Lincoln, Civil War inform EVFF

The sixth annual Embarras Valley Film Festival commences tonight, Thursday, November 12, 6:30 p.m., at the Doudna Fine Arts Center on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, IL. This year’s topic is “Lincoln, the Civil War, and Memory.” The following information details all related films and speakers that will be showcased between now and Saturday, November 14. Thanks to Dr. Robin Murray of EIU for sharing it with C-U Blogfidential!

~ Jason Pankoke



The Embarras Valley Film Festival (EVFF) will be held on November 12-14, 2009, on the campus of Eastern Illinois University and in downtown Charleston, IL. A collaborative effort between the community and Eastern Illinois University, the festival celebrates the contributions to the film arts by individuals with connections to East Central Illinois and EIU. This year’s sixth annual EVFF, “Lincoln, the Civil War, and Memory,” will honor Abraham Lincoln through presentations and filmic representations of Lincoln’s life and the Civil War, joining a host of other institutions in Illinois celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday. All events are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, November 12, Dr. John R. Sellers, Historical Specialist on the American Civil War and the Lincoln Curator at the Library of Congress, will speak in the Lecture Hall in the Doudna Fine Arts Center, EIU, at 6:30 p.m. Immediately following Dr. Seller’s talk, there will be a screening of John Ford‘s YOUNG MR. LINCOLN, a 1939 film documenting Lincoln’s early life.

On Friday, November 13, the EVFF begins at 10:00 a.m. with a Screenwriters Workshop in the Tarble Arts Center Atrium, EIU, led by Craig Titley, a Hollywood screenwriter and Mattoon native. The EVFF continues at 1:00 p.m. with Chris Mitchell‘s presentation “Our American Cousin: Melodrama and the Civil War,” also in the Tarble Atrium. At 2:30 p.m., Kevin Anderson will present “Lincoln, the Civil War, and Race” in the Doudna Lecture Hall, followed by David Smith‘s and Joseph Heumann‘s presentation “Film and History,” also in the Doudna Lecture Hall. At 7:00 p.m., the Oscar-winning 1962 short film AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE, directed by Robert Enrico, will be shown. The evening ends with a performance of Civil War era music by Ben Leddy and Claire Johnson; both events are in the Doudna Lecture Hall.

Activities for area youths are also a part of this year’s EVFF. Preceding the festival, a Stop Motion Film Workshop for young adults was held on Saturday, November 7, at the Tarble Arts Center led by Paul Brown. The student films will be shown on Saturday, November 14, at 11:00 a.m. at the Charleston Public Library, 712 6th Street. Also on November 14, from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., the Public Library will host children’s activities for young children. “Abraham Lincoln and Me,” for ages 4-8, features stories and crafts, including Lincoln penny medals and “eye spinner” optical illusion toys, led by Jeanne Goble and Joyce Jackson. In “Happy Birthday, Abe! Scrapbooking,” for ages 8 and up, Howard Taylor will guide children in creating their own Lincoln Remembrances scrapbook using a variety of Lincoln pictures and quotations. Please contact Charleston Carnegie Public Library’s Kid Space Desk (217-345-1514) by November 11 for youth activity reservations. Space is limited.

Also on Saturday, November 14, the film festival will host additional events in downtown Charleston. At 2:00 p.m., the 1927 silent film THE GENERAL, a comedy featuring Buster Keaton focused on a train captured during the Civil War, will be shown at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library in Rotary Room B, with an introduction by Urbana-based film critic Chuck Koplinski. After the film, the public is invited to a meet and greet reception at Roc’s Black Front, 410 6th St., before a 7:00 p.m. screening of GLORY (1989) at the historic Will Rogers Theatre, 705 Monroe Ave. Directed by Robert Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, GLORY was nominated for five Academy Awards and won three, including Best Supporting Actor for Denzel Washington. Local Civil War re-enactor Randy Jackson, an extra in the film, and Charleston native Dann Gire will provide introductions. Gire is a film critic for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and serves as the president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Festival co-sponsors are the Eastern Illinois University College of Arts & Humanities and the Doudna Fine Arts Center; Booth Library, EIU; the Coles County Arts Council; the Illinois Arts Council; the City of Charleston Tourism Office; the Tarble Arts Center, EIU; and the Charleston Public Library. Doudna Fine Arts Center public arts programs are funded by the New and Emerging Artists Series Fund, and by the Excellence in Fine Arts Fund.

For more information, please visit


Robin Murray
Eastern Illinois University
rlmurray [at] eiu [dot] edu

Kit Morice
Eastern Illinois University
kmoriec [at] eiu [dot] edu

Comments closed.