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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Randy Haberkamp, director of educational programs with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, is one of the special guests at the Campus Theatre's 70th anniversary film festival, which runs through Oct. 23 at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg.
"What makes a festival special is not only seeing the films but also meeting the people behind the film's creation," said Eric Faden, associate professor of English and film/media studies at Bucknell. "Understanding the context and the story of the production process allows you to understand and appreciate the film on a whole different level."
John Ford's 'lost' silent film
"Upstream," a silent film directed by John Ford long thought to be lost, will be shown on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. "Upstream" was discovered in the New Zealand Film Archive and recently restored by the National Film Preservation Board.
"In the true spirit of silent movies, Hollywood composer Michael Mortilla and violinist Nicole Garcia will perform the score live. Mortilla was commissioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to produce a musical score to match the type of music that would have been performed originally.
"This is an incredibly rare opportunity to see — and hear — a silent film in its original context," Faden said. "Early cinema was never 'silent' and it's an extraordinary experience to see a newly restored film with live music."
Archivist Haberkamp will introduce the film at 3 p.m.
'Hollywood Home Movies'
Haberkamp also will present a special collection from the Academy archive on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
"For decades, Hollywood stars and directors have been making both commercial movies as well as more personal, home movies of their friends, families and backstage lives," said Faden.
"'Hollywood Home Movies' collects together these rare glimpses of stars like Joan Crawford and Cary Grant and directors like Alfred Hitchcock just being themselves.
"We are fortunate to have the Academy's support. This is a unique program of rare footage. While we often hear about the Academy's mission to preserve famous, classic movies this is an example of a different — but equally important — film preservation."
Animator Nina Paley, who created the film "Sita Sings the Blues" on her home computer over the course of five years, will introduce and discuss her film on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. Sound designer Greg Sextro will join Paley to discuss his work on the film's soundtrack.
The animated film incorporates the history of animation from traditional hand-drawn 2D animation to computer-generated 3D imagery.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning animated feature film has appeared in more than 50 international film festivals and won several awards, including Best Feature Film at the Avignon French Film Festival.
In 2008, the film was embroiled in a copyright controversy when Paley disputed the nearly $200,000 licensing fees for the 90-year-old recordings of singer Annette Hanshaw, which she used to modernize the story of the Indian epic, "The Ramayana."
Despite the film winning over a dozen major film festival awards, no commercial studio would distribute the film. Paley took the unusual move of self-distributing it and also giving it away for free on the Internet. Fans who fell in love with Paley's work soon started donating to her website and the film grossed more than $100,000.
"This film demonstrates that a major studio isn't necessary for a film to be seen by millions and Paley has used a fan-centric method for publicizing her films," Faden said. "In many ways, this is the future of film production and distribution."
Faden coordinated the festival with Amanda Keeler, visiting assistant professor of English and film/media studies. The festival continues with "Do the Right Thing," "All About my Mother" and "Pulp Fiction" on Oct. 21; "Close Up," "Memento" and "Sita Sings the Blues" on Oct. 22; and "Upstream" and "Hollywood Home Movies" on Oct. 23.
Admission to each film is $7 for adults; $6 for children aged 11 and under, veterans, senior citizens and students; and $5 for Campus Theatre members. Located at 413 Market Street in Lewisburg, the Campus Theatre recently reopened after extensive renovations. The Campus Theatre is one of a handful of art deco theaters built in the early 1940s that remains in operation.
Contact: Division of Communications