Gary readies first-ever film festival

February 11, 2011

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The glitz begins tonight for the launch of the Gary International Black Film Festival.

The three-day event will feature short and feature-length films in several styles, including documentary, experimental and animation.

Filmmakers will also be on hand for discussions with moviegoers.  

Gary Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chuck Hughes said Gary, Indiana, is a perfect host because the city launched the careers of actors such as Karl Malden, Avery Brooks and Fred Williamson.

“Gary has a rich history of people in television and film. Being as near to Chicago as we are, we think that Gary would be just a tremendous spring board for young acting talent and technical talents in the movie and acting field,” Williamson said.

Festival director Karen Toering said the event is also a salute to black culture. She hopes it will boost regional pride and lead to Gary becoming a stop on the black film festival circuit. But Toering said the festival’s future depends on this weekend’s turnout and reception.