'Messenger' to open Sarasota film fest

This year's event also has three new sidebars

Oren Moverman's military drama "The Messenger," starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone, will serve as the opening-night film at the 11th annual Regal Entertainment Group Sarasota Film Festival, which runs March 27-April 5 in Sarasota, Fla.

This year's fest will offer three new sidebars: a Green Cinema Now! Program and two retrospective presentations, "Being Hal Ashby: Mind of a Hollywood Rebel" and "Environmental Spaces: Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Film."

Among this year's special events are "Luncheon Under the Banyans" at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, "In Conversation With Bill Paxton," "In Conversation With Christo and Jeanne-Claude," "World Cinema Film & Celebration" and "2009 Filmmaker Tribute."