Turner Classic Movies
Fifth Robert Osborne Film Festival -Guest Line-up
Written by Diana Saenger   

It's only days until the curtain rises on the Fifth annual  Robert Osborne Film Festival, March 19-22 in beautiful Athens, GA at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. In addition to a wonderful line-up of exciting classic films, is the thrilling line-up of special guests appearing to talk about their part in the movies or their expertise about a certain film. Not only will famed Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne be on hand to enthrall movie fans with his knowledge of movies, but acclaimed actor,  funny man and former film festival guest Fred Willard will be co-hosting the event.

Fred Willard, Actor, For Your Consideration

Willard's work includes a part in every movie directed by Christopher Guest, including 2009 festival selection For Your Consideration.

For information about the exciting film line-up and more about the festival, click here.

Film Guests

These esteemed actors, directors, and producers participated in each of this year's featured movies. Co-Hosts Robert Osborne and Fred Willard will speak with each guest prior to each film's screening, and discuss elements of that particular film, as well as take questions from the audience. This year's guests include:

Guy Hamilton, Director, Goldfinger

Tom Brown, Vice President of original productions for Turner Classic Movies, King Kong

James C. Katz, Producer and Film Restoration, Rear Window

Fred Willard, Festival Co-Host, Funny Girl

Michael Hitchcock, Actor, For Your Consideration

Alan Rode, Film Noir Historian & Specialist, Sunset Boulevard

Talia Shire, Actress, The Godfather

Dee Wallace, Actress, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (via taped interview & greeting)

Cloris Leachman, Actress, Guest for Funny Girl & E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Panel Discussion Guests

Every year, Robert Osborne hosts a free panel discussion on various topics in the film industry. Each discussion involves a panel of renowned film professionals who discuss the topic with the audience. This year's panel discussion, Film Festival Fare: Independent Filmmaking & its Influence on Hollywood, will be with the following guests:

Angela Allen - Angela Allen is one of Britain's film industry treasures, having worked on hundreds of films for the past half century. Angela started work at an artist's agency, Filmrights. She trained as a script supervisor (known as Continuity) at the Korda studios and worked on the second unit of the Third Man. Romulus films hired her for Pandora and The Flying Dutchman, and as the youngest continuity working in England, she was chosen by Sam Spiegel to work for John Huston on The African Queen. She then worked on 13 more of his films including Moby Dick, The Misfits, The Man Who Would Be King, and Night Of The Iguana. In Georgia, she worked with Huston on Wise Blood, and in Hollywood she worked on the television movie The Patricia Neal Story. She worked in New York for NBC, and for Ray Stark on his stage production of Funny Girl.

In California she worked for Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin and as script supervisor on some TV shows for Universal. More recently she worked with John Frankenheimer and has been involved with Franco Zeffirelli on his films and stage work. Her list of credits includes Tea For Mussolini, The Dirty Dozen, Women In Love, Downhill Racer, Murder On The Orient Express, among many others.

Tom Brown - Tom Brown is vice president of original productions for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) In this capacity, he oversees all original programming, including the recent Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton-The Man in the Shadows; Spielberg on Spielberg and Role Model: Gene Wilder. In 2007, Brown oversaw production on the Emmy-nominated original documentary Brando.  

 He has also overseen such critically-acclaimed projects as the Emmy-winning Stardust: The Bette Davis Story; the Emmy-nominated documentary Cary Grant: A Class Apart and the highly-praised documentary Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool.

In addition to TCM's long-form original programming, Brown oversees all of the network's in-house production, such as the Guest Programmer series, in which the network invites celebrities to program an evening of classic films; and The Essentials.

Before joining TCM, Brown worked as a producer and reporter for TNT's Rough Cut, where he interviewed such Hollywood stars as Meg Ryan, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Brown has won several Addy and Telly Awards and received an Emmy nomination for his interview with Paul McCartney.   He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi.

James Colt Harrison - James Colt Harrison is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, with a BA in Architecture. He is a co-founder and former President of the San Diego Film Critics Society. James began his love for comedy and the arts as a cartoonist for the campus humor magazine, The Pelican. He served in the military service in the Navy, and began his freelance writing career writing for Stars and Stripes, All Hands, and Seabee Pacific Newspaper in Okinawa.

Ending up in La Jolla California, James became an architect at the VA Hospital in La Jolla and began a freelance career as a film, book, and music critic. He's published 1000s of reviews and articles about films, stars, and early Hollywood in magazines such as BUZZ, Bottomline, No Cover, Alpine Sun, Escape, The Californian and Hillcrest News.

In 1995 James started and served as publisher for the Uptown Marquee magazine, a 50-page monthly distributed to 22 communities in San Diego County and centered on entertainment. In 1998 he was hired as Managing Editor of the entertainment magazine Preview distributed in Loews Theaters. He has been the film critic for the La Jolla Village News for the past 15 years. He regularly contributes reviews and interviews to several websites, including He is a frequent guest and co-host of Betty Jo Tucker's Blog Talk Radio show, Movie Addict headquarters, talking about movies, classic films and helping to interview stars on the air.

From his first interview with Marilyn Monroe on the set of Some Like It Hot in San Diego, James has interviewed 100's of A-list Hollywood talent and filmmakers. He has written the complete history of the early studios and is working on a book about the subject.

Richard Neupert - Richard Neupert is the Wheatley Professor of the Arts and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at UGA.  He coordinates the Film Studies program and hosts the UGA French Film Festival.  His books include The  End and A History of the  French  New Wave  Cinema; he is currently wrapping up a book on French animation.

Ray Ruggeri - Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz followed the yellow brick road to find her way home and this celebrated movie classic guided Ray Ruggeri to the path of one of his lifelong passions - movies. A frequent escapist to the fantasy world that only movies can create, Ray has enjoyed a lifetime in the entertainment industry - studying voice, performing in musicals, and working behind the scenes as a director and producer.

Today, he is the founder and archivist of Cinemabilia, a collection of original, vintage movie posters, covering all film genres and spanning several decades. He is an avid collector, lecturer and well-respected international dealer of motion picture memorabilia. He has recently exhibited at several U.S. and international events including the Telluride International Film Festival, the Sedona International Film Festival and Cingles du Cinema near Paris.

Ray continues to lecture and give seminars at venues around the world. He loves to share his wealth of film knowledge whether he is educating the novice, would-be or seasoned collector. As Humphrey Bogart said in The Maltese Falcon Ruggeri feels the cinema is the actual "stuff dreams are made of" and that movie posters are the tangible pieces of these dreams.

Diana Saenger- Diana Saenger operates her own entertainment syndicate, Saenger Syndicate and online sites and Called a Roving Film Historian by Fox Studio Classics, Diana interviews and writes in-depth pieces - Coy Watson Jr., The Big Trail -  about early Fox actors. Both of her websites have won local, state and national media awards.

Diana is the entertainment editor of the East County Gazette, film and theater critic for six San Diego Suburban Newspapers, and has sold more than 1,000 short stories, articles or features to newspapers and magazines. Along with interviews of more than 500 celebrities and filmmakers, she's been a judge for screenwriting competitions and a script reader for a production company as well as a press coordinator for the San Diego International Film Festival.

Her community hats are many. Diana is past president of So. California Media Professionals, past president of the San Diego Film Critic's Society, president of SANDS Publishing, owns DS Public Relations, the Communications Director for the Human Factor Leadership Academy, and Diana was recently nominated by California State Assemblyman Joel Anderson for "Woman of the ear" for CA's 77th District.

Diana is the author of Everyone Wants My Job: the ABC's of Entertainment Writing, and The Vietnam War: Life As A POW, From Guadalcanal to Hemet, and co-editor of Glory A Nation's Spirit Defeats the Attack on America. She is currently working on a book about early classic movies.

Gabriel Wardell - Gabriel Wardell, executive director of the Atlanta Film Festival 365 has worked for film festivals for over 15 years including Slamdance and SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. In addition to programming for the AFI Silver Theatre and the Baltimore Museum of Art, he has programmed festivals from Washington to California. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Gabe developed an interest in independent film at an early age--his mother can be seen in John Waters' Female Trouble, having her monster beehive hair-do teased silly by Dribbles.




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