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Film fest ready to roll

William Johnson

William Johnson

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If you go

What: Second annual William L. Johnson Film Festival

When: 7 nightly Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23

Where: Glen Theater, 20 W. Ridge Road, Gary

Tickets: Advance tickets are $15 each night or $25 for both nights; tickets at the door are $20 for Friday or Saturday. Advance tickets are available at Beautiful Things, 3570 Village Court (inside the Village Shopping Center), Gary, or by calling 985-8256.

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For the second year in a row, the Glen Theater is hosting the William L. Johnson Film Festival featuring independent short and full-length feature films written, produced, and directed by African-Americans.

Johnson is a Gary native and alumnus of Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts, now known as Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy. Johnson has starred in various films in nearly 20 years, including “Blue Hill Avenue.”

State Rep. Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary, operates the Glen Theater as an educational and job training venue for members of African American Achievers Youth Corp, as well as an entertainment venue for community events.

Just as last year, Smith said he is happy that Johnson came up with the idea of a film festival and uses the Glen Theater to host the weekend event.

“William told me he wanted to do something in his hometown. With the success of the film festival last year, he definitely wanted to make it an annual event,” Smith said.

There are changes for this year’s event. It will be two nights instead of last year’s three days and nights, and the ticket prices have changed.

“I am hoping people will come out as they did last year,” Smith said.

Actor, filmmaker, writer and director Van Elder has worked with Johnson on various films, including a movie short that is part of this year’s lineup. “Truth Among Men” is a story about dialogue between a father and his teenage son.

“Without giving away the movie, I guarantee it will be something people will talk about,” Elder said, adding that Johnson and the rest of the cast were “blown away” by the script.

Opening night for the festival includes the showings of “Truth Among Men” and “Process Servers,” two short films that follow the feature film “Church: The Movie.”

Saturday night’s film lineup includes the feature film “The Lying Truth” and movie shorts “The Debt” and “Out of Body Experience.”

Scheduled guests include Elder, producer Foster Corder, and actor, writer, producer and director Reggie Gaskins. Smith added that, along with main sponsors African American Achievers, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and WLTH-AM (1370), Life Church International and Clark Road Church Foundation will sponsor Friday night, and Brothers’ Keeper, Northwest Indiana Media Group and Brother2Brother will sponsor Saturday night.



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