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14th Valencia Film Celebration starts February 13
(released 2/4/2009)            Green Room Orlando News Feed Subscribe  
By Douglas Lorah

Next weekend is the 14th annual Valencia Film Celebration.  It is being held at the Performing Arts Center at Valencia's East Campus on Friday, February 13th and Saturday, February 14th.  All of the films were made in Central Florida by film students at VCC along with working professionals.  Some items to note are that 3 Tuskegee Airmen will be in attendance for the documentary film about the WWII pilots and if you haven't seen The First of May during its run on HBO, this is your chance.  Actor George "The Animal" Steele is expected to be at the screening of Blowfish.

Here is a breakdown of the films on Friday, February 13th:

Silver Wings & Civil Rights: The Flight to Fly - (www.fight2fly.com) is the only documentary film to tell the whole story of the Tuskegee in WW2. From aerial combat in the skies over Europe to the stateside struggle for equality this award winning film tells the story of these civil rights pioneers. The Tuskegee Airmen were an all African-American unit of the US Army Air Force and flew the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter in Europe and trained B-25 Mitchell Bomber. Silver Wings was produced completely by former Valencia Students. Appearing at the screening will be three original Tuskegee Airmen. Lt. Col. Hiram Mann, Lt. Col Leo Gray both veteran P-51 pilots and Lr. Col Eldridge Williams former head of physical training at Tuskegee Army Air field. All three men were at the Congressional Gold medal ceremony where President G.W. Bush presented the Airmen with a Congressional Gold medal. Leo and Eldridge have accepted an invitation from President Obama to attend his inauguration.

These 3 Tuskegee Airmen will be in attendance for a Q&A to follow the screening:

Lt. Colonel Hiram Mann was a combat pilot in the European Theater. In honor of his wife he named his P-51 D "Boss Lady." Lt. Col. Mann has the honor of having a Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen named after him as well as a street in Walterborro, South Carolina.

Lt. Colonel Leo Gray is also a veteran of the Air War in Europe flying 15 missions as a P-51 pilot. Lt. Col. Gray has just returned from the inauguration of President Obama where he and other original Tuskegee Airmen were guests of honor.

Lt. Col. Eldridge Williams was the head of physical training at Tuskegee Army Air Field during WW2. He was classmates with Clark Gable during officer training at Miami Beach. Eldridge is currently the president of the Miami Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Following the feature documentary, a Miss Ola music video will screen and trailers for the films on Saturday.

Saturday's Films

The First of May is a touching story of Cory, an unwanted 10-year-old boy who teams up with a feisty, colorful Carlotta, who has been trapped in a retirement home. Together, they run away on a thrilling adventure that leads them to the circus and the true meaning of family that had eluded them all their lives. Produced and written by Gary Rogers, and produced and directed by Paul Sirmons, the film's beautiful circus sequences were shot at Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus in Deland. The film stars Julie Harris, Charles Nelson Reilly, Dan Byrd and Mickey Rooney with a cameo by Jo DiMaggio.

Blowfish - A dramatic comedy concerning two brothers from Brooklyn who find themselves stuck in an isolated Florida trailer park in order to fulfill a family obligation. Here in the park's pleasant yet unnerving rural serenity, surrounded by an assortment of oddball residents, the brothers realize they have no sense of who they are without the comforting distractions of Brooklyn. Featuring George "The Animal" Steele playing Henry, the 350-pound mute. George has also appeared as Tor Johnson in Tim Burton's film, "Ed Wood."

Out on Parole is a light urban comedy about a young man (Marcus) who is released from prison for a robbery he committed four years earlier. He goes to live with his older brother (Clarence) who is running for Mayor. When Clarence gets mixed up in a loan agreement from the mob, he has to rely on his unreliable younger brother to help him out. - Director: Derek Alan Rowe

We have also been told that a couple of short films may accompany Saturday's features:  Sexecutive and The Last Shot.

Below are the times, ticket prices and location:

Friday, February 13th, 2009

7:30pm
(3) Guests of honor in house; Q&A also.
Feature Presentations of:
Silver Wings Civil Rights, The Flight to Fly... a film by Jon Anderson
Miss Ola music video screening
Trailer for the films being shown on Saturday.

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

5:00pm - "The First of May"
--if showing, followed by "Sexecutive" (short film)

8:00pm - "Blowfish"
--if showing, followed by "The Last Shot" (short film)

10:00pm - Special screening of the feature film, "Out on Parole."
possible Q&A also following each screening.

Ticket prices as as follow:
Free for all Valencia Students, Staff and Faculty.
$5 general admission
$10 for ALL THREE films on Saturday or $5 for one!

Event Location:
Performing Arts Center at Valencia Community College- East Campus
701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail
Orlando, FL 32825







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