Niagara Gazette

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February 27, 2008

MOVIES: Possible Redford visit tops film fest schedule

A possible appearance by Robert Redford and horror/science fiction night at North Tonawanda’s Riviera Theatre highlight the schedule of the second annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, which was announced last week.

The late March festival’s opening night will feature an athletic theme, with the screening of several sports-related films rotating around a 25th anniversary celebration of “The Natural” being filmed in Buffalo.

As part of that celebration at the Adams Mark Hotel, Robert Prosky has confirmed that he will appear. In addition to playing The Judge in “The Natural,” Prosky has appeared in “Outrageous Fortune,” “Hill Street Blues” and “Dead Man Walking,” said Greg Lamberson, the festival’s publicity director.

Talks are ongoing for other “Natural” stars to make appearances March 24, according to festival founder Bill Cowell. Among those are Michael Madsen, Glenn Close, Wilford Brimley and Robert Redford.

“Redford’s offered to participate,” said Cowell, who emphasized that does not mean a personal appearance. “I’d say that there would probably at least be a videotaped message or possibly a live satellite feed.”

Many of the festival’s other activities take place at the Riv, including comedy night March 25 and horror/science fiction day March 27. Featured on that day will be a panel discussion with director Tom Holland (“Child’s Play”), Roy Frumkes (“The Definitive Document of the Dead”) and Rodrigo Gudino (“The Demonology of Desire”). Producer Herschell Gordon Lewis will also receive a lifetime achievement award that day, Lamberson said.

Wanda Jackson will be the guest of honor and will perform during music day March 28. The “Queen of Rockabilly,” Jackson was the first woman to make a rock ’n roll record and is under consideration for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cowell said.

The six-day festival will conclude with feature screenings March 29 and an awards ceremony at the Adam’s Mark. In addition to the hotel and Riv, screenings will take place at Buffalo’s Market Arcade.

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