Lights, camera, action. The Waverly Community House, known as “the Comm,” is inviting movie enthusiasts to screenings of films in several genres and at several venues during its second annual Northeast PA Film Festival, to be held Friday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 22.
On Friday there will be a cocktail reception and screening beginning at 6 p.m. at the Waverly Community House, 1115 N. Abington Road in Waverly Township. The event will be catered by Peculiar Culinary and the opening night feature is “At the Drive In,” a full-length documentary about the Mahoning Drive-In, which was directed by Alexander Minelli.
On Saturday the setting will be the recently opened Iron Horse Bistro at 301 Lackawanna Ave. in Scranton. The films will start at 1 p.m. with the showing of “The Messengers,” a documentary that looks at Joseph’s House, a hospice for homeless men and women with end-stage AIDS and terminal cancer.
“When I heard about Joseph’s House and realized that it was only walking distance from where I lived, I decided to visit and learn more about them,” said director Lucian Perkins, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the Washington Post for 27 years. “The fact that a hospice for homeless people with HIV/AIDS was right in in the middle of a residential neighborhood fascinated me. While visiting I was immediately drawn to the young volunteers there and how working at St. Joseph’s changed them. I hope that people who see this film become inspired to volunteer within their community. Helping others has its own rewards and for those volunteers in ‘The Messengers’ they were life changing.” Perkins is slated to attend the screening.
The Iron Horse Bistro will also show short films beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
On Sunday the Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for the Creative Arts will showcase films from current Wyoming Seminary students, faculty and alumni beginning at 1 p.m. Starting at 3 p.m., the center will show the same short films that were shown on Saturday at Iron Horse Movie Bistro.
The center also will show the full-length feature film “Centralia” starting at 6 p.m. Directed by Joe Sapienza, the film is about the mine fire that began under Centralia, Pennsylvania.
“The F. Lammont Belin Arts Memorial fund was established in 1964 for the purpose of offering financial support to artists who have roots in Northeast PA,” said Maria Wilson, executive director of the Waverly Community House. “Given the strength and success of this scholarship program, the Board of Trustees of the Comm chose to extend its mission to ‘build community through the arts,’ which is now known as the F. Lammot Belin Arts Foundation. Film touches so many art forms including music, art, drama, literature and writing and serves a broad audience.”
This year’s festival challenged film makers to create a short film from scratch using the items contained in a mystery box. The box contained a character name, a line of dialogue, a prop, a type of location, a plot element, a wardrobe item and a choice of three movie genres. The challenge required inclusion of a specific shot as well as a product placement item from Pennsylvania. The mystery box films will be shown Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Iron Horse Bistro.
“People love going to the movies, talking about the movies and seeing new film,” said Wilson. “A film festival generates great energy, enthusiasm and creativity. People love to escape into the movies and see something new.”
For more information on movies and show times visit nepafilmfestival.com Tickets can be purchased at the web site or at the Waverly Community House. A weekend pass is $65, which includes access to the opening night premier party and opening night feature film as well as all films at both locations Saturday and Sunday. A Saturday and Sunday pass is $15 and a single-day pass for Saturday is $10 and for Sunday $5.