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University of North Alabama
Office of University Relations

William M. Jarnigan, Director
Tel: 256-765-4225
Fax: 256-765-4812

April 9, 1999

For release: Immediately

FLORENCE, Ala. - The second annual, three-day George Lindsey/University of North Alabama Television and Film Festival, which salutes the works of Hollywood actor Ernest Borgnine, will begin April 22 with a focus on how middle and high school teachers, university professors and secondary and college students can prepare for participation in the industry.

Dr. George Lindsey, an alumnus of UNA, began the film festival last year with UNA assistant professor of journalism Bobbie Hurt with the intent of providing a vehicle for young filmmakers to break into the television and film business. He has said, “I want this to become the Sundance of the South,” in reference to the very successful festival established by actor Robert Redford in Colorado.

“We added another day this year and purposely designed it for the needs of students and teachers. That will be Thursday, April 22. The other two days, Friday and Saturday, will tend to be more professionally-oriented,” said Hurt, who is chair of the festival.

Lindsey will open the workshop sessions at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, April 22, in the University Center Performance Center. All workshop sessions will be at that location, unless otherwise noted. All sessions are free and open to the public. (A Friday luncheon, featuring Lindsey and Borgnine, carries an admission fee. A video recap of Borgnine’s TV and film career will be shown during the luncheon. Reservations for that luncheon must be made by April 15.) Also, Friday and Saturday, the movies starring Borgnine will be shown downstairs in the University Center Atrium.

Dr. A. Edward Foote, a UNA associate professor of radio television and film, and Bradshaw High School graduate Rachel Newman, of Florence, will present the first session at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, on “How to Produce Award-winning Films.” Foote’s students have won awards from the American Film Institute, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Broadcasting Society. Newman’s video Crowded Streets, won a 1998 Gold Lion Award at the first George Lindsey Television & Film Festival.

In University Center 207, a concurrent session on “Teaching Scriptwriting” will feature Emmy Award and Writer’s Guild Award-winning writer, producer and director George Yanok, of Nashville, Tenn., and UNA assistant professor of communications and theatre Dr. Janet McMullen. Yanok has written and produced TV shows like Welcome Back Kotter, The Glenn Campbell Goodtime Hour, Wayne Newton & Friends At Home In Las Vegas, John Wayne’s America, Sanford & Son, Love American Style, The Ted Knight Show, Prime Time Country and Hee Haw. McMullen once hosted a KNLE radio show to review movies and she reviewed movies for the Austin Family Magazine in Texas.

At 1:30 p.m., Dr. David Ruebhausen, a UNA assistant professor of communications and theatre, will discuss “Preparing for an Audition.” He is a board member for the New Directions Theatre Group.

At the same time, Tommy Weir, of Alabama Public Television in Birmingham, and Weeden Heights Middle School teacher Howard Rhodes, of Florence, will discuss “How to Involve Students in Filmmaking” during a session in University Center 207. Rhodes’ students entered a production in last year’s festival.

At 9:30 a.m., Friday, in the University Center, George Yanok and Tonya Suzanne Holly, of Florence, will explain “Casting” for a production. Yanok wrote the Patty Duke movie, A Time to Triumph. Holly, a UNA graduate, studied at the American Film Institute and the Beverly Hills Playhouse for Actors. She cast extras for the Jessica Lange/Tommy Lee Jones movie, Blue Sky, and worked on several other movies.

Tom Rieland, the director of the University of Alabama Center for Communication and Educational Technology in Tuscaloosa; Norton Dill, owner of Dill Productions, Inc., of Birmingham; and Joey Brackner, folklife program manager for the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery, will address “Making Award-winning Documentaries” in a 10:45 a.m. session. Rieland’s productions, including Voice of Reason: Buford Boone, have won several awards. Dill has directed and shot numerous documentaries for local, regional and national clients. His Ready to Be a Wiseman won a Cine Golden Eagle award. Brackner, a folklorist who is writing a book about traditional pottery, co-produced Unbroken Tradition, a documentary of Alabama folk potter Jerry Brown, of Hamilton.

Hollywood actor/writer/director and UNA alumnus Steve Viall, who now lives in Tuscumbia, and Huntsville writer/director/producer Sheree Aust will explain “Marketing Your Work” in a 1:30 p.m. session in the Performance Center. Jeremy’s Egg, for which Viall was the writer, lead actor and director, has been picked up by CELA for distribution. Aust won the Lindsey Film Festival Golden Lion award for the feature film Cut last year. That movie has also been picked up for distribution. She is also the founder of Strasburg, Inc., a children’s clothing manufacturer and retailer.

Dr. Lloyd Wells, who served for 25 years as the music director of Opryland in Nashville, previously worked on 18 Broadway musicals in New York City. He has scored many movies and played guitar on their soundtracks. At 2:45 p.m., Friday, he will discuss “ Scoring Your Film.”

TimesDaily entertainment editor Terry Pace, who is also active in Shoals theatre circles as an actor and director, will review “The Life and Works of Ernest Borgnine” at 9 a.m., Saturday in the Performance Center.

Drs. Borgnine and Lindsey will discuss their experiences in the television and film industries during a 10:30 a.m. session.

At 11:30 a.m., a panel will explore “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Filmmaking.” The speakers will include Yanok, Wells, Viall, Foote and McMullen.

Belinda Roper, of the Watkins Film Institute in Nashville, Tenn., and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, will discuss “Making a Music Video” at a 2 p.m. session.

Adjunct theatre instructor Brooke Perry, of Sheffield, will moderate a 3:15 p.m. roundtable discussion of award-winning UNA film writers, producers, directors and actors. The students, including Jim Torres, formerly of Huntsville, and Corey Hannah, of Florence, who created Watershed, which won a Golden Lion for a student feature film last year, will explain what they have learned trying to break into the industry. Perry has written about film and music for Film Threat, Scarlet Street, Carpe Noctem and The Zombie Chronicles.

There will be other activities during the three days and evenings, including an eastern United States premiere Friday night in Norton Auditorium of Borgnine’s most recent movie Abilene, culminating with the festival awards show in the Performance Center Saturday night.

The sponsors of the George Lindsey/UNA Television and Film Festival are Woody Anderson and Tom Guthrie, of Woody Anderson Ford in Huntsville, Ala.; the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Montgomery, Ala.; Dr. Dan Hightower (of Nashville, Tenn.), of Stillwater and Princeton’s Restaurants, Florence, Ala.; former Gov. Fob James, Montgomery, Ala.; Jay Klos, of Grogan’s Jewelers, Florence, Ala.; Tandy Rice and Top Billing, Inc., of Nashville, Tenn.; Camden Lindsey-Gardner, Northridge, Cal.; Pamela Bernstein, LaCrescenta, Cal.; and the UNA President’s Office and UNA Office of Information Technologies, both of Florence, Ala. The activities are hosted by the UNA Department of Communications and Theatre, Office of University Relations, Office of Continuing Education and Office of University Events.