Screenings will honor Gene Hackman

Screenings will honor Gene Hackman

CHARLESTON — The Embarras Valley Film Festival starting on Saturday will honor Academy Award-winning actor Gene Hackman, who grew up in Danville.

The festival, a collaboration between the community and Eastern Illinois University, will offer film screenings and related events on Saturday and Nov. 1-3. All screenings are free and open to the public; Hackman will not be at the festival in person.

The festival explores Hackman in five movies: "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), "Unforgiven" (1992), "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), "Hoosiers" (1986) and "The French Connection" (1972). All except "Hoosiers" are rated R. "Hoosiers" is rated PG.

Each film will be introduced by a guest speaker. "Hoosiers," regarded by some as the best sports film of all time, will be preceded by remarks from new EIU men's basketball coach Jay Spoonhour, a "movie junkie" who co-hosted the "Movie Show" on KFNS radio in St. Louis in the late 1990s.

Other speakers will be Dann Gire, a Charleston High and EIU graduate who is president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association; Chuck Koplinski, who has reviewed films for 20 years for central Illinois media, including The News-Gazette; and Robin Murray, who teaches in the EIU English Department and serves as the coordinator for the College of Arts and Humanities' film studies minor.

The festival is sponsored by EIU's College of Arts and Humanities, Tarble Arts Center, Doudna Fine Arts Center and Booth Library, as well as the Coles County Arts Council and Charleston Carnegie Public Library. The festival also receives support from Charleston tourism funds.

Events will take place at Doudna, Tarble and the Charleston library.

For more information, visit

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