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Monday, February 14, 2005
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Friends of the Festival to host Oscar Night in Athens

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2005) -- Athens area film fanatics don't need to be Nicole Kidman or Jude Law to walk down the red carpet on Oscar night. The Friends of the Festival, a local organization that supports the Athens Center for Film and Video, offers an evening of Hollywood glamour again this year with Oscar Night in Athens, a gala benefiting the center's Athens International Film and Video Festival.

The event, to be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, will feature a full-course gourmet meal catered by local independent restaurant The Blue Gator, a screening of the Academy Awards ceremony on six big-screen TVs, a ballot contest for a year's worth of free movie rentals from Magic Video coupled with a year's worth of free pizza from Avalanche! Pizza and a raffle for a grand prize trip for two film buffs to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City this spring.

Oscar Night in Athens raised almost $5,000 for the film festival and hosted 180 film lovers during its debut in 2004.

"The Friends of the Festival threw the first Oscar Night in Athens party as a fun way to raise money for the Athens Film Festival. Now we are at it again, only this time we want to use Oscar Night in Athens as a way to raise the profile of the festival around the region. Oscar Night is the perfect night out for movie fans who love the drama and the glitz of the Academy Awards," said Kelee Riesbeck, an organizer of the event who helped launch the project after hosting private Oscar Night parties at her home for several years.

The Friends of the Festival hope to raise even more local support for the festival, which runs from April 29 to May 5 at the Athena Cinemas and Ohio University's Baker Center. The festival, which celebrates its 32nd anniversary this year, brings a mix of independent, foreign and documentary films to southeastern Ohio each spring - a film lover's feast. The Friends of the Festival hopes that continued support and publicity of the film festival could one day make it "The Sundance of Appalachia."

Tickets for Oscar Night in Athens 2005 are now on sale at Little Professor, 65 N. Court Street in Athens, or by contacting Riesbeck at 594-8087 or steele@columbus.rr.com.  

Sponsors for this year's event are: Athena Board, Power 105 WXTQ-FM/WATH-AM, Athens Messenger, The Blue Gator, O'Betty's Red Hot!!! Dogs & Sausages, Avalanche! Pizza, Class "A" Sounds, Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Hocking Hills Travel, Sears, Time Warner Cable, Raphael's - An Aveda Concept Salon, Septima Designs/Chiquita Babb, Athens Gifts & Treasures, Athens Underground, Big Chimney Baking Co., Ruth Bradley, Casa Nueva, Donkey Coffee and Espresso, Keith Chapman Jeweler, Tanya Conrath and Matt Sweeney, Coors Light, The Farmacy, Lamborn's Studio & Custom Framing, Laydown Loner Productions LLC, Magic Video, Dr. Marilyn Nutter, The Ohio University Inn, Perk's Coffee House and Roastery, The Pigskin Bar and Grille, Kelee and Steve Riesbeck, 7 Sauces, The Other Place, Kitchen Creations and Renovation, and Snider, Fuller, Porter and Associates.

For more information about the film festival, visit the web at www.athensfest.org.  

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Media Contact: Kelee Riesbeck, (740) 594-8087, steele@columbus.rr.com

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