Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival, an annual nonprofit event of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will not be held in 2011 due to the state of the economy.
“After our best year yet we’re obliged to take the festival, which I’ve been honored to have carry my name, off the boards for the present because of the current fragile economy,” said Osborne, prime-time host of Turner Classic Movies.
The festival celebrated its sixth year in March 2010. A successful one-movie “trial run” of Singing in the Rain in 2003 convinced Osborne and UGA that Athens was ready for an expanded festival.
At its conclusion, the festival had shown 50 movies, with many featured films being Academy Award best picture winners. Film festival guests over the years have included many Academy Award winners and film industry veterans such as Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney, Louise Fletcher and others who brought a bit of Hollywood to Athens.
“While it was under way during the past seven years, I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more and feel very enriched by all the people I worked with and met while in Athens at festival time,” said Osborne. “I thank them for their enthusiasm and support. It was a wonderful experience I’ll never forget and hopefully we may be able to do it again in the future.”
“The festival will be missed tremendously by the Athens community and by those who traveled from across the nation to be part of this four-day celebration of classic films and classic guests, hosted in the Classic City,” said Pamela Kohn, festival co-founder and director.