Video by Grace Bradley | Centre County Report.
The Centre Film Festival returns for a second year this weekend, but this time around it will be a little different.
While the inaugural festival was held in 2019 at Philipsburg’s Rowland Theater, this year’s edition will take place virtually, Friday through Sunday, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blocks of films and panel discussions may be accessed via streaming video for a single film fee of $30, or through individual program tickets. Proceeds from the admission fees will benefit Centre County nonprofits, including the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg, the State Theatre in State College and 3 Dots Downtown.
Each film block features short films, the main feature, and a live (on Zoom) panel discussion introducing the audience to filmmakers from around the world and from the local region. Patrons can view the film in real time, followed by the discussion. They also can watch the films at a time of their choosing anytime during the festival, followed by joining the scheduled discussion.
While the festival includes a wide variety of films from across the nation and around the world, filmmakers with Pennsylvania roots also are featured throughout the festival.
“Definition Please” on opening night explores the life of a child with roots in India who is growing up in Westmoreland County. The Saturday afternoon lineup includes “Franklin Manor,” a story of a mobile home community scattered by development, filmed in Centre County. On Sunday, “Small Time,” explores the world of a girl growing up in a rural world of poverty, addiction and God.
“We loved our inaugural year here in Centre County and at the Rowland Theatre, and we will miss seeing our community face to face this year,” Pearl Gluck, artistic director of the Centre Film Festival, said in a release. “Until we get back into the theatre, we are able to bring filmmakers from all over the world and our country to your door and on your screen. We’re really looking forward to the online conversation we will be able to have with our community as we watch films and discuss them.”
For the schedule of films and Q&As, as well as ticket info, visit centrefilm.org.