June 25, 2008

‘Jaws,’ ‘Casablanca’ to Be Featured at Film Festival

By Kristin Edwards, The Huntsville Item, Texas

Jun. 25--After receiving a huge response from the Huntsville community, the Huntsville Main Street Program has chosen the films to be featured in its fourth annual summer film festival.

The festival, which will be held on July 25-26, will include two foreign films and two well-known American classics "Jaws" and "Casablanca."

"We sent out a survey asking people what movies they wanted to have included in this year's festival, and we got a very impressive reaction from people who either called, e-mailed or talked to us directly," Main Street intern John Corkill said. "We got over 80 responses, and it was really good to get so much feedback from the community because that was what we were hoping for in the first place."

According to Corkill, an overwhelming percentage of the responses received asked for older, more mainstream American classics to be shown as compared to new blockbusters.

"Surprisingly, a large number of people requested classics, which we were all for," he said. "That's why we included 'Casablanca' -- which will be the last show on Saturday -- and 'Jaws,' which we'll show as one of our Saturday matinees."

Corkill said the other two films to be included in the festival are both foreign films, one of which has been successful all over the world.

"Il Postino" or "The Postman," an Italian film centered around a shy fisherman, will be shown on Friday night at 8 p.m. with the option of participating in an accompanying dinner at the Stardust Room before the feature.

"We'll actually be doing meals before both of our evening movies at the Stardust Room," Corkill said. "A dinner and a movie ticket, available for $20, will include every part of the dinner and admission price except the tip."

The second foreign film to be included in the festival, "Monsoon Wedding," will be shown on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.

"The film 'Monsoon Wedding' has been very well-renowned not only in India, its country of origin, but all over the world," Main Street program manager Harold Hutcheson said. "Recently, it has been one of the highest grossing films around the world, so we're really excited about it."

Festival changes

Several additions and alterations have been made to the festival itself, the schedule of films and the special features connected to the event, Hutcheson said.

"One major change from past festivals is that we have decided not to do a children's movie on Saturday," he said. "Instead, we've decided to have two matinee features on Saturday with one at 1 p.m. and another at 4 p.m. After 'Jaws,' which will be shown at 1 p.m., we've also worked out a partnership with the Huntsville Aquatic Center, who will offer a free swim to anyone who comes to the center with a 'Jaws' ticket stub.

"We'll see if people are really afraid to get back in the water."

Additionally, Corkill said two Sam Houston State University organizations have formed a partnership to sponsor the festival.

"With our expansion of the foreign films offered in the festival, we've joined in a partnership with the SHSU Office of Multicultural and International Student Services," he said. "That organization and Student Services have combined to sponsor the festival, and we're very excited about that partnership."

As in the past, Hutcheson said one of the most enticing aspects of the festival was the chance to see a well-known American classic on a movie theater screen.

"There aren't a lot of people who can say they've seen a theater-sized shark as compared to a living room-sized shark," he said. "I mean, 'Casablanca' originally came out in theaters in 1942, and now kids and grandkids will have the opportunity to see this film they way their parents or grandparents did years ago."

Corkill said both he and Hutcheson are excited about this year's festival.

"We've both gotten into the swing of getting really excited about this year's festival," he said. "Now that we have the movies picked out, we can really focus on getting this event put together based on the community's requests."

Admission for each film will cost $5, and dinner and a movie packages for both July 25 and 26 will cost $20.

Films shown will include "Il Postino," scheduled for 8 p.m. on July 25, "Jaws," scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 26, "Monsoon Wedding," scheduled for 4 p.m. on July 26 and "Casablanca," scheduled for 8 p.m. on July 26.

For more information, contact Hutcheson or Corkill at the Huntsville Main Street office at (936) 291-5920.


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