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Organizers making Centre Film Festival accessible to all

by on October 31, 2019 1:31 PM

PHILIPSBURG — Philipsburg’s inaugural Centre Film Festival, held at the majestic Rowland Theatre, is next weekend, and organizers are ensuring there’s no reason people aren’t able to enjoy the films, food, music, community and theatre itself.

Long Motor Buses, Inc. of Philipsburg, a festival sponsor, will be providing free shuttle services every day of the festival, with several departure and pickup times from Penn State’s HUB to accommodate people who want to experience all or a part of the film series.

“We tried to create a platform where people would have access to this experience in whichever way, whether it’s based on the film schedule or people using a shuttle, or teenagers attending master classes,” said Pearl Gluck, Penn State assistant professor of film and festival organizer.

“Veterans and seniors are free, and people can just come and meet filmmakers and hang out in filmmakers lounge. We’re trying to create as many inroads as possible.”

Numerous Philipsburg businesses will be donating food, funds and services to make the film festival happen. The town’s latest lodging venue, the “We Are Inn,” which is being refurbished by owner Pat Romano, will host the filmmakers who are coming to town. For this, Gluck said, the organizers feel a sense of “extreme gratitude.”

The Centre Film Fest kicks off on Nov. 8 with a screening of “A Century of Cinema.”

“I am personally very excited about opening night, because one of the main reasons I was drawn into the festival at the theatre was the Rowland Theatre itself,” Gluck said.

“The opening night is all about movie palaces. It’s a film that’s been winning awards ... and it looks at the movie palace tradition in the United States — why did we build them at the turn of the century — which includes the Rowland.”

The weekend will include films presenting subject matter ranging from a veteran biker who loves small dogs, to bouldering in Pennsylvania, to a UFO cult, and the story of freight train-riding hobos. On Saturday night, the Hillbilly Gypsies will perform old-time bluegrass, and Sunday will feature short films created by high school students.

“It’s just exciting to fill the space with independent film and creative energy and take a little break from what the mainstream of Hollywood has to offer, even though some of it can be really great and powerful, and look at what filmmakers are making now and what conversations they want us to have, and actually have them with the filmmakers,” said Gluck.

“That’s the exciting part, that filmmakers from all over the country are coming in. We’re going to show them a real Philipsburg welcome. That’s another reason folks should come — to show people how Philipsburg shows up and wants people to explore what we have to offer, which includes not only the Rowland, but awesome businesses and an amazing community. I know the film festival couldn’t happen without everyone.”

Gluck says the festival’s closing night ceremony is “not to be missed.”

“All the sponsors and people who have been involved in making this happen will say goodbye in the sweetest way, including cake and cookies and desserts,” said Gluck.

Gluck encourages people to visit the Rowland, see a film and interact with the people behind the cameras.

“The goal (of the film festival) is always going to be an inter-generational, inter-art dialogue around film and looking at the multimedia side of storytelling and seeing how, from Central PA, we can reach out and what we can gather from visitors when they come in, specifically with teens,” said Gluck. “And we’re going to encourage people to meet the filmmakers and ask them questions. It doesn’t have to be formal, that’s the whole point. No filmmaker is traveling here to be left alone. They’re coming here to talk to you. They’re coming here to connect to the community.”

The Centre Film Festival runs from Nov. 8-10 at Philipsburg’s Rowland Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centrefilm.org.

 

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