UNA Logo NEWS.....

University of North Alabama
Office of University Relations

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

April 15, 1999

For release: Immediately

FLORENCE, Ala. - Actor and University of North Alabama alumnus Dr. George Lindsey and UNA assistant professor of journalism Bobbie Hurt announced today that the second annual George Lindsey/UNA Television & Film Festival will host the eastern United States premiere Friday night, April 23, of Ernest Borgnine’s new movie, Abilene.

Tom Gamble, producer of the Clear Stream Pictures/Farm Land Pictures production, released the movie to the festival for a screening in the University Center Performance Center. Borgnine will be at the 8 p.m. screening, which is free and open to the general public.

Abilene is a 102-minute drama starring Borgnine and Kim Hunter. Rance Howard, the father of Ron Howard who starred with Lindsey in The Andy Griffith Show, is also in the movie. Borgnine, an old midwestern farmer, has his truck confiscated by the sheriff who is concerned that he will hurt himself and others with his erratic driving. Unknown to the sheriff or his other friends, Borgnine has received a call that his brother has had a stroke and he is determined to say goodbye to his sibling. The film reveals later that the relationship between the brothers has been strained for many years. But despite that, Borgnine is determined to make the 100-mile trip to see his brother. He trades his farm tractor for a supposedly new John Deere riding lawn mower and starts out on the journey.

Painted with lush transitions of the scenic, wide open plains, the film shows Borgnine at his best, playing a cantankerous fellow who is determined to follow through on what his generation would consider the right thing to do. The sponsors of the George Lindsey/UNA Television and Film Festival are Woody Anderson and Tom Guthrie, of Woody Anderson Ford, Huntsville; the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Montgomery; Dr. Dan Hightower, Nashville, Tenn./Stillwater & Princeton’s, Florence; Gov. Fob James, Montgomery; Jay Klos, of Grogan’s Jeweler’s, Florence; Camden Lindsey-Gardner, Northridge, Cal.; Pamela Bernstein, LaCresenta, Cal.; and the UNA President’s Office and UNA Office of Information Technologies.

Assistance has also been provided by Borgnine’s office, Beverly Hills, Cal.; Lindsey’s agent Tandy Rice, of Top Billing, Nashville, Tenn.; and Dan Rogers, Gaylord Entertainment, Nashville, Tenn.

The hosts of the festival are the Festival committee, chaired by Hurt, the UNA Department of Communications and Theatre, the Office of University Relations, the Office of Continuing Education and the Office of University Events.