SPRING GROVE, Minn. — Ed Asner, a seven-time Emmy award-winner, will be honored this weekend during the inaugural Spring Grove International Film Festival.
The festival in the town of 1,300 is the vision of its artistic director, Katie O’Regan, actor/director/producer of theater in New York City and the Midwest.
Attendance is virtual or in-person, and tickets for both options are purchased via giantsoftheearth.org, or by calling (917) 456-6967.
Commemorative items such as specially labeled Spring Grove Soda, and T-shirts are available at that web site also. Social distancing rules as prescribed by the state of Minnesota are being followed and wearing masks is required for people who choose the in-person option.
Fifty films are being featured.
Screenings, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, are shown at three locations on Main Street including the Cinema, which features state-of-the-art digital projection on a large screen, and surround sound in stadium-style seating.
Several film directors will be present and there are opportunities to meet with them during the weekend.
Another opportunity for mingling with directors and Ed Asner occurs at 5 p.m. Friday at the MaCalGrove Golf Course located on Highway 44 seven miles east of Spring Grove.
Mayor Sarah Schroeder declared Sunday, Sept. 13, Ed Asner Day in Spring Grove, and there is a parade in his honor at 12:30 p.m. with him as grand marshal. Legendary film star Ed Asner is a personal friend of O’Regan. He is past president of the Screen Actors Guild.
He is known for his role as Lou Grant in the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” which was filmed partially in Minneapolis, as well as numerous TV shows, and for the movie UP. Balloons will be present all over town in celebration of UP.
There will be a showing outdoors of UP at 7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday in an outdoor venue at the far-east end of Main Street on the edge of town.
Cars should drive about 1/8 mile, turn right when they see balloons and park in the field at Ye Olde Gray Barn, then take their chairs into the natural amphitheater, and place them six feet away from any other group. At the same location, Sunday afternoon following the parade, (so about 3:15 PM) O’Regan, Asner and film directors will present a Readers Theatre version of “Dream Café,” written by O’Regan.
O’Regan serves as development director for the nonprofit organization Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove.
Check the web site for new information, and to purchase tickets giantsoftheearth.org
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