Jay Duplass, Taylor Schilling and Luke Wilson also star.

Greg Kinnear's directorial debut feature, Phil, will have its world premiere as the closing night film of the 21st Sarasota Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday. Avi Belkin's documentary Mike Wallace Is Here will serve as the opening night film, while Noble Jones' The Tomorrow Man will screen as the centerpiece film.

“The Sarasota audiences are sure to enjoy two engaging and completely different films at the start and end of our festival. Mike Wallace is a historic figure with a remarkable story, and we are delighted to have Greg Kinnear share the world premiere of his directorial debut,” said Mark Famiglio, chairman and president of the Sarasota Film Festival.

Mike Wallace Is Here uses footage from more than 60 years to look back at Wallace's career before, during and after 60 Minutes, as well as his memorable sit-downs with presidents, stars, gangsters and dictators. Wallace died in 2012 at 93. Following the screening, Belkin and several journalists will sit on a panel to discuss the importance of the news media in 2019 and Wallace's legacy.

Kinnear's Phil focuses on Phil McGuire (Kinnear), a dentist facing a mid-life crisis after the collapse of his marriage and estrangement from his daughter. Struggling with everyday life and attempting to understand what it means to "have it all" after a patient (Bradley Whitford) unexpectedly commits suicide, Phil goes on a darkly comedic quest to find out what possibly could have gone wrong. Emily Mortimer, Jay Duplass, Taylor Schilling and Luke Wilson also star.

During the fest's awards ceremony, to be held on April 13, Blythe Danner will receive the SFF Icon Award, and Anne Heche will be presented the SFF Career Tribute Award. Additionally, Belkin, Kinnear, Danner and Heche are all set to participate in the fest's "In Conversation With" series.

"We are honored to present awards to Blythe Danner and Anne Heche, whose work over the years have entertained audiences and who could not be more worthy of special, distinguished recognition,” Famiglio said.

The directorial debut of Jones, Tomorrow Man stars Danner and John Lithgow in their first onscreen collaboration. The love story centers on two eccentric individuals who find each other in the twilight of their lives.

The Sarasota Film Festival is set to run April 5-14 in Sarasota, Florida.