Academy Award-winning director of Erin Brockovich and Traffic, Steven Soderbergh discusses his filmmaking career with Kurt Andersen, author and host of Public Radio International's Studio 360, during this arts-foundation fundraising event. Soderbergh’s unique filmic perspective stems from a prolific directorial career, with numerous projects garnering Oscar nominations and awards, as well as induction into the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. Omaha native and Academy Award–winning writer-director of Sideways Alexander Payne kicks off the evening with an introduction to the presentation.
Since 1925, the Dundee Theatre’s gold curtains have been parting for generations of rapt audiences. Originally a vaudeville theater, the venue was transformed into a movie house during the Great Depression as a cost-cutting measure. For the next half century it traded hands, sometimes screening art films, sometimes featuring family fare, and once showing a 118-week run of The Sound of Music, which was eventually halted by a town statute banning raindrops on roses.
In 1980, current owner Denny Moran stepped in and renovated the theater to recapture some of the splendor of its early days. The old vaudevillian stage and dressing rooms still lurk behind the silver screen, counterbalanced by a state-of-the-art Dolby Digital EX sound system and Cyrano de Bergerac smell system. Under Moran's watch, the Dundee Theatre now screens an eclectic mix of art and independent films, cinema classics, and cult favorites.
The Ross plays host to critically acclaimed foreign and independent films, comfortable and acoustically impressive facilities, and naturally polite audiences that almost never need to be shushed. It features two cozy theaters that can collectively seat nearly 350 people, which is a large enough audience that well-timed unison gasps and "don't go in there!"s can actually impact a character’s future decisions. Today’s Groupon is good for any combination of admission and concessions, and you can use it over one or two visits. Upcoming attractions include Cairo Time, a romantic drama chronicling a brief, unexpected love affair between a traveling fashion magazine editor and a security officer in Egypt, and Last Train Home, Chinese filmmaker Lixin Fan's celebrated documentary that explores the epic Chinese New Year migration on an intimate scale. The theater welcomes guests for both evening showings ($9 adults; $6.50 students and children; $7 seniors and military; $6 members) and matinees ($7 adults; $6 students, children, and military; $6.50 seniors; $5.50 members). After purchasing your ticket, use what remains of your $10 toward brain-expanding movie candy, or save it for next time’s admission.
Since 2005, the Omaha Film Festival, or OFF, has been exposing Omaha movie lovers to little-seen narrative features, documentaries, and short films from Nebraska and around the world. Each year, the festival screens more than 90 films, with many screenings attended by the filmmakers themselves and followed by informative Q&A sessions. Additional panels, lectures, and workshops at the concurrent Filmmakers Conference have featured such accomplished speakers as Oscar-winning Avatar cinematographer Mauro Fiore, Miss Congeniality director Donald Petrie, and Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black. Opening- and closing-night parties draw cinephiles and filmmakers alike to local hotspots for a chance to discuss cinematography or meet the only other person in the world campaigning for a Citizen Kane sequel.