Athens, Ga. – Three Academy Award winners and several film industry veterans will be special guests at Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival, Thursday through Sunday, March 25-28, at The Classic Center in Athens. The festival is an annual nonprofit event of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Actors Marshall Bell, Corey Feldman, Cloris Leachman and Caren Marsh-Doll will join authors John Bengtson and Eddie Muller, producers Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos and Leon Vitali, and Turner Classic Movies’ vice president Tom Brown as special guests.
Marshall Bell has acted in both television and film for more than 25 years, including a role as an emotionally distant father in Stand by Me, which will be shown on Friday, March 26, at 4 p.m. Joining him will be Corey Feldman whose film career includes Gremlins, The Goonies, and his breakout role in Stand by Me.
Cloris Leachman’s career includes a long history of roles in television and film including the Mary Tyler Moore Show and an Oscar-winning performance in The Last Picture Show. In addition to her Oscar, she has eight primetime Emmys and one daytime Emmy to her credit. She played the role of Agnes in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which will be shown on Friday, March 26, at 8 p.m.
A professional dancer and actress, Caren Marsh-Doll, served as the Judy Garland’s stand-in for Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee, The Wizard of Oz. She also worked with Garland on the Hollywood musicals Babes in Arms and Girl Crazy. She is the author of Hollywood’s Babe-Dancing Through Oz.
John Bengtson is the author of the critically acclaimed series of books, Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin, and its Buster Keaton counterpart, Silent Echoes. He will be the featured guest for the film festival’s first silent film screening, Steamboat Bill, Jr. on Saturday, March 27 at 4 p.m. The screening will also feature a special live music accompaniment by local band, Kenosha Kid.
Eddie Muller is founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation and has been instrumental in rescuing America’s noir heritage by restoring and preserving (with the UCLA Film & Television Archive) nearly lost classics. He will share his knowledge of film noir at the Friday, 1 p.m. screening of Double Indemnity.
Gray Frederickson and Fred Roos have long associations with Francis Ford Coppola, having worked with him on The Godfather, Apocalypse Now and this year’s festival selection, The Godfather II, for which they won an Academy Award. The pair will discuss the film on Saturday, March 27 at 8 p.m.
Hollywood veteran Leon Vitali worked with legendary producer/director Stanley Kubrick in a variety of roles on four of his films including The Shining, the festival’s midnight film on Friday, March 26.
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic To Catch a Thief will open the festival on Thursday, March 25. Turner Classic Movies’ Tom Brown will host the evening and discuss the film. Brown oversees all original programming at TCM which includes the Emmy nominated, Cary Grant: A Class Apart.
Guests will appear on stage after screenings for a candid discussion with hosts Osborne and members of the audience. Guests present on Saturday morning March 27, will form a panel and discuss “Social Change: How Film Reflects and Inspires a Shift in the Collective Cultural Climate – Propaganda or Art?” with Osborne. The panel discussion is free, open to all and will take place at 10 a.m. at The Classic Center Theater.
The movie lineup for the festival includes To Catch a Thief, Double Indemnity, Stand by Me, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Shining, All About Eve, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Godfather II and The Wizard of Oz.
For the four-day festival, the 2,000-seat Classic Center theater will be transformed into a world-class movie palace with the installation of a 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,” said Osborne. “The big screen gives a different dimension and vitality to these extraordinary films.”
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. A variety of pass options are available. Ticket prices are $10 per individual film. Students and UGA Alumni Association members can purchase individual film tickets for $8 with valid identification. Special $5 tickets for children 12 and under will be available at the box office the day of the show for Sunday’s showing of The Wizard of Oz.
Tickets for the festival’s opening reception at Hotel Indigo are available at www.therialtoroom.com. For more information on the festival, see www.robertosbornefilmfestival.com. Note that the guest list is always subject to change.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu.