Festival will celebrate independent film with screenings, discussions

Twenty-five separate screening sessions, two panel discussions, a script reading and an acting seminar comprise the third annual College Town Film Festival, scheduled Feb. 25 to 28 on the University Park campus and in State College. 

The four-day event, part of the inaugural Thaw Festival of entertainment, celebrates independent film and begins with a pair of films directed by two Penn State alumni on its opening day. The documentary “Above All Else,” by John Feige, who graduated in 1999, and the feature “Manos Sucias,” by Alan Blanco, who graduated in 2005, kick off the festival. The first film begins at 3:30 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m., respectively, both Feb. 25 at the State Theatre in downtown State College.

Subsequent days of the festival include a variety of film lengths and styles. While most of the screenings occur at the State Theatre, others are scheduled for the Downtown Theatre on Allen Street in State College, Hosler Building and the HUB-Robeson Center on campus.

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.

Additionally, faculty member Matt Jordan, an associate professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Everyone’s a Filmmaker” at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 in the State Theatre. Pearl Gluck, an assistant professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, will moderate a panel on “Women in Film” at 1 p.m. Feb. 28 in Freeman Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center.

The HUB will also be the site of a sustainability themed morning Feb. 28. Following a 5-K race and set of environmental shorts, alumnus Robert Hsu, the CEO and founder of Impact Eco Wear who earned his degree in 2005, will present a lecture on sustainability entrepreneurship at 11:30 a.m. in Freeman Auditorium.

The complete festival schedule may be found at collegetownfilmfestival.com online and admission is free. 

Support for the festival was provided by Student Affairs at Penn State, the College of Communications, the College of the Liberal Arts, the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, the Department of Geography, the Center for Global Studies and the Borough of State College.

Information about the Thaw Festival can be found at thawfestival.com online.

Last Updated February 16, 2015