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March 4, 2014

UNA screens award-winning 'Guest House', welcomes director and star for 17th annual Lindsey Festivities

FLORENCE — The 2014 George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival will introduce regional audiences to a critically acclaimed independent film through a special out-of-competition screening at this year’s 17th annual festivities.

Based on the true-life experiences of director Aaron Wolf, the award-winning 27-minute film Guest Housewill be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, in Room 131 of the Communications Building on the UNA campus. Admission is free.

“For the most part, the films the festival screens have always been in competition for prizes,” according to Dr. Cynthia Burkhead, a UNA assistant professor of English who chairs the annual festival. “This year we wanted to offer the competing filmmakers and our audiences the opportunity to relax and enjoy a film that has already had its success at film festivals.”

The 2014 Lindsey event – which opens Thursday, March 6, and continues through Saturday, March 8 – will screen and showcase 18 professional, student and young filmmaker works and present table readings of two winners in the annual competition for short and feature screenplays. Other events include panel discussions, workshops, a gala awards show and question-and-answer sessions with visiting filmmakers.

“Guest House director Aaron Wolf and star Mark Gessner will be in attendance and will participate in a Q&A after the screening,” Burkhead explained. “It is a real bonus that the director and lead actor will be on hand to talk about the film.”

Guest House recounts the story of young, middle-class suburbanite Lance Wesley (played by Mark Gessner of God of Love, The Big C and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) who loses both his job and his fiancé. Moving into his parents’ guest house, Lance receives unexpected consolation from the suddenly animated relics of his childhood.

Wolf’s short film – which features such well-known actors as Michael Gross (Family Ties, Tremors, Call Me Fitz) and Heather Lind (A Single Shot, Half the Perfect World, Boardwalk Empire) – earned the Grand Jury Award at the 2013 Nevada Film Festival and the Award of Excellence at the 2013 New York Los Angeles International Film Festival.Guest House was named the Audience Choice winner at the 2013 Hampton Film Festival and has been screened at other top film festivals across the country.

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