Eastern Sierra residents and film fans from all over the world will be gathering in Southern Inyo next month as the real West meets the “reel West” for the 23rd annual Lone Pine Film Festival.
More than 2,000 visitors will be checking into local hotels and camp sites for the annual Columbus Day weekend event, Oct. 5-7.
For three days attendees will be meeting filmmakers, actors, stunt men and other fans, touring film locations, enjoying music and maybe even dressing up as some of their favorite stars or characters.
This year’s festival theme is “Celebrate the Centennials,” honoring two of Hollywood’s biggest studios, Paramount Pictures and Universal, who have been making films since 1912.
Paramount Pictures has filmed more than 40 films in the Eastern Sierra and Universal has more than 70 local films under its belt.
A number of films from both studios will be screened throughout the festival weekend.
Organizers also plan to celebrate the centennial birthday of the late Dale Evans, actress, singer and wife to singing cowboy Roy Rogers, who often filmed in the Owens Valley.
Many guest celebrities, old friends and new faces to the event, will be participating in celebrity panels, tours and the popular Sunday parade.
Among those scheduled to appear at the 2012 festival are Johnny Crawford (Chuck Connors’ screen son, Mark, from “The Rifleman”) and his brother Bobby Crawford (“Cheyenne,” “Laramie” and “Zane Grey TV Theater”), Stanley Livingston (“My
Three Sons”) and Don Murray (“Bus Stop”) and Billy King (“Hopalong Cassidy”).
By popular request, Ed Faulkner and Wyatt McCrea will return along with Lone Pine favorites Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, Loren Janes, Diamond Farnsworth and Lone Pine “Sweetheart” Peggy Stewart.
Highlighting the entertainment for the weekend, one of the Western genre’s top performing groups, The Sons of the San Joaquin will have two shows Saturday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 and 9 p.m.
Cowboy performer Joey Dillon, multiple world title-holder in trick gun-spinning and handling, will also be on hand to entertain fans of all ages.
In addition to the celebrities, musical entertainment and film screenings, Lone Pine’s famous “On Location” tours will be a highlight for many, including three brand new tours – “Gunga Din,” “Yellow Sky” and “The Nevadan” – which will feature one-hour guided tours of the movie locations used in filming these classics.
The Film Festival also features a weekend Rodeo Round-up, vendors, book signings, breathtaking views and a Lone Pine Film Festival tradition; the Sunday “Main Street” Parade, which has been called “the best small-town parade in America.”
Throughout the weekend, the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History, featuring a theater and displays from many classic and contemporary films, will be open.
For tickets or more information, call (760) 876-9103.