March 2-11, 2007: Birmingham and Demopolis
Two American Masters, Two
Alabama Cities, Ten Days of
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Free Festival Opening Night at the Birmingham Museum of Art!
Join Hellman Wyler Festival guests and scholars for an unprecedented, intimate look at Lillian Hellman and William Wyler as two acclaimed documentaries about their lives and achievements are screened for the opening night audience. Catherine Wyler, daughter of the famed director, will introduce "Directed by William Wyler" for which she was Executive Producer. With interviews of Mr. Wyler just days before his death in 1981, the documentary also features Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Lillian Hellman and Talli Wyler who discuss the most Oscar® nominated director in motion picture history.
Festival guest and Hellman biographer Deborah Martinson participated in making "The Lives of Lillian Hellman," which she will introduce. The PBS documentary takes an uncompromising and witty look at Miss Hellman from participants Art Buchwald, Kitty Carlisle, Warren Beatty, and Patricia Neal. Hellman's secretary Rita Wade, featured in the film, will be part of the opening night festivities.
And, thanks to the graciousness of the Wyler family, their father's Oscar for Best Director of "The Best Years of Our Lives," the Best Picture winner for 1946, will be displayed during the event after which it goes on exhibition at BMA for three months, beginning Sunday, March 4, 2007. This is an opening night that you will not want to miss!
The Hellman Wyler Festival is made possible, in part, by the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Fund administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham. It is also supported by the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Festival sponsors in Birmingham and Demopolis are Birmingham Festival Theatre, the Levite Jewish Community Center, Birmingham Museum of Art, Sidewalk Film Festival, the Marengo County Historical Society, the Two Rivers Arts Council, the Canebrake Players, the Demopolis Singers, and the Demopolis Public Library.