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UNA Press Release

Dates: April 22-24, 1999


Florence, Alabama -- Entertainer George Lindsey, University of North Alabama President Robert L. Potts and UNA assistant professor of journalism Bobbie Hurt announced today the 1999 George Lindsey Television and Film Festival, which will host Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine as the featured artist during the April 22-24 event.

The festival, coordinated by Hurt and run by the UNA Department of Communications and Theatre and the UNA Office of University Relations, will also feature professional and student competitions nationally in various forms of film and video work. The deadline for entries was January 29, 1999 but has been extended to February 26, 1999.

Lindsey, a UNA graduate who attended on an athletic scholarship and who also holds an honorary doctor's degree from the institution, said he wants the festival to be a tool for education, particularly for Alabama high school and college students.

The Lindsey Festival will highlight Borgnine's work in film and television. The festival will have workshops, screenings of the winning entries and an awards gala.

"We found excellent new filmmakers with last year's festival. There is a lot of undiscovered talent out there and I hope this will be a platform for them to show what they can do and then go on to Hollywood. I am proud to be a part of it," Dr. Lindsey said.

"The marvelous thing about any portrait Ernie draws on the screen is that it is always believable. His credibility is unmatched because he is a very sincere person," Dr. Lindsey said.

A Hamden, Connecticut native, Borgnine spent 10 years after high school in the U.S. Navy and rose to rank of chief gunner's mate. Afterwards, he enrolled in the Randall School of Dramatic Arts in Hartford and began his professional acting career at the esteemed Barter Theatre in Virginia. He made his Broadway debut as the hospital attendant in Harvey. He made a motion picture, Whistle at Eaton Falls, with the famed Louis de Rochemont. While in New York, he did more than 200 live televison performances including G.E. Theatre and Philco Playhouse.

After showing his acting brillance as the brutal stockade sergeant Fatso in the film From Here to Eternity, he won world acclaim for his Oscar-winning portrayal in Marty in the title role of the Bronx butcher. Among his favorite roles since then are those in The Catered Affair with Bette Davis and Bad Day at Black Rock. He has performed in almost 100 movies and has made guest appearances on almost as many television shows. In the 1960's, McHale's Navy in which he starred, set a standard for broad comedy and ensemble work.

His recent roles have been in Hoover, JAG, BASEketball, Small Soldiers, Abilene, Last Great Ride and Mel.

Borgnine lives today in Beverly Hills, California with wife Tova, who heads her own cosmetics company.

Borgnine, who was 82 on January 24, 1999, has been presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the legendary film school, Columbia College--Hollywood. He also holds two other honorary degrees.

President Potts said, "We are delighted his film festival will highlight Ernest Borgnine's creative endeavors, and those other creative individuals who submit entries to the competition. Our people are working hard to continue making this event a real success."

Hurt said, "The film and video competition is a vital aspect of the George Lindsey Television and Film Festival. A judging committee will select the best works submitted for screening during the festival. The final winners will be chosen from separate professional and student categories for full length narrative, short narrative, short documentary and music video completed during 1997 and 1998."

The Golden Lion Award will be presented to the first place entries in each category at a Saturday night gala. All entries must be postmarked by the new deadline of February 26, 1999. The entry fees are $25 for professionals and $15 for students.

George Lindsey Television and Film Festival, On-Line Brochure, prepared by Christi Erwin in Professor Foote's MultiMedia and Internet Authoring course, fall, 1998-99.