By Eugene Axton - gaxton@timesleader.com

Now showing: Inaugural summer movie fest at the Dietrich Theater

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    Ronnie Harvey is the general manager at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock, but his informal title is “film buff extraordinaire.”

    Harvey works with a film booker in New York to curate the Dietrich’s spring and fall festivals — they look at a large group of popular independent movies and single out selections based on feedback from previous festival audiences. The large group of popular independent movies frequently features films that Harvey would like to bring in but is forced to pass on since they’re available on home video. Then he and Dietrich Theater Executive Director Erica Rogler came up with a solution—a new summer film fest.

    “We both had the same idea at the same time,” Harvey said. “ When we make our spring and fall festivals we have a lot of movies to choose from that we can’t put in because they’re too old. We thought a way to counteract that is to create a smaller festival in the meantime (for) those movies that we probably wouldn’t be able to show in our big festivals.”

    “We also feel that in summer a lot of the gems of independent film kind of get lost in the shuffle with all the huge blockbusters like ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Minions.’” Rogler added. “This is a great way to showcase them.”

    The inaugural Summer Fest at the Dietrich Theater will begin with a gala at 6 p.m. Friday, July 24 that will feature popcorn, wine and beer, as well as two of the festival’s featured films, “5 Flights Up” and “Far From the Madding Crowd.” “5 Flights Up,” tells the story of Alex and Ruth Carver (Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton), an aged couple that decides to leave the New York City apartment they’ve called home for years, while “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a period drama based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy.

    Summer Fest continues on Saturday, July 25, with screenings of the five other films showing during the festival. The day starts at noon with “In the Name of My Daughter,” a French drama about a recently-divorced woman involved in the Le Roux court case of the 1970s. The film is based on casino heiress Renee Le Roux’s memoirs, which detail the casino wars on the French Riviera during the ’70s and ’80s.

    “Iris,” a documentary that focuses on 93-year old New York fashion icon Iris Apfel, plays at 2:30 p.m., while “Where Hope Grows” tells the story of a troubled ex-baseball player who finds meaning in his friendship with a special needs grocery store employee at 5 p.m.

    Brian Wilson’s biopic “Love and Mercy” and star-studded industry drama “Clouds of Sils Maria” will show at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., respectively.

    These seven films will be shown multiple times throughout the week until Summer Fest wraps up on July 30. Harvey chose the films for Summer Fest the same way he chooses the films to show during the Dietrich’s spring and fall festivals—he thought about the theatergoers.

    “I picked these exact movies because when I looked through the list I thought of the kinds of things that worked best with the other festivals,” Harvey said. “As we go along I kind of learn who our audience is and I learn what they’re most receptive to, so I went through the list and I (selected) what the audience (would be) most receptive to.”

    Tickets to Summer Fest’s Opening Night Gala are $25 and can be reserved by phone at (570) 996-1500. Admission to all Summer Fest showings is $8.50 per person and a full calendar of show times for the week can be found at dietrichtheater.com.

    SUMMER FEST LINEUP

    Saturday, July 25

    noon: In the Name of My Daughter

    2:30 p.m.: Iris

    5 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    7 p.m.: Love & Mercy

    9:30 p.m. Clouds of Sils Maria

    Sunday, July 26

    noon: 5 Flights Up

    2:15 p.m. Where Hope Grows

    4:30 p.m. In the Name of My Daughter

    7 p.m.: Far From the Madding Crowd

    Monday, July 27

    noon: Clouds of Sils Maria

    2:30 p.m.: Love & Mercy

    5 p.m.: Iris

    7 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    Tuesday, July 28

    noon: Far From the Madding Crowd

    2:30 p.m.: In the Name of My Daughter

    5: p.m.: 5 Flights Up

    7 p.m.: Iris

    Wednesday, July 29

    noon: Love & Mercy

    2:30 p.m.: Clouds of Sils Maria

    5 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    7 p.m.: In the Name of My Daughter

    Thursday, July 30

    noon: Iris

    2:15 p.m.: 5 Flights Up

    4:30 p.m.: Far From the Madding Crowd

    7 p.m.: Love & Mercy

    Reach Gene Axton at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @TLArts

    Dietrich Theater adds third movie festival to its lineup

    By Eugene Axton

    gaxton@timesleader.com

    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_iris.jpg

    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_LoveMercy.jpg

    Reach Gene Axton at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @TLArts

    SUMMER FEST LINEUP

    Saturday, July 25

    noon: In the Name of My Daughter

    2:30 p.m.: Iris

    5 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    7 p.m.: Love & Mercy

    9:30 p.m. Clouds of Sils Maria

    Sunday, July 26

    noon: 5 Flights Up

    2:15 p.m. Where Hope Grows

    4:30 p.m. In the Name of My Daughter

    7 p.m.: Far From the Madding Crowd

    Monday, July 27

    noon: Clouds of Sils Maria

    2:30 p.m.: Love & Mercy

    5 p.m.: Iris

    7 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    Tuesday, July 28

    noon: Far From the Madding Crowd

    2:30 p.m.: In the Name of My Daughter

    5: p.m.: 5 Flights Up

    7 p.m.: Iris

    Wednesday, July 29

    noon: Love & Mercy

    2:30 p.m.: Clouds of Sils Maria

    5 p.m.: Where Hope Grows

    7 p.m.: In the Name of My Daughter

    Thursday, July 30

    noon: Iris

    2:15 p.m.: 5 Flights Up

    4:30 p.m.: Far From the Madding Crowd

    7 p.m.: Love & Mercy