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Embarras Valley Film Festival to Spotlight EIU Alumna Joan Allen


2008 Embarras Valley Film Festival:
The Fine Art of Joan Allen

(Events are in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall unless otherwise noted.)

Saturday, Nov. 1

  • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Stop-motion filmmaking workshop for ages 11-18. Tarble Arts Center, Ninth Street at Cleveland Avenue.

Tuesday, Nov. 4

  • 3:30 p.m.: Performance of a scene from "The Crucible" by Jerry Eisenhour’s EIU theatre class. Movement Studio, Doudna Fine Arts Center.
  • 7 p.m.: Showing and discussion of "The Crucible."

Wednesday, Nov. 5

  • 7 p.m.: Showing and discussion of "Off the Map."

Thursday, Nov. 6

  • 3:30 p.m.: Plenary speaker: Julia Lesage, “Family Drama in The Ice Storm and Pleasantville."
  • 7 p.m.: Showing and discussion of "The Ice Storm."

Friday, Nov. 7

  • 9:30 a.m.: Writers' workshop with Craig Titley and Luke Ryan (EIU student event). Room 2690, Doudna Fine Arts Center.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Plenary speaker, Murray Pomerance: “Big Moments of Small Performance: The Character Acting of Joan Allen."
  • 2:30 p.m.: Andrew Rodgers, “The Importance of Independence."
  • 4 p.m.: Chuck Kleinhans: “Politics of Joan Allen in 'Nixon' and 'The Contender'”
  • 7:30 p.m.: Keynote presentation by Dann Gire, featuring a live telephone interview with Joan Allen: "Joan Allen: Eastern's Elusive Alumna."
  • 8:30 p.m. Reception. Concourse, Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Saturday, Nov. 8

  • 10:30 a.m.-noon: Children's Film Fun Workshops and Story Hour, Charleston Public Library, 712 Sixth St.
  • 2 p.m.: Showing and discussion of "Pleasantville," Will Rogers Theatre, 705 Monroe Ave.
  • 7 p.m.: Showing and discussion of "The Contender." Will Rogers Theatre.
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Reception with food vendors & '50s music. Miller's Banquet Facility, 307 Sixth St.
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Middle and High School Film Festival. Millers Banquet Facility.

The fourth annual Embarras Valley Film Festival, honoring Eastern Illinois University alumna Joan Allen, will take place Nov. 4-8 on the EIU campus and in downtown Charleston.

Allen will be interviewed via telephone by EIU alumnus and Charleston native Dann Gire 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. Gire is a film critic for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and president of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Throughout the week, there will be afternoon sessions and evening film screenings with discussions led by members of the EIU faculty, as well as film screenings at the Will Rogers Theatre and an afternoon reception at Miller's Banquet Hall on Saturday.

A complete schedule, as well as information on Allen's career, is available online at All events are free and open to the public.

Many of the EVFF presenters are area natives who have found major film-related success.

Craig Titley and Luke Ryan, both Mattoon natives and EIU alumni, 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.

And 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, also to be held in the Lecture Hall.

Other speakers during the week will include Julia Lesage, founder and publisher of “Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media”; Chuck Kleinhans, co-editor of “Jump Cut"; and Murray Pomerance, editor for several books on film, including SUNY Press' "Horizons of Cinema."

The EVFF will also feature activities for area youth. A stop-motion animation workshop for ages 11-18 will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 1 at the Tarble Arts Center. A workshop for younger children, "Magic Picture Shows," and a story hour will be held the morning of Saturday, Nov. 8, in the Charleston Public Library, 712 Sixth St.

The festival will conclude Saturday, Nov. 8, with showings of two critically acclaimed Joan Allen films at the Will Rogers Theatre, 705 Monroe Ave.: “Pleasantville” at 2 p.m., and “The Contender” at 7 p.m. They will be introduced by Dann Gire and Chuck Koplinski, who reviews movies for WCIA-TV in Champaign and several newspapers, including the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and Springfield’s Illinois Times.

Between films, a reception with a 1950s flair will be held at Miller's Banquet Facility, featuring period food and music. Student films created during the stop-motion workshop and by students in Effingham and Teutopolis high schools’ film production programs will be screened at the reception.

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, e-mail 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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