By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
The seventh annual TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off Thursday, April 28 in Hollywood for four days of screenings of classic films, special presentations and unique experiences. Some 26,000 film buffs from all over the world were expected to descend on Tinseltown for the one-of-a-kind event.
Organizers say all-event passes sold out within 14 minutes of the tickets going on sale this year. (Individual tickets for screenings and events are still available though, but passholders are given priority seating.)
This year’s theme is “Moving Pictures,” which will range from emotional dramas about love and loss to inspirational sports-themed classics to religious fare to movies about animals.
Five time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather” trilogy and “The Conversation,” which is being screened during the festival) is slated to have his hand an footprints immortalized in cement in the forecourt of the historic TCL Chinese Theatre Friday, April 29.
Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway (“Network”) is scheduled to discuss her life and career at a two-hour presentation Sunday, May 1 as are Oscar nominee Elliott Gould and legendary Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida in separate “Conversations with” events.
Some of the highlighted films of the four-day festival include “All The President’s Men,” the 1976 drama about two reporters that blew the lid off Watergate, and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, 1991’s “Boyz in the Hood,” 1974’s “The Conversation,” 1988’s homage to filmmaking “Cinema Paradiso,” 1925’s “The Freshman,” 1946’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1975’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” 1937’s “When You’re in Love” and 1946’s “The Yearling.”
Additionally, TCM announced it is offering movie fans a host of classic movie films launch of its first ever-official fan club, TCM Backlot, which will serve as the ultimate destination for enthusiasts of the classic movie cable channel. TCM Backlot will give fans unprecedented access to all things TCM including exclusive content, never-before-seen talent interviews, archival videos from the TCM vault, an exclusive TCM podcast, as well as opportunities to win visits to the TCM set, attend meet and greets with TCM hosts and the opportunity to influence programming through online votes.
TCM Backlot can be accessed at tcmbacklot.com for an $87 annual fee and will be available for fans to join on April 27, as a kick-off to the 7th annual TCM Classic Film Festival which begins the next day in Hollywood. The fan club was created in partnership with fullcube, a platform integrating and automating subscription-based businesses.
“Creating a fan club allows us to super-serve and further engage with our most passionate and devoted fans,” said Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM in a statement. “We are always looking for exciting and immersive brand extension opportunities and TCM Backlot offers just that – allowing fans the ability to go behind-the-scenes and dive deeper into the world of TCM, providing a consistently updated fan experience filled with entertaining content and engaging opportunities.”
“The creation of TCM Backlot shines a spotlight on the tremendous opportunities for media companies, like TCM, to transform their relationship with consumers,” added David Hickson, co-founder and CEO of fullcube. “Fullcube’s capabilities help create a brand extension for TCM by bundling a wide variety of engaging assets such as digital content, e-commerce, event and experiential assets, into a premium subscription offering delivering exclusive benefits to classic movie lovers.”
TCM Backlot will provide members with robust access to TCM content, talent, programming and events.
Membership highlights include: Programming Influence. Receive an advance look at TCM programming and have the opportunity to influence the schedule of movies through contests and voting. Guest Programmer. Members enter to win an opportunity to co-host a night of movies with a TCM host. On-set Tours. Win the opportunity to tour the TCM set and watch a TCM production being shot as well as interact with TCM hosts and crew. VIP Event Access & Members-Only Events. Enjoy exclusive access to special events during the annual TCM Classic Film Festival and the TCM Cruise, as well as exclusive events at historical Hollywood sites and members-only TCM Bus Tour events. Giveaways and Discounts. Receive discounts to TCM related events, tours and merchandise as well as contest giveaways of TCM merchandise.
For more information on TCM Backlot, visit tcmbacklot.com.