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FilmColumbia Celebrates its 10th Year

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"The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus", starring the late Heath Ledger

The four-day movie marathon known as FilmColumbia, which was founded in 1999, comes to the village of Chatham from October 22 - 25.  A star-studded lineup of more than 30 international screenings, plus panel discussions, script readings, parties, and more, the festival “has something for everyone,” according to Peter Biskind, executive director and co-programmer with Larry Kardish, of FilmColumbia. This year, he adds, “We have more comedies than before—our sneak preview for Saturday night has created a lot of buzz in the industry.”  With their career connections to the film industry, Columbia County residents Biskind, a Vanity Fair writer and author of many books on film, and Kardish, a filmmaker, curate the selection of new works each year from filmmakers around the world, making FilmColumbia one of the most diverse, intimate, and respected cinematic events on the east coast.

Highlights of the 2009 schedule include such noteworthy releases as director Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, the last movie to star actor Heath Ledger, who died in the midst of production. The film would’ve died too, Biskind explains, were it not for the unique script. “The characters plunge through a mirror confronting their true selves and changing their physical selves. That premise allowed three other actors—Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law, all friends of Ledger—to be incorporated into the story without revisions.”

Rural Intelligence ArtsOther movies showing this year at FilmColumbia spotlight historical characters (Mussolini in Vincere; Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria; Barack Obama in By the People); political drama (The White Ribbon, Axis of Good, The Men Who Stare At Goats); documentary work (Living In Emergency, I.O.U.S.A); comedy (The Maid, the Coen Brothers, A Serious Man, and the Saturday night sneak); and melodrama (That Evening Sun, Against the Current, Fish Tank), plus numerous special interest films and cutting-edge adult animation. Many of the screenings are followed by Q&A sessions in which the director, producer, and/or actors discuss the making of the movie and field questions from the audience.

Produced and organized by Chatham Film Club members, under the direction of Calliope Nicholas, FilmColumbia uses three Chatham village venues—the Crandell Theatre, The Morris Memorial, and the Tracy Memorial—for screenings and special events.

FilmColumbia Festival
October 22 - 25
Individual tickets $5 - $8/members; $2 - $8/students; $7 - $10/non-members
All-Film Pass, $80/members, $110/non-members
Gold Pass to all events, $125/members, $175/non-members.
Chatham Film Club members may use this order form now.
The general public may buy tickets on-line or at the Chatham Bookstore, starting Friday, October 9
Advance purchase highly recommended as most films sell out.
During the festival, some tickets may be available at the Tracy Memorial.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 09/30/09 at 04:08 AM • Permalink