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Katharine Hepburn Film Festival At Springfield College

February 13, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 13, 2004 -- “Tribute to Katharine Hepburn,” the Springfield College Film Festival, will feature free public presentations of some of the most significant work of the award-winning actress whose strong personality, artistic integrity, dynamic acting ability, and even unique style of clothing has made her a powerful role model for women. Springfield College Prof. of Film Carol Mitchell will introduce films Feb. 29 and March 1 in Appleton Auditorium of Fuller Arts Center on the campus.

According to Mitchell, “Although Katharine Hepburn, one of America’s best-loved icons, passed away last June, her amazing film legacy seems to render her immortal. Biographer Scott Berg writes that ‘Hepburn established the greatest acting career of the twentieth century, perhaps ever.’ In a Hollywood often obsessed with youth and vitality, and more forgiving to aging male actors, Hepburn was able to sustain her acting career for more than six decades in over 40 films.”

The Sunday double feature will begin at 1 p.m. with Hepburn’s Oscar-winning performance as scheming Eleanor of Aquitaine in the drama of historical intrigue, “The Lion in Winter.” Co-stars include Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins, and Timothy Dalton. Following at 3:30 p.m. will be Hepburn’s alluring portrayal in “Alice Adams,” the film adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Hepburn plays an eager young social climber striving to find true love and rise above her embarrassing family members. In honor of Academy Awards weekend, Sunday moviegoers will be able to participate in a special Oscar ballot contest, and winners will be announced at the Monday evening screening.

Monday at 7 p.m. will feature “Woman of the Year,” Hepburn’s first movie with long-time love Spencer Tracy. Their chemistry ignites the screen as she plays a world-famous political pundit, and he plays a down-to-earth sports writer. Inspired by the film and its controversial ending, there will be a panel discussion after the presentation, entitled - “The Image of Powerful Women in Society – Kate, Hillary, Oprah, and Martha – ‘Have We Come a Long Way, Baby?’” Mitchell will moderate the panel composed of Asst. Prof. of Sociology Susan Joel, Prof. of Political Science Dan Russell, and students.

The film festival is a program of Springfield College’s annual William Simpson Fine Arts Series of visual and performing arts events open to the public free of charge. Information and copies of the series poster are available from Mitchell by calling (413) 748-3187.

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