FLORENCE, Alabama. – The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival begins Thursday, March 1, with film screenings, professional panels and gatherings of professional and amateur filmmakers from across Alabama and around the world.
The four-day festival begins its 10th-anniversary year with free screenings of entries on the student, faculty and professional levels of competition. Films accepted for the 2007 festival will be shown on the UNA campus as well as in public venues throughout the surrounding area.
The initial day of the festival also includes a free afternoon panel discussion on the topic “Breaking In – Just How Do You Get Started in the Film Industry?” Screenwriters, actors, casting agents, producers, and technical experts will participate in a panel discussion that begins at 4 p.m. in Loft of the Guillot University Center of the UNA campus.
The festival continues Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. with an informal gathering and discussion titled “Sweet Home Alabama: Filmmaking from Mobile to Muscle Shoals.” Local officials, filmmakers, and film-industry recruiters will attend this reception and celebration of filmmaking across the state. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Keynote Room, 310 N. Pine St., Florence.
Other free festival panels and workshops include:
Friday, March 2
“Why Film in the Tri-States?” (10 a.m.-Noon, Loft of UNA’s Guillot University Center) – Representatives from Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi‘s various state and city film commissions will discuss resources, benefits, and incentives for filming in the tri-state region. Panelists will include Ward Emling, Mississippi Film Office; Eva Golson, Mobile Film Office; Tonya Holly, Alabama Filmmakers Association; Les Edwards, Memphis and Shelby County Film Office; Mark Stricklin, Birmingham/Jefferson Film Office; and Linda Swann, Alabama Film Office. The moderator will be Giles McDaniel, director of the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center.
“Children’s Filmmaking Workshop” (10 a.m.-1 p.m., Children’s Museum of the Shoals, 2810 Darby Drive, Florence) – It’s never too early to teach next year’s prize filmmakers the basics of filmmaking. This workshop will be taught by Huntsville-based Don Tingle, Director of the North Alabama Film Co-op’s summer “MovieMakers, Filmmaking Workshop for Kids.” The three-hour seminar-style workshop will summarize the basics of movie making at an age appropriate level. The emphasis of the workshop is on learning practical skills, easy techniques and, most importantly, teamwork. The seminar will include demonstrations of techniques and equipment. The workshop is currently full, but call (256) 765-0500 to be placed on a waiting list.
” (1-3 p.m., 124 Communication Building, UNA) – Screenwriter, novelist and UNA alumnus Chris Halvorson will conduct an open workshop focusing on the basics of screenwriting, including developing an outline, approaching a story through characters, arcs, and the three-act breakdown. Halvorson has recently sold movie rights for his novel, The Santa Suit. This workshop is sponsored by UNA’s Department of English and The UNA Writers’ Series.
“Animation Workshop for Children” (2-4:30 p.m., Children’s Museum of the Shoals, 2810 Darby Drive, Florence) – Steve Richerson of Concrete Dream Pictures will teach a hands-on stop-motion workshop for young people using Boinx Istopmotion software. Istopmotion is a simple and inexpensive Macintosh-based software used to create astonishing works of animation (aka Claymation) and time-lapse recording. Before the workshop begins, there will be a surprise visit by two special guests who have provided voiceovers for a number of popular animated works.
“Acting for Film Workshop” (3:30-5 p.m. Room 124, Communications Building, UNA) – Actors David “Shark” Fralick (The Young and the Restless, Gone in 60 Seconds), Natalie Canerday (Sling Blade, October Sky), Danny Vinson (Walk the Line, Two Soldiers), and Will Stutts (Trading Places, George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation) will introduce participants to the basics of screen acting.
The festival’s Welcome/Information Center will be open daily through Saturday, March 3, at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., downtown Florence. Event tickets, programs, schedules, maps and official festival merchandise (including caps, T-shirts and other collectibles) will be available at the center from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.