Channel to be Featured at Vail Festival

Originally Published: March 17, 2005

Hollywood Comes to Top-Rated Ski Resort in North America

The Second Annual Vail Film Festival has announced its roster of over 60 films from around the world for the 2005 Festival. Held from March 31-April 3, the festival promotes independent filmmaking, with a special focus on new and innovative filmmakers.

Filmmakers Scott and Sean Cross founded the Vail Film Festival.

One festival highlight will be the Colorado premiere of The Wendell Baker

Story, directed by Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson. The film stars Will

Ferrell, Eva Mendes, Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson. Andrew Wilson, Luke Wilson

and Owen Wilson will be in attendance to support their film.

Also at the festival to support their films will be actors turned

directors Tiffani Thiesen (90210, Just Shoot Me) and Janine Turner

(Northern Exposure). Ms. Thiesen’ s is a short entitled “Just Pray” and Ms.

Turner will screen her short “Trip in a Summer Dress.”

New additions to the festival include films in the Oscar Shorts

Showcase, including Ryan, directed by Chris Landreth and winner of the

Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated); and Wasp, winner of the

Academy Award for Best Short Film (live action), directed by Andrea Arnold.

Palindromes, the new film directed by Todd Solondz, starring Jennifer

Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin and Richard Masur will screen at the festival along

with The Thing About My Folks, starring Paul Reiser and Peter Falk.

This year’ s festival will also screen eight documentaries including

Z Channel, starring Jacqueline Bisset, Alexander Payne, Quentin Tarantinoand James Woods. Director Alexandra Cassavetes documents the Z Channel, one

of the first pay cable stations in the United States, and its programming

chief, Jerry Harvey.

Launched in 1974 in Los Angeles, Z Channel was one of the country’s first pay cable stations. Its prominence was solidified in 1980 when maverick programmer Jerry Harvey took over as head of programming. Z’s uniqueness was attributed to Harvey and his staff’s determination, diverse taste and encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. Harvey’s programming showcased a combination of classic, international, independent, and Hollywood films. Z was the first to develop programming innovations such as ‘director’s cuts’ and uniquely themed on air festivals, while also airing many rare and never before seen exclusives and critically acclaimed films not in the mainstream.

The documentary chronicles Harvey’s emergence as a brilliant programmer, but also explores Harvey’s emotional and psychological descent, which eventually resulted in a shocking murder/suicide and the eventual demise of Z Channel itself.

Besides screenings, the festival will also feature workshops, seminars and

panel discussions with award-winning actors, writers and directors. The

festival will kick off with an opening night party at the newly constructed

Donovan Pavilion on Gore Creek (March 31), a filmmakers’ reception at Larkspur

at the base of Golden Peak (April 1), the festival awards ceremony and party

on-mountain at Vail’ s Eagle’ s Nest Marketplace (April 2), and the festival

closing brunch at Larkspur (April 3).

Last year’ s Vail Film Festival hosted the North American premiere of

Richard Linklater’ s Before Sunset, starring Ethan Hawke, which was named one

of the top five films of 2004 by many of Hollywood’ s leading film critics and

nominated for an Academy Award.

The Vail Film Festival is produced by the Vail Film Institute, a

non-profit arts organization that is dedicated to fostering independent cinema

and creative filmmaking. Festival passes incorporate a combination of skiing, movies and music.

For a complete list of this year’ s films visit vailfilmfestival.org »

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