Festival celebrates independent films with screenings, discussions

The College Town Film Festival -- a four-day festival with guest lectures, high-profile visitors, panel discussions and nearly two dozen screenings -- brings a celebration of independent film to Penn State and the State College community April 16-19.

The second-year festival includes documentary, feature length and short films with screenings at the State Theatre in downtown State College as well as Carnegie Cinema and Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library on the University Park campus.

A busy day at the State Theatre begins the festival April 16, with four separate screenings that range from a documentary about brain drain in Iran to a series of short horror films. The first day also includes the world premiere of “Ripped!” a feature-length comedy produced by a husband-and-wife production team in the College of Communications.

A lecture, four screenings (including the world premiere of “First Light”), a script reading and a concert comprise the schedule for April 17 at the State Theatre. The options and variety continue April 18-19 at the downtown theater and locations on campus. The festival ends on April 19 with “Speak Now,” a wedding comedy featuring the acting of alumnus Rane Jameson (’05 film-video), who will be on stage to talk about the film.

The complete festival schedule may be found at collegetownfilmfestival.com online. Admission to screenings costs just $5 at the door, and they are free for Penn State students with a University ID.

“We are excited to be returning the festival to State College,” said Matthew Jordan, associate professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies and president of the board of directors for the festival. “Students and community members will have a great opportunity to see new independent films and talk about them with the people who made them.”

Most screenings during the festival are accompanied by discussion and question-and-answer sessions with directors, producers or actors involved in the productions, as well as Penn State faculty who work on topics touched on by the films. The list of guests includes: actor James Denton, a festival board member and champion of independent film who has appeared in film, on stage and in television shows such as “Desperate Housewives”; editor Julian Doyle, who edited the acclaimed and controversial “Brazil,” as well as three Monty Python films; and Rod Bingaman and Maura Shea, the senior lecturers in the College of Communications who wrote, directed and produced “Ripped!”

Several colleges and units across campus have provided support for the festival.

Last Updated April 08, 2014