The Western will be celebrated in the Mother Lode at this year’s Film Fest Twain Harte, planned for Labor Day weekend with celebrity guests and a slate of international and locally produced films.
Among the highlights of the festival will be a screening of the Clint Eastwood classic “Pale Rider,” marking the 30th anniversary of its release. “Pale Rider” was shot in Tuolumne County. Among the celebrities participating in the festival will be two of that film’s actors, Sydney Penny (who played Megan Wheeler) and Jeffrey Weissman (Teddy Conway), according to a press release from Film Fest Twain Harte.
Among the other Hollywood guests will be actress Lee Meriwether, a former Miss America known for her roles as Catwoman in the 1966 film “Batman: The Movie” and for the television series “Barnaby Jones.” More celebrity appearances will be announced as the festival date grows nearer, according to the press release.
The festival will be held Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 at three venues: Twain Harte Golf Course on Twain Harte Drive, the Community Center/American Legion Hall on Manzanita Drive and the Telele Lodge.
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Tickets are on sale at the film fest box office on Joaquin Gully Road in downtown Twain Harte and online at filmfesttwainharte.com. Prices are $10-$70 depending on the day and event, or $120 for a “total package” option.
Independent movies from around the world, as well as from local students and filmmakers, will be presented throughout the weekend, including feature films, shorts and documentaries.
Special events include a VIP reception Aug. 29 that opens the festival at the Twain Harte Golf Course and will include a meet-and-greet with Penny and Weissman. It will be followed by the presentation of “Pale Rider.”
On Aug. 30, a Spaghetti Western Dinner will be held and classic “spaghetti Western” films will follow at the Community Center, including Eastwood’s “The Good, Bad and the Ugly,” “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More.”
An awards banquet will be held Aug. 31. On Labor Day, Sept. 1, the “Best of the Fest” films will be showcased.
Last year’s Film Fest Twain Harte fell victim to the Rim fire, but organizers put together a downsized event in October that included an appearance by Golden Globe-winning actress Sally Kirkland, who starred in one of the festival’s entries, “Posey.”
The rescheduled event last year raised money for visual arts scholarships, as well as for Rim fire recovery efforts.