TUNKHANNOCK — If audience reactions to eatrical trailers shown during the Dietrich Theater’s Winter Fest Preview Day are any indication of how movie-goers will respond to the 14 foreign and independent films slated for the upcoming winter film festival, the event is sure to be a hit.
“I thought they (the trailers) all looked really good, especially ‘Moonlight’ and ‘The Beatles,’” said Cheryl Sands, of Tunkhannock, on her way out of the theater following the Thursday afternoon Preview Day showings.
Winter Fest will kick off with an Opening Night Gala at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, featuring the films “A Man Called Ove” and “Loving.” Beer, wine, cheese and crackers, fruit and popcorn will be served at the start of the evening, with a brownie dessert in between the movies. Opening night tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling the theater at 570-996-1500.
The two-week-long event will continue through Thursday, March 2 with selections from a variety of genres – from documentary to drama. Tickets to each showing are $8.50 and can be obtained at the Dietrich ticket booth.
Preview Day attendee Gary VanVranken, of Tunkhannock, said he plans to see almost all the festival films.
“(Dietrich Theater film booker Ronnie Harvey) always does a great job at picking out the movies, as far as I’m concerned,” VanVranken said.
After viewing the trailers, VanVranken is especially looking forward to viewing “Hell or High Water” and “Moonlight.”
Jayn Montieth, of Tunkhannock, also in attendance at Preview Day, said after seeing the trailer for the documentary “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week,” she is especially excited to see that. She enjoyed Preview Day, which is a new event the theater added this year to help promote its annual film festivals.
“It makes it easy to make your schedule up for what you want to see,” she said.
Montieth added when she first read the synopsis for “The Brand New Testament,” she wasn’t interested in seeing the film, but after viewing its trailer during Preview Day, she decided to add it to her must-see list.
Harvey said experiences like this are what Preview Day is all about.
“It gave people a good idea of what the films are like,” he said, adding the trailers provide “visuals” and “emotion,” which can both play a role in changing viewers’ perspectives on a movie.
According to Executive Director Erica Rogler, the rest of the theater staff has similar experiences when viewing the trailers.
“After watching them, there was so much buzz among the staff, we thought the public would like this as well,” she said.
Among the top movies on her personal must-see list are “A Man Called Ove,” “Loving,” “The Brand New Testament” and “The Eagle Huntress.”
Winter Fest films and show times are as follows. Movies are shown in English, unless otherwise noted.
“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week”
Show times: 7 p.m. Feb. 18, 5 p.m. Feb. 19, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 12 p.m. Feb. 24, 9:30 p.m. Feb. 25, 2:15 p.m. Feb. 27 and 4:30 p.m. March 2.
Synopsis: On Feb. 9, 1964, four young men from Liverpool stepped onto the Ed Sullivan stage, changing culture forever. Seventy-three million people watched The Beatles perform that night, the largest audience in television history.
“The Brand New Testament”
Show times: 7:15 p.m. Feb. 20, 2:45 p.m. Feb. 24, 12 p.m. Feb. 27 and 2:15 p.m. March 2.
Language: French with English subtitles
Synopsis: A dark comedic fantasy that follows the mundane life of God, a mortal who lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of His pajamas.
Show times: 7:45 p.m. Feb. 19, 2 p.m. Feb. 23, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 27 and 2:30 p.m. March 1.
Synopsis: A legal thriller based on the acclaimed book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier,” “Denial” recounts the legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, who accused Deborah Lipstadt of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier.
Show times: 2:15 p.m. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 12: p.m. Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28.
Synopsis: The story of the beautiful and talented Tilly, who, after years of working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her mother.
“The Eagle Huntress”
Show times: 4 p.m. Feb. 18, 12 p.m. Feb. 21, 4:15 p.m. Feb. 25, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and 12 p.m. March 2.
Language: English and Kazakh with English subtitles
Synopsis: “The Eagle Huntress” follows a 13-year-old girl as she trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.
Show times: 5 p.m. Feb. 21, 12 p.m. Feb. 23, 2:15 p.m. Feb. 25 and 7 p.m. Feb. 28.
Synopsis: A life-affirming documentary about one woman’s journey to accept her body just the way it is, “Embrace” follows body image activist Taryn Brumfitt’s crusade as she explores this issue of body loathing.
“Harry and Snowman”
Show times: 12 p.m. Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 7 p.m. Feb. 21, 12 p.m. Feb. 23 and 2:45 p.m. Feb. 28.
Synopsis: Harry deLeyer journeyed to the United States and developed a transformative relationship with a broken-down plow horse he rescued from a slaughter truck. In less than two years, the pair went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nation’s blue bloods.
“Hell or High Water”
Show times: 9:45 p.m. Feb. 18, 5 p.m. Feb. 20, 7:15 p.m. Feb. 24, 12 p.m. Feb. 27 and 7:30 p.m. March 1.
Synopsis: The story of Texas brothers who come together after years apart to rob branches of a bank threatening to foreclose on their family land.
Show times: During the Opening Night Gala on Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. Feb. 21, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 5 p.m. Feb. 26, 12 p.m. Feb. 28 and 7:15 p.m. March 2.
Synopsis: “Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court.
“A Man Called Ove”
Show times: During the Opening Night Gala on Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 19, 12 p.m. Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Feb. 25, 7 p.m. Feb. 27 and 12 p.m. March 2.
Language: Swedish with English subtitles
Synopsis: Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential curmudgeonly old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, he spends his days enforcing rules and visiting his wife’s grave. Enter a boisterous young family next door who earn his special brand of ire.
Show times: 2:15 p.m. Feb. 23, 9:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 12 p.m. Feb. 26 and 12 p.m. March 1.
Synopsis: An emotional story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, set against the backdrop of a broken down and rough neighborhood in Miami.
“Peter and the Farm”
Show times: 2 p.m. Feb. 18, 12 p.m. Feb. 20, 12 p.m. Feb. 22, 12 p.m. Feb. 25 and 5 p.m. Feb. 27.
Synopsis: Peter and the Farm follows the real life story of Peter Dunning, the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 acres in Vermont. The land’s 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories.
“Queen of Katwe”
Show times: 12 p.m. Feb. 19, 5 p.m. Feb. 22, 7 p.m. Feb. 23, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and 5 p.m. March 1.
Synopsis: The colorful and true story of a young girl from rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. As a result of the support she receives from her family and community, she is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
Show times: 12 p.m. Feb. 20. 5 p.m. Feb. 24, 12 p.m. Feb. 28 and 2:30 p.m. March 2.
Language: French with English subtitles
Synopsis: “Seasons,” with its exceptional footage of animals in the wild, is the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking tale of the long-shared history that binds nature with the passage of time.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.