George Lindsey Film Festival promises to entertain

Andy Thigpen Student Writer

It’s that time of year again: time to break out the folding director’s chair, dust off the megaphone and work on the best Goober impression. It’s time for the 14th annual George Lindsey Film Festival.

“George is kind of the theme this year,” said Dr. Cynthia Burkhead, co-director and event coordinator of the festival. “People coming can expect a show honoring George in all aspects: professionally for his work in television and film, as well as his philanthropy, and for his role at UNA and what he’s done for his alma mater.”

The special tribute to Lindsey will include a show by Lulu Roman, cast member of “Hee Haw” and longtime friend of Lindsey. Her stories of struggle and triumph, not to mention comedic flair, have inspired many people across the nation.

She is also a Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame artist, and may perform a few gospel songs at the festival as well. The special events show will take place March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Guillot University Center.

Another exciting feature of the festival this year is the screening of the new Drive-By Truckers documentary entitled “The Secret to a Happy Ending.” The screening will take place at the Zodiac Theater in downtown Florence March 3 at 9 p.m., with a second screening at midnight.

A film called “Michael” will also be screened at the festival. The film, which is directed by an 11-year-old boy named Luke Broyles, shows that his friend, Michael McCarley, is the same as any other child, despite suffering from a number of physical challenges.

In addition, McCarley’s father is a 1984 UNA alumnus and will be present with his family, along with the filmmaker, for the screening March 4 at 4 p.m.

Professor Jason Flynn, who is the co-director with Burkhead and the chair of the judging committee, advises Lindsey Festival attendees to see everything. His favorite part of the festival is the anticipation.

“The best part about film festivals is that you experience a lot in a short amount of time, and you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Flynn said. “The films are all fairly short, and if one movie wasn’t your favorite, there will be plenty more. Plus, you don’t have to worry about wasting $10 on a ticket.”

The festival will end with an awards show, which is being organized by Dr. Jeff Bibbee, associate professor of history and poltical science.

“The awards show is obviously there to give awards, but it is also an opportunity to showcase donors, alumni and different UNA programs. We’ll also be featuring Melissa and Heath Bane who will be providing the music that evening,” Bibbee said.

The George Lindsey Film Festival will take place March 3-5 and is free to the public. All screenings will take place at the Zodiac Theater in downtown Florence. The awards show will be March 5 at 7 p.m. at the UNA East Campus. Tickets cost $10 each.