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EIU Media Relations

Joan Allen Phone Interview to Highlight Embarras Valley Film Festival


Joan AllenA live telephone interview with Eastern Illinois University alumna Joan Allen will highlight this week's Embarras Valley Film Festival, which honors the Oscar-nominated actress's much-celebrated work.

EIU alumnus and Charleston native Dann Gire, a film critic for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and president of the Chicago Film Critics Association, will conduct the interview as part of his keynote presentation, "Joan Allen: Eastern's Elusive Alumna," at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, in the Doudna Fine Arts Center's Lecture Hall.

The film festival, Nov. 4-8, will include speakers, film screenings (including "The Crucible," "The Contender" and "Pleasantville"), a reception and more. A complete schedule is available online at All events are free and open to the public.

Joan Allen attended EIU, where she met actor John Malkovich before transferring to Northern Illinois University. Malkovich later invited her to join the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Fitting for a festival honoring an EIU alumna, many of the EVFF presenters are EIU alumni who have found major film-related success.

Craig Titley and Luke Ryan, both EIU alumni and Mattoon natives, will lead a screenwriting workshop at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Room 2690, Doudna Fine Arts Center. Titley was a screenwriter for “Scooby Doo," as well as “Cheaper by the Dozen” and its sequel. Ryan, screenwriter for the “Harold and Kumar” franchise, is now vice president of theatrical productions at MGM Studios.

EIU graduate Andrew Rodgers, executive director of the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., will be among speakers during the Friday afternoon symposium in the Doudna Lecture Hall.

The festival is co-sponsored by the EIU College of Arts and Humanities Excellence in Fine Arts Fund; the Doudna Fine Arts Center; Booth Library, EIU; the Coles County Arts Council; and the Charleston Public Library.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center, located one block west of Ninth Street at Garfield Avenue on the EIU campus in Charleston, is a division of the EIU College of Arts and Humanities. Its public arts programs are funded by the New and Emerging Artists Series Fund, by the Excellence in Fine Arts Fund, and by other patrons as listed. For Doudna information and Patron Services, email or call 217-581-3110; information is also available at



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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