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Film Fest featuring full lineup in 2011

May 24, 2011

Organizers in Lone Pine are busy planning a number of events for the 2011 Lone Pine Film Festival, which will pay homage to Roy Rogers for his 100th birthday and celebrate the stuntmen and stuntwomen who added the extra thrill to classic westerns. Image courtesy Inyo County Film Commissioner

It’s “Lights! Cameras! Action!” at the Lone Pine Film Festival as the 22nd edition of the world-famous event rolls into the little Eastern Sierra, high desert town Oct. 7-9.
The themes of this year’s action-packed celebration of films made in Lone Pine, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra include Roy Rogers’ 100th birthday, the excitement of live stunts and plenty of interactive activities, music and even live performances.
For Festival veterans, there are many new events.
“If you are a first-time visitor you will be choosing between activities and performances that have entertained visitors to this ‘old’ west town for several years,” said Inyo County Film Commissioner Chris Langley.
This year, organizers have planned celebrity guest panel discussions, tours of film locations, stuntman performances, music and live performances, a parade and films all weekends in two venues.
“It has always been about the films and the town,” Langley said.
This year the Festival’s feature films include two very rare silent westerns made by three-time Oscar winning Director William Wyler in his early days. They are titled “Stolen Ranch” and “Blazing Days” and will be presented with live musical accompaniment written and performed for the Festival by Bill Schuck.
Other films from the area will also be selected as best representatives of Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra as well as the hometown of Lone Pine. The movies feature such stars as Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Randolph Scott, Hopalong Cassidy and Tim Holt, to name just a few.
Guests who have already confirmed appearances at this year’s event include Wyatt McCrea, Joel McCrea’s grandson, Donna Martell, Peggy Stewart and Marie Harmon.
“More people are being confirmed each week,” Langley said. “There will be several people connected with the making of ‘Ride the High Country,’ which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.”
New this year is a live stunt performance Saturday in the Lone Pine High School gym that will feature professional stunt actors including NCIS Stunt Coordinator Diamond Farnsworth, Loren Janes and Steve McQueen’s stunt double, who can boast more than 300 film appearances.
Peter Ford will be on hand to talk about his father Glen Ford and will bring his brand new book about the star.
Also new to the event this year is a live foley art (sound making) performance in the museum with veteran foley artist and Lone Pine resident Vinnie Nicastro.
The organizing committee also promises live western theatre performed in the Alabama Hills and on streets of Lone Pine and, on Wednesday night, locally made youth films screened in the museum for early arrivals.
Speaking of the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History, Langley said the museum is chock full of 10,000 square-feet of Western film exhibits.
The museum will also host the “Roy Rogers Round-up & Rodeo.” The Round Up will be a free rodeo with children’s events.
The rodeo grounds are located right behind the Museum.
Inside the Museum are special Roy Rogers Museum exhibits, including Roy Rogers’ dressing room trailer, and Cheryl Rogers, Roy and Dale’s daughter, will be on hand.
Also, the film “Hands Across the Border” will be screened in the museum in tandem with a brand new Roy Rogers tour in the Alabama Hills.
“Speaking of tours, there will be many tours that take you out to where the movies were made,” Langley said. “The tours are one of the things that make the Lone Pine Film Festival different from all other western festivals.”
The Parade of Stars, another favorite among veteran festival goers, will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday to kick off the close of the festival. The Closing Campfire will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday in Spainhower Park and the star panels returned to the High School Quad are all old favorites to look forward to at the Festival.
The photomarkers will be back out in the Hills because of popular demand, and there will be new markers down Main Street.
This year, the traditional Friday night concert will feature a group new to the area with “Cow Bop” a cowboy jazz/swing band with local dancers.
“There will be many more announcements as the Film Festival draws near,” Langley said.
For more information and updates, visit www.lonepinefilmfestival.org or call the Festival number at (760) 876-9103.

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