Wright State filmmaker to premiere short film at Telluride festival

Andy Holyoke at the Little Art Theatre

Wright State filmmaker Steven Bognar’s latest short documentary highlights local movie theater’s transition from film to a digital projection system.

Filmmaker and Wright State faculty member Steven Bognar will premiere his latest documentary at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival.

The eight-minute short film “Last Reel” chronicles the final days of movie projection on 35mm film at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs. The theatre converted to a digital projection system last year.

Filmed in 2013, “Last Reel” is an homage to celluloid and the whirring rattle of film curling across gears and sprockets, said Bognar, who teaches advanced film production in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures.

The film features Jenny Cowperthwaite, executive director of the Little Art, and head projectionist Andy Holyoke, both of whom have worked at the Yellow Springs movie theater since the 1970s.

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

“Last Reel” was created by Wright State faculty member Steven Bognar and his long-time partner Julia Reichert, professor emeritus of motion pictures.

“Last Reel” will have its world premiere Aug. 29 at the 41st Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colo.

Telluride is widely considered one of the top film festivals in the world. A survey of critics and filmmakers in 2010 listed it as one of the top 10 film festivals in the world.

Telluride is known for hosting major premieres. Last year’s opening night included the world premiere of “12 Years a Slave,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Bognar traveled to the festival with Julia Reichert, the film’s producer/cinematographer and professor emeritus of motion pictures at Wright State.

“It’s a great honor to be debuting this film at Telluride,” Bognar said. “The festival’s legacy is towering. We’re just hoping to see Werner Herzog, or maybe Reese Witherspoon.”

Bognar’s previous films include the Academy Award-nominated “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”; the short film “Sparkle,” about Dayton Contemporary Dance Company dancer Sheri “Sparkle” Williams; and the Emmy-winning “A Lion in the House,” about families facing childhood cancer, all co-directed with Reichert.

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