Embarras film festival plans Dick Van Dyke feature

Samantha Middendorf, Entertainment Editor

The 10th annual Embarras Valley Film Festival will be presented throughout Eastern’s campus Thursday and will continue until Saturday.

This year, the film festival will feature the films of Dick Van Dyke.

Van Dyke is this year’s featured actor because of his iconic roles in many popular American films such as “Mary Poppins,” which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Kit Morice, curator for the Tarble Arts Center, said each year the film festival committee selects a different actor or theme that is relevant to the area.

Dick Van Dyke was a good choice because he has roots in nearby Danville, his long and distinguished acting career, and we had many good films from which to choose,” she said.

This year’s film festival will include Van Dyke movies as well as a short film contest. The contest will include a focus on student-produced films.

Robin Murray, an English professor, said the contest is important because it gives young filmmakers the opportunity to have their work seen.

Another event that will appeal to students is our student short film contest, for which we received 194 submissions from all over the U.S.,” she said. “We will be screening 25 of those, including many from Illinois.”

The contest will produce three winners, which will be announced Thursday.

Eastern students, faculty and Charleston residents are all encouraged to attend the film festival, Morice said. However, the coordinators are always trying to find new ideas to incorporate more audience members.

“Students are definitely at the forefront for many of our events,” Murray said. “Our Thursday film, ‘Divorce American Style,’ will be shown in an EIU film class that will open up to the public.”

“Divorce American Style,” will be shown at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Coleman Hall Auditorium, Room 1255.

The student-produced film contest will also take place Thursday. The contest will begin at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

“The Comic” will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday in the Lecture Hall of Doudna.

“Mary Poppins” will be featured as the family matinee movie at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Tarble Arts Center Atrium.

“Cold Turkey” will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday in the Tarble Atrium.

The Embarras Valley Film Festival hopes to encourage more appreciation for films by involving Eastern alumni.

“By screening movies and inviting audience participation in after-film discussions, we encourage members of the larger community to become aware of, and take pride in, the rich cultural and historical heritage of Charleston and the area,” Morice said.

Samantha Middendorf can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]