“AIR BAND” — a short 1980s narrative shot largely in Huntsville’s RollerTime skate rink — is one of the local films submitted to the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence.
Festival reels on
UNA hosts 10th annual George Lindsey event
By Danielle Komis
Movie buffs, start your engines.
Grab a bucket of popcorn and a Coke and head west to the 10th annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence this weekend to check out films from local, national and international filmmakers. The festival spans over Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with films showing in several different locations. All are free and open to the public.
The film festival features 100 entries that range from the locally produced “AIR BAND” — a short 1980s narrative shot largely in Huntsville’s RollerTime skate rink — to Oscar-nominated “Binta and the Great Idea” — a short narrative made in collaboration with UNICEF about children in Africa.
“It (the festival) has grown tremendously,” said Terry Pace, a longtime film committee member. “It started out on a very small scale.”
In its first year, the festival, which is named after UNA alumnus George Lindsey, who is best known for his role as Goober Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show,” received only 30 submissions and now has mushroomed into a much larger affair that received about 250 entries from around the globe this year.
However, the film committee created an award to encourage local entries with its Sweet Home Alabama Award — for the best film made entirely or in part in Alabama — in honor of the late Clyde “Sappo” Black, a friend of Lindsey. The award carries a $2,000 cash prize. More than 30 entries qualify for the award this year, organizers said.
Festival categories include documentary, short and full-length narrative, animation, music video, as well as similar student categories.
Films with famous faces in them include “A.W.O.L.” with David Morse from TV’s “House” and John C. McGinley from “Scrubs,” as well as “Beautiful Dreamer,” featuring James Denton from “Desperate Housewives.”
Oscar winner event
Along with the films, the festival also features “An Evening with Ernest Borgnine” on Friday night from 7 to 8:30 in which Oscar-winner Borgnine will discuss his 60-year screen career in such classics as “The Dirty Dozen” and his contributions to “The Simpsons,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and David Letterman’s “Top 10.” Tickets for the event are $15. The night will continue with an after party featuring well-known Shoals musicians.
The party continues Saturday night with the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival Awards Show from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Darrell Hazelrig of Huntsville, who wrote, directed and produced “AIR BAND,” said he is looking forward to the festival. “AIR BAND” — a nostalgic piece based on his youth in the 1980s — has already been featured in a Palm Springs, Calif., festival and a Birmingham festival.
“It’s a good festival and it’s local so you get to hang out with other Alabama filmmakers, so that’s always fun,” Hazelrig said.
If you go
What: George Lindsey UNA Film Festival on school’s campus in Florence
When: Thursday through March 4
Admission to film screenings is free.
On the Net: For film screening schedule or other information on the film festival, visit www.lindseyfilmfest.com.
If you want to meet an Oscar winner or find out who won a film award, these events are for you:
When: “An Evening with Ernest Borgnine” on Friday and UNA Film Festival Awards Show on Saturday
Where: Keynote Room, 310 N. Pine St., Florence
Call: (256) 765-4592 for reservations
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