The sixth annual Embarras Valley Film Festival, “Lincoln, the Civil War, and Memory,” will honor Abraham Lincoln through presentations and filmic representations of Lincoln’s life and the Civil War.
A collaborative effort between the community and Eastern Illinois University, the film festival will be held Nov. 12-14 on the EIU campus and in downtown Charleston. All events are free and open to the public.
The festival celebrates the contributions to the film arts by individuals with connections to east-central Illinois and EIU. This year, the EVFF joins a host of other institutions in Illinois celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday.
Several films will be screened: "Young Mr. Lincoln," John Ford's 1939 film documenting Lincoln’s early life; "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," the Oscar-winning 1962 short film directed by Robert Enrico; "The General," Clyde Bruckman's 1927 silent comedy featuring Buster Keaton focused on a train captured during the Civil War; and "Glory," Robert Zwick's1989 Oscar-winning film starring Matthew Broderick.
Presentations and film introductions are planned, as well; many presenters have local ties, including Craig Titley, a Hollywood screenwriter and Mattoon native; Urbana-based film critic Chuck Koplinski; local Civil War re-enactor Randy Jackson, who was an extra in "Glory"; and Charleston native Dann Gire, a film critic for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association.
Children's activities will be held at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday; please make reservations by Wednesday by calling 217-345-1514. “Abraham Lincoln and Me,” for ages 4-8, features stories and crafts, including Lincoln penny medals and "eye spinner" optical illusion toys, led by Jeanne Goble and Joyce Jackson. In “Happy Birthday, Abe! Scrapbooking,” for ages 8 and older, Howard Taylor will guide children in creating their own Lincoln remembrances scrapbook using a variety of Lincoln pictures and quotations.
Festival co-sponsors are the EIU College of Arts and Humanities and the Doudna Fine Arts Center; Booth Library, EIU; the Coles County Arts Council; the Illinois Arts Council; the City of Charleston Tourism Office; the Tarble Arts Center, EIU; and the Charleston Public Library. Doudna Fine Arts Center public arts programs are funded by the New and Emerging Artists Series Fund, and by the Excellence in Fine Arts Fund.
For more information, please visit castle.eiu.edu/evff.
Thursday, Nov. 12
-- 6:30 p.m.: Lecture by John R. Sellers, historical specialist on the American Civil War and the Lincoln curator at the Library of Congress. Lecture Hall, Doudna Fine Arts Center, EIU.
-- 7:30: Screening of "Young Mr. Lincoln." Doudna Lecture Hall.
Friday, Nov. 13
-- 10 a.m.: Screenwriters workshop with Craig Titley. Tarble Arts Center Atrium.
-- 1 p.m.: “Our American Cousin: Melodrama and the Civil War" presentation by Chris Mitchell. Tarble Atrium.
-- 2:30 p.m. “Lincoln, the Civil War, and Race” presentation by Kevin Anderson. Doudna Lecture Hall.
-- 4 p.m.: "Film and History" presentation by David Smith and Joseph Heumann. Doudna Lecture Hall.
-- 7 p.m.: Screening of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Doudna Lecture Hall.
-- 7:30 p.m.: Civil War-era music by Ben Leddy and Claire Johnson. Doudna Lecture Hall.
Saturday, Nov. 14
-- 10:30 a.m.-noon: Children’s activities. Charleston Carnegie Public Library, 712 Sixth St.
-- 11 a.m.: Screening of stop-motion films created by area youth. Charleston library.
-- 2 p.m.: Screening of "The General," with an introduction by Chuck Koplinski. Rotary Room B, Charleston library.
-- 4 p.m.: Meet-and-greet reception. Roc’s Black Front, 410 Sixth St.
-- 7 p.m.: Screening of "Glory." Introductions will be made by Randy Jackson and Dann Gire. Will Rogers Theatre, 705 Monroe Ave.