Sarasota Actress Wins Big At Italian Film Festival

Sarasota Actress Wins Big At Italian Film Festival

Local actress Carolyn Michel recently won the "Best Actress of the Year" award in Aosta, Italy at the Oniros Film Awards. Michel was recognized for her portrayal of "Tanya," a hard-drinking, smoking, Russian Cossack stunt rider in the film "Katia."

The film, written, produced and directed by Sarasota resident and former circus performer Naida Joanides, is about three women whose best friend is abused and ultimately killed, and how they all deal with that atrocity. Joanides created this project from scratch, with shooting taking place after Hurricane Irma last year - it was filmed entirely in Sarasota with the help of the circus and arts community. "Katia," which has a runtime of 20 minutes and had a budget of just $15,000, was screened at the Sarasota Film Festival earlier this year.

The film was nominated for Oniros Film Awards in four categories; Michel triumphed in the "Best Actress of the Year" category over five other artists culled from the hundreds of films submitted. Michel, known locally for her acting at the Asolo Rep, Florida Studio Theatre and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, has performed on Broadway with Sid Caesar, performed 24 seasons with the Asolo Repertory Theatre, and done five one-person plays at Florida Studio Theatre.

"It was a wonderful role to portray and to say I am extremely honored and surprised to have won is an understatement," said Michel. "I am beyond thrilled to be recognized by the Oniros Film Awards. If I had known I was going to win I would have worn fancier shoes!"

The Oniros Film Awards is a monthly and annual IMDb qualifying competition based in Aosta, Italy, which celebrates films from all around the world with awards in different categories and genres. The OFA allows filmmakers to submit their projects to get it judged by award-winning industry professionals specializing in various fields and compete with other talented filmmakers. The OFA's mission is to discover high-quality and ambitious films, to promote filmmakers' works, and to help them realize their dreams.

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