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Oscar Weekend April 22-25 at Gateway Film Center

Hope Madden Hope Madden Oscar Weekend April 22-25 at Gateway Film CenterNomadland - Photo via IMDb
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Things are looking up for movie theaters. Godzilla v Kong is the first box office hit in more than a year, more theaters are opening, and the 93rd Academy Awards celebration will showcase a historic set of Oscar nominations.

Chances are strong that you haven’t seen any of them yet. There’s even less chance you’ve seen any of them on the big screen with an audience.

Gateway Film Center has plans to change that. GFC will reopen briefly to celebrate awards season – their favorite season of all – offering a festival-style weekend of screenings.

“When it was announced that the Oscars were moving to April, we started discussing it. Was there an opportunity to screen the best picture nominees and then do our annual watch party?” says Chris Hamel, president and programmer at GFC.

“When January started, it looked like the answer was probably no—the virus was really out of control,” he says. “But now that the situation is improving—in Franklin County and the country and the world­—we feel like we can safely open and give the community the chance to watch the best picture nominees together. Most importantly, this gives them a chance to talk about them after they see them.”

It’s this aspect of theatrical viewing that Hamel really misses.

“I’ve seen Nomadland twice,” he says. “I can’t wait to watch it again. I’m going to be in the torpedo room afterwards and I hope people come in and talk about it. It’s such a gorgeous film.”

The film, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Chloe Zhao), Best Adapted Screenplay (Zhao again), Best Editing (Zhao again), Best Cinematography (Joshua James Richards) and Best Actress (Frances McDormand), is the opening night screening for the program, Thursday, April 22.

“I can’t wait to chat about it with other humans who have watched it,” Hamel says.

Each of the eight nominees will screen throughout the weekend. The showings will be spread out – each movie will screen in four separate theaters at the same time to give people the chance to avoid crowding.

“You can spread out and go to whichever screening room you like the best,” Hamel shares.

And you have some pretty great films to choose from.

“I think the Academy did a really impressive job of nominating,” Hamel says. “I really liked Sound of Metal and I think that’s going to be a really interesting cinematic experience. All these films are quite cinematic, frankly.”

A lot of the films will benefit not only from the big screen, Hamel says, but from seeing them with other people.

“Watching Promising Young Woman without an audience isn’t the same experience at all,” he says.

And the Torpedo Room will be open before and after every screening for those who feel comfortable and want to talk about what they’ve seen.

The Oscar program runs from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, April 25. For the price of a single festival pass ($100), you can see all eight Best Picture nominees as well as all of the Oscar-nominated shorts, with programs for animated, live action and documentary shorts. You also receive an Oscar ballot, and can attend a live Conversations from the Center taping as well as the Oscar watch party.

Full program lineup:

  • Thursday, April 22: Nomadland from Director Chloé Zhao – (seven nominations total)
  • Friday, April 23: Minari from Director Lee Isaac Chung (six nominations total)
  • Friday, April 23: Promising Young Woman from Director Emerald Fennell (five nominations total)
  • Saturday, April 24: The Father from Director Florian Zeller – (six nominations total)
  • Saturday, April 24: Mank from Director David Fincher (ten nominations total)
  • Saturday, April 24: Judas and the Black Messiah from Director Shaka King (six nominations total)
  • Sunday, April 25: Sound of Metal from Director Darius Marder – (six nominations total)
  • Sunday, April 25: Trial of the Chicago 7 from Director Aaron Sorkin (six nominations total)
  • Sunday, April 25: Best Animated Shorts
  • Sunday, April 25: Best Live Action Shorts
  • Sunday, April 25: Best Documentary Shorts

For passes and schedule, visit gatewayfilmcenter.org.

Follow Hope on twitter @maddwolf and listen to her weekly movie review podcast, THE SCREENING ROOM.

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