Premiere Films Chosen For Festival (The Shreveport Journal/Mar 18/1981/US)


The final four films have been chosen for Premiere Week at Dallas' 11th Annual USA Film Festival, March 27-April 5. They are David Wolper's This Is Elvis, John Carpenter's Escape From New York, Diane Baker's Second Star to the Rights and Hal Ashby's Second Hand Hearts.

Roger Ebert has selected This Is Elvis for screening April 4. The film, produced by David Wolper and written and directed by Malcolm Leo and Andrew Solt, is an accurate and revealing picture of the life of Elvis Presley. The film brings together existing footage and historically accurate recreations into a new film style.

Escape From New York, written and directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog), has been chosen by Arthur Knight for an April 1 screening. This futuristic film stars Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley and Adrienne Barbeau. In the film, it is 1997. New York City has been converted into a maximum security prison for more than three million convicts. Air Force One crashes in the middle of Manhattan and must be rescued. Carpenter's first feature film, Dark Star, premiered at the USA Film Festival in 1974.

Second Star to the Right is the selection of Hollis Alpert and will be shown on March 31. Starring Petula Clark, Cathleen Nesbitt, John Castle, Anne Seymour, Evelyn Laye and Roland Culver, this is the first dramatic feature film to be produced by actress Dianne Baker. The film deals with the problems faced by a mother who, despite her live and energy, misses the warning signals of difficulties in the life of her teen-age daughter.

Judith Crist has selected Second Hand Hearts to premiere at the Festival on March 30. Robert Blake and Barbara Harris headline the cast, which includes Bert Remsen and Sondra Blake. The story is an off-beat romance between a Texas couple traveling to California. Director Hal Ashby has been celebrated most recently for his direction of Coming Home and Being There.

Previously announced feature films to premiere at the festival include David Carradine's Americana, Rick Friedberg's PRAY-TV, Alan Alda's The Four Seasons, Lee Grant's Tell Me a Riddle, Gus Trikonis' Take This Job and Shove It and Peter Hunt's Death Hunt.

Also included in the USA Film Festival activities will be an opening-night gala premiering Moustapha Akkad's Lion of the Desert, to be held at the Lowes Anatole Hotel on March 27, the USA Film Festival/Rockwell International Short Films Awards on April 3 and a Walt Disney animation seminar to be held on April 5.

For more information on these events, contact the USA Film Festival office at P.O. Box 3105, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, or call (214)-692-2979.