On Nov. 8, the ribbon was cut to signal the kick-off of the first-ever Centre Film Festival.
The festival took place at the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg, a quick 30 minute drive from Penn State’s campus. Pearl Gluck, a film professor in Penn State’s Bellisario College of Communications, founded and organized the entire weekend. Besides Gluck, there were many sponsors and volunteers who supported and helped to organize the event.
Madison Lysek, a student volunteer at the festival, was thrilled to have an insider position and get real life entertainment public relations experience.
“It was a great weekend, and no two hours were the same. If I weren’t graduating I would have loved to get onboard for next year,” Lysek says.
Centre Film Festival went from Friday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Nov. 10. Throughout these three days, eight blocks of feature length and short films were shown, as well as live performances and master classes. The films ranged from high school horror shorts to award-winning documentaries. Filmmakers and the subjects of some of the documentaries were in attendance throughout the weekend and available to talk to and network with.
Live performances from bands such as the Hillybilly Gypsies and the Vinyl Stripes were also a major highlight of the weekend for many. During these performances, food and beverages were available so attendees could listen and chat while getting refreshments.
The master classes were an added benefit to an already full weekend. The classes available were storytelling, photography, dance and music. They were available to high school students and taught by visiting artists, filmmakers and dancers. The classes took place throughout downtown Philipsburg, from the library to the Rowland Theatre.
According to centrefilm.org, the Centre Film Festival was created in order to bring story-telling to Central Pennsylvania and gives local artists a place to show their work. It was clear that many of the films catered to audiences located in Central Pennsylvania, such as feature length films “Pennsylvania Bouldering,” a film about the best and most scenic bouldering locations in Pennsylvania, and the high school shorts which were submitted by high schoolers from local schools, such as State High.
The festival also had the goal of showing the history of the Rowland Theatre as well as the rest of downtown Philipsburg. The Rowland Theatre has been opened since 1917, and still has many of the original elements from when it was built. Stepping into the building, it is clear that it is rich with history. The Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation played a huge hand in this festival, as their goal is to show the beauty and history that Philipsburg has to offer.
Although the date is not yet confirmed, it looks as though Centre Film Festival will be returning to Philipsburg next year for their second annual event. For more information on the festival, visit centrefilm.org.