For the first time, the George Lindsey Film Festival will be held without the festival’s founder. The film festival has been held at the University of Northern Alabama for 16 years, created by alumnus George Lindsey, who played Goober Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.” The festival began in 1998, and Lindsey passed away this past December.
Of course, the show will go on, now in memory of the actor. According to the Associated Press, the annual festival will begin this week and screen movies until Saturday, March 2. That same day, the festival’s award ceremony will also be held.
This year, many of the films shown will have an Alabama theme, including “Muscle Shoals,” a documentary about the state’s music industry. The opening film was previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Other films include “Never Got a Dime,” about Lilly Ledbetter, a native Alabamian and her fight for equal pay while working for a tire company and “Eating Alabama,” a film about a couple attempting to eat food locally, like their grandparents, across the state.
As one of the few film festivals held by a college or university, many of the movies featured include student productions and young filmmakers.
The event will take place at different venues around Florence, Alabama. While the George Lindsey Film Festival has been held for 16 years now, the industry is growing rapidly, as USA Today described last month. As festivals try to differentiate themselves to compete with others, many are coming up with new ways to screen films and attract audience members. In the same way the Beloit International Film Festival has done, outdoor movies can often be used to show films in a unique way, while also accommodating large volumes of audience members.