Society & Culture

UGA’s Robert Osborne Film Festival announces 2011 hiatus

Athens, Ga. -Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival, an annual non-profit event of the University of Georgia 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, primetime host of Turner Classic Movies.

The festival celebrated its sixth annual edition 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-winning Best Picture champs. 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 underway 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 was held in the 2,000-seat Athens Classic Center theatre, which was 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. Most prints shown were pristine archival 35mm prints from many of the major studios.

“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 festival co-founder and director Pamela Kohn.

Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including 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 or follow Grady on Twitter at