On Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 5:00pm, the Avalon Theatre will host its annual spring benefit to support the theater’s film education programming. The theme of the event is “Revolution in Hollywood: The Films of 1967.” Esteemed film journalist Mark Harris will explore this transformational year in American filmmaking with a multimedia presentation and Q&A session hosted by NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg.
This special evening also serves as the inaugural event of the Avalon’s new Film Studies series for adults.
A pivotal year, 1967 saw the release of classic American films like The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and In the Heat of the Night. Taking on previously taboo subjects like sex, violence and racism, these films signaled a seismic change in American filmmaking and culture that destroyed the Hollywood studio system of the 1950s and paved the way for the visionary filmmakers of the 70’s and beyond.
Event speaker Mark Harris is an editor at large at Entertainment Weekly, a columnist for Grantland and a contributing editor to New York Magazine. At the April 26 event, Harris will draw from the research and interviews he collected for his New York Times bestseller Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood, which examines the transformation of Hollywood via an exhilarating and dishy account of the production of the five Academy Award Best Picture nominees in 1968. Harris also published the bestseller Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War in 2014.
“The Avalon is honored that Mark will be kicking off our new film education series with his deeply insightful and entertaining perspective on this legendary period in Hollywood filmmaking,” said Bill Oberdorfer, Executive Director of the Avalon. “Support for this event will help the Avalon add to the broad array of unique film programs that we already bring to the DC film and arts community.”
The event will be held at the Avalon Theatre and includes a catered reception at 5:00pm followed by the event program at 7:00pm. Tickets to the event are $250 for the reception and program and $50 for the program only. Underwriter sponsorships are also available.
During the week preceding the benefit, the Avalon will present screenings of the iconic 1967 films The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and In the Heat of the Night. These screenings will be available to the public at the Avalon’s regular ticket prices. Admission to these screenings will be free for $250 benefit ticket purchasers and Underwriters.
Mark Harris’ book Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood will also be for sale at the Avalon Theatre Café.
Proceeds raised from the April 26 event will support the Avalon’s new Film Education Fund and the general operating fund. The Film Education Fund was created this year to support new and ongoing educational programming, including the Film Studies series and Cinema Classroom at the Avalon, a free screening and discussion program for 7th-10th graders that has reached over 3,000 area students since its launch in 2013.
The Film Studies series resumes on May 13 with a two-part session on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.theavalon.org/2015benefit.