Robert Osborne announces special guests for 2006 festival

Athens, Ga. – Actresses Patricia Neal, Parker Posey and Anne Rutherford; stunt doubles Vic and Wendy Leech Armstrong; director and CEO of the American Film Institute Jean Firstenberg, as well as industry veterans Angela Allen and Mickey Cottrell, will be special guests at Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival, March 23-26, at the Classic Center in Athens.

Osborne, the host of Turner Classic Movies and columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, is thrilled with the line up. “Our guests this year represent every aspect of the motion picture industry,” said Osborne.  “We are honored to welcome them all to Athens.”

Patricia Neal received an Oscar for her performance in Hud in 1963.  A graduate of Northwestern University, her other credits include The Fountainhead, The Breaking Point, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Subject Was Roses, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is one of Osborne’s selections this year.

Parker Posey was named Queen of the Indies by Time Magazine for her appearances in some 30 independent films. She has appeared in three of Christopher Guest‘s mock documentaries: Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and is currently filming a fourth, For Your Consideration.  Best in Show screens at the Osborne Festival this year.

Anne Rutherford has had a long career starring and co-starring in films, playing on the big screen in the 1930s and 1940s, and on TV as Aggie Harrison (Suzanne Pleshette’s TV mother) in The Bob Newhart Show of the 1970s.  She will be with Robert Osborne for the Sunday screening of Gone With The Wind, in which she also starred.

Vic Armstrong is one of the cinema’s most accomplished and prolific stunt men. He has been working for over 30 years on both sides of the Atlantic, in a variety of films.  Vic’s wife, Wendy Leech, is an accomplished stunt woman who has worked on films in the Star Wars and Superman series.  Both worked with director Steven Spielberg on Raider’s Of The Lost Ark.

Jean Firstenberg has served 25 years as the director and CEO of the American Film Institute. During her tenure leading AFI, the institute has matured, progressed and received increased recognition as one of America’s greatest cultural and educational resources.

Other special guests include Angela Allen, who has worked with directors from John Huston to Franco Zeffirelli; Mickey Cottrell, actor, producer and agent; Rory Flynn, daughter of Errol Flynn; and Petrine Mitchum, daughter of Robert Mitchum.

Guests will appear on stage after the screenings of their films for a candid discussion with host Osborne and members of the audience. Those guests present on Friday morning will appear on a panel discussion about classic films with Osborne. The panel discussion is free and open to all and will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Classic Center Theater.  Those guests present on Sunday will appear at the Closing Brunch at 11:30 a.m. in the Classic Center Fire Hall. A limited number of tickets to the closing brunch are available for $30.

The movie line-up for the festival includes North by Northwest, Ed Wood, The Third Man, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Raiders of the Lost Ark, On the Waterfront, Best in Show and Gone with the Wind.

“Our guests this year span the golden age of Hollywood movie-making,” noted Nate Kohn, festival director and associate professor of telecommunications in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. “We urge everyone to come out to the festival and meet these cinema greats.”

For the three-and-a half day festival, the 2,000-seat Classic Center theatre will be transformed into a world-class movie palace with the installation of a 60-foot motion picture screen and state-of-the-art 35mm projection and sound systems.

“It’s an exciting adventure to see these films the way they were meant to be seen,” explained Osborne. “The big screen gives a different dimension and vitality to these extraordinary films.” Osborne said that he also plans to include original trailers and cartoons so that festival goers can have the complete movie experience.

All films, with the exception of the Saturday matinee showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark, will require a paid ticket for admission. The matinee will be free and open to the public, but requires tickets that can be picked up at the Classic Center box office.

Festival tickets can be purchased separately or as a package at the Classic Center box office, online at http://www.classiccenter.com, or by calling 800/918-6393. Ticket prices will be $10 per individual film or $60 for a pass to all films and panel discussions. Students can purchase individual film tickets for $8 or a pass to all films and panel discussions for $45 with valid student identification. UGA Alumni Association members can purchase a pass for $50 with membership card.

Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival is an annual nonprofit event of UGA’s Grady College. For more information, visit http://www.grady.uga.edu/osbornefest.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication provides seven undergraduate majors: advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. In addition, the college offers two graduate degrees, and it is home to the Peabody Awards, the premier program in broadcasting.