More Than Movies: Dietrich Theater Fall Film Festival in full flight

More Than Movies - Erica Rogler | September 26th, 2016 4:32 am

Since 2003 I have shared an office with the Dietrich Theater’s founding Cultural Programming Director Margie Young. Many of you probably know her because she makes sure all of our concerts and events go off without a hitch, and she is largely responsible for initiating and bringing in so many of the great programs we experience and enjoy at the Dietrich.

During our years as office mates, co-workers and friends, I have had the privilege of learning about some of Margie’s varied interests, including her love and appreciation of the natural world. On many occasions, Margie comes in to work with reports or stories about the types of birds she has seen in her yard or on a recent walk. She loves these tiny creatures’ beauty and song and is very observant of their comings and goings with the changing seasons.

During the past couple of years, Margie has told me she has noticed a decline in the numbers and types of songbirds that visit her feeder.

A film that is featured in the Dietrich’s Fall Film Festival, “The Messenger,” is all about the decrease in songbird populations worldwide. This past Thursday, local naturalist and WNEP Pennsylvania Outdoor Life personality, Rick Koval, introduced the film before its showing and stayed afterward to discuss the declining populations of various birds in Northeastern Pennsylvania and what can be done to help them. He also gave us hope, showing us examples of birds that were once considered vulnerable or endangered that are now making a comeback to our region, like the bald eagle, due to wildlife conservation efforts.

It was truly fascinating.

Jerry Skinner brought his students from Keystone College to the event, and Rebecca Lesko from the Endless Mountains Nature Center was also in the audience, so it was interesting to hear their perspectives on the subject as well.

If you missed the earlier showings of “The Messenger” in the festival, you still have an opportunity to see it at 12 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 2 or Oct. 6.

So far, I watched four other festival films.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is just pure fun and the film’s setting in New Zealand is just gorgeous. “Life Animated,” a documentary about an autistic young man and his family, was definitely uplifting. Then I watched “My Love, Don’t Cross That River,” which follows a Korean husband and wife who were inseparable 76 years. It was a simple and beautiful documentary, which not only shared their story but gave me a glimpse into their culture.

My favorite festival film so far has been “Captain Fantastic.” The film is superb and definitely gives you so much to think about and discuss, especially in regard to parenting. I wouldn’t be surprised if this film is discussed the most at our Post Film Festival discussion, which will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we have two weeks more of festival to enjoy before that discussion. This weekend I plan to see “The Music of Strangers.” I also want to see “The Innocents,” “Café Society,” “Equity,” “Genius,” “Little Men,” “Maggie’s Plan” and “Viva” before then.

What have been your favorites so far? And what festival films do you still hope to see?

In addition to the film festival, this weekend the Dietrich will be part of Tunkhannock’s Quilt and Artisan Walk. To celebrate this event, on Saturday, Oct. 1 the theater will host two quilt-related exhibits, present the film “How to Make An American Quilt” at 11 a.m. with free admission, Sarah Sidorek will have a painted quilt block Make and Take activity for all ages from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., there will be Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tours starting at noon that day and the Dietrich’s Fundraising Committee will have baked goods and hand-painted silk scarves available for sale.

Then at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 , classical guitarist Jay Steveskey will be back for another concert Classical Guitar Goes Pop. Sponsored by John P. Keker in memory of Jessie Reppy Keker, Steveskey will play arrangements of famous pop, rock and classical tunes including music of composer Isaac Albeniz Asturias, which inspired The Doors song, “Spanish Carnival.” Also enjoy the music of The Beatles, The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” “La Bamba” and more. Admission is free.

For more information or for tickets or to register for any of these events, call us at 570-996-1500.

As you can see, the Dietrich is so much more than the movies!

More Than Movies

Erica Rogler

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or