FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: June 12, 2013
CONTACT: Joel Pagliaro, Director of Conferences and Special Events, SAGE Dining Services
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — High school students and their parents won't be the only ones visiting the Wilson College campus this fall. Vampires, zombies and other supernatural creatures will make their way inside the Gothic halls — but there's no need for panic. Their appearance will be confined to a movie screen, as the college hosts the first annual Wilson College Horror Film Festival.
The festival, which will run from Friday through Sunday, Nov. 1 to 3, will feature 24 hours of independent horror films and a horror convention featuring specialized vendors and celebrity autograph-signings lasting throughout the weekend. Films will be screened in Thomson Hall and the convention will be held in Laird Hall.
Wilson Director of Conferences and Special Events Joel Pagliaro hopes to attract over 800 horror enthusiasts over the course of the weekend. Currently, he is seeking submissions of feature-length and short films made by independent filmmakers throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
“It’s all word of mouth,” said Pagliaro. “I’ve talked to about 10 people in the film industry and they’re spreading the word for me.”
Pagliaro hopes to attract high-quality films that are ready for the big screen.
Films will be reviewed by a board of judges comprised of members of the local community and horror film critics. Six awards will be given — best feature film, best short film (under 45 minutes), best director, best special effects, best lead actor and best lead actress.
Film showings will continue throughout the weekend. The concurrent convention will feature actors, producers and vendors offering things like horror memorabilia, movies, makeup and costumes.
Pagliaro’s idea for the horror festival came from his desire to have a creative campus event for Halloween. Originally, he planned to use Wilson’s historic Möller organ, built in 1936, as the centerpiece for a showing of the old horror film, Phantom of the Opera.
“The organ made sense,” he said.
But the services of a professional organist were outside of Pagliaro’s budget, so he imagined a new idea—a film festival. Similar festivals in Hagerstown and Gettysburg are successful and attract interest, especially among young people, according to Pagliaro.
He and Tim Dawe, who also works in Wilson’s conferences office, were excited about hosting such an event at Wilson.
“It’s really to bring something different to Chambersburg and to highlight what the campus can do for the community,” Pagliaro said.
The college administration OK’d the event, which will bring a variety of people to campus – including prospective students.
“This is an age-appropriate event for a college,” said Dawe. “It will draw college students and teenagers, which is who we want to attract to campus.”
Dawe and Pagliaro work for SAGE Dining Services, which provides food services for Wilson, in addition to running the conferences and events office. SAGE will sell food throughout the weekend.
Tickets go on sale July 1. All-access passes for Friday and Sunday are $10, and a Saturday all-access pass is $25. Weekend passes are available for $40. Children under 12 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. The event is free to current Wilson College students.
Film submissions and vendor entries are now being accepted. Fees, eligibility and submission guidelines are listed on the event’s website: http://www.wilsonfilmfest.com/.
For more information, contact Pagliaro at 717-262-2003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 30 majors and master’s degrees in education and the humanities. Wilson has been named a “Best Value” college in its region for 11 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” for providing quality academics at an affordable price. The college has been ranked one of the best regional colleges for undergraduate education for nine straight years by U.S. News.
Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college had a fall 2012 enrollment of 695, which included 17 students from 9 foreign countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.