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Friday, June 22, 2018



Conrad Palmisano

Conrad .Smiling 72 dpiConrad E. Palmisano is a forty-one year veteran of filming action in motion pictures. With more two hundred films and television shows under his belt as a Stuntman and Stunt Coordinator, Conrad has developed a unique style of story telling through action that he has adapted to Second Unit directing. To date he has more than fifty major Second Unit Director credits making him one of the most sought after in the industry.

Conrad is a four time President of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures; he is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additionally he serves on the Blue Ribbon Committee of the Taurus World Stunt Awards and chairs the National Stunt and Safety Committee as well as serving on the Board of Directors of The Screen Actors Guild.

Conrad will join Diamond Farnsworth for a dual presentation on the Stunt Industry. The first part to be in the High School auditorium featuring three short documentaries: The first a compliation on Richard Farnsworth as a stuntman and actor; the second on Diamond's career as a stuntman, and the third featuring Conrad's work as a stunt coordinator and as a director. The Auditorium presentation will be followed by a Stunt panel discussion in the High School Quad.

For more on Conrad see -

Documetary Presentation:
High School Auditorium  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Admittance by Festival Button Only 

Stunt Panel:
High School Quad - 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Admittance by Festival Button  Only

Scott Harris - “Writing a Western” in the Twenty First Century"

Museum Theater
12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM
Admittance by Festival Button Only

Harris is a lifelong Western enthusiast who traces his love of Western fiction back to his childhood days of reading Louis L’Amour novels, author Scott Harris is a published Western novelist who has contributed a Western series, Western anthology, and numerous Western short stories to the genre.

In 2017, Harris, who loves nothing more than settling into his hammock with a glass of bourbon, a cigar and great Western, released the first two books in his Western series — “Coyote Courage” and “Coyote Creek” — that follow the tale of Brock Clemons and his journey into the West accompanied by his horse, “Horse,” and wolf, “Wolf.” The Brock Clemons story, especially when he is joined by his new wife Sophie and his adopted son Huck, is one of bravery, adventure and romance, transporting readers back to a time when chivalry, courage and gun fights ruled the day in the West. Harris will release the third installment in the Brock Clemons’ series, “Coyote Canyon,” in early 2018.

Additionally, in 2017 Harris also released a Western anthology, “52 Books * 52 Western Novels: Old Favorites and New Discoveries" — a look at 52 of the greatest Western novels of all-time, co-authored by Paul Bishop, and has been a contributor on numerous anthologies, such as “Six Bullets to Sundown,” (volumes 7 & 8), “Six Bullets to Sundown; A Christmas in Texas” and “Gifts from the Outlaws.”

Harris plans to continue writing and publishing a variety of Western-related works and looks forward to continuing to connect with fans and authors alike.

Join Scott and Wyatt McCrea for a discussion on “Writing a Western” in the Twenty First Century.

Vanda Krefft

VandaKrefft 72 dpiVanda Krefft is the author of The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox (HarperCollins, November 2017), the first in-depth biography of Twentieth Century Fox founder William Fox. A former entertainment industry journalist based in Los Angeles, she has an BA in English and an MA in Communication, both from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 

Book Cover


Museum Theater
Friday October 5th   4:00 PM – 6:00 PM





William Fox is one of the most important figures in film history--the founder of the Fox Film Corporation (now Twentieth Century Fox), producer of hundreds of feature films, including the original Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara, John Ford's first epic western The Iron Horse, and F. W. Murnau's Sunrise, which is widely considered one of the best movies ever made. Fox also pioneered the foreign expansion of the American film industry; aggressively promoted the revolutionary sound-on-film technology, ensuring a rapid transition to talking pictures; and built many huge, spectacular movie palaces.

Yet, till now, Fox has been virtually forgotten. The reasons have to do with the dark circumstances surrounding his dismissal from power 1930--a management change, rooted in Wall Street corruption, that nearly ruined the studio and sent Fox into a tailspin of bitterness and despair.


“The most exciting new biography I have read in years. The rags-to-riches tale of William Fox, a fascinating though inexplicably neglected figure in our history, is as big and vibrant as the film industry he helped to found…. Rich in conflict, teeming with energy, and impossible to resist.”

— John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

“Stunningly researched, lucidly told, and consistently illuminating, The Man Who Made the Movies is actually the story of America: the tale of an immigrant who rises high, a captain of industry capturing dreams, a visionary later forgotten after the forces he helped to broker bring him down.”

— Brenda Wineapple, award-winning author of Ecstatic Nation and White Heat

A riveting story of ambition, greed, and genius unfolding at the dawn of modern America. This landmark biography brings into focus a fascinating brilliant entrepreneur—like Steve Jobs or Walt Disney, a true American visionary—who risked everything to realize his bold dream of a Hollywood empire.

Although a major Hollywood studio still bears William Fox’s name, the man himself has mostly been forgotten by history, even written off as a failure. Now, in this fascinating biography, Vanda Krefft corrects the record, explaining why Fox’s legacy is central to the history of Hollywood.

At the heart of William Fox’s life was the myth of the American Dream. His story intertwines the fate of the nineteenth-century immigrants who flooded into New York, the city’s vibrant and ruthless gilded age history, and the birth of America’s movie industry amid the dawn of the modern era. Drawing on a decade of original research, The Man Who Made the Movies offers a rich, compelling look at a complex man emblematic of his time, one of the most fascinating and formative eras in American history.

Growing up in Lower East Side tenements, the eldest son of impoverished Hungarian immigrants, Fox began selling candy on the street. That entrepreneurial ambition eventually grew one small Brooklyn theater into a $300 million empire of deluxe studios and theaters that rivaled those of Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, and the Warner brothers, and launched stars such as Theda Bara. Amid the euphoric roaring twenties, the early movie moguls waged a fierce battle for control of their industry. A fearless risk-taker, Fox won and was hailed as a genius—until a confluence of circumstances, culminating with the 1929 stock market crash, led to his ruin. Hardcover: 944 pages  Publisher: Harper (November 28, 2017)

Claude Gagnon

Claude ImageClaude Gagnon spent an entire decade in Japan working as an editor and director in 70’s. With his first feature, Keiko (1979), he became the first and only foreigner ever to receive the coveted Japanese Association of Film Director’s prize for Best Film. Back to Canada in the 1980’s, Gagnon and his partner Yuri Yoshimura-Gagnon founded their own film company Aska Film.

The Grand Prize of the Americas at the 1987 World Film Festival in Montreal was given to Claude Gagnon’s The Kid Brother by the unanimous decision of the Jury. Never before in the history of the Montreal World Film Festival did this prize go to a Canadian director. The Kid Brother also received the UNESCO prize at the Berlin Film Festival as well as many other prizes and was sold to over 40 territories.

He was also successful directing for TV: in 1994 TF1, the highest-rated TV station in Europe, entrusted a major project to Gagnon. In addition to directing and co-producing, he co-wrote the screenplay of Pour L’amour De Thomas (For The Love of Thomas), a primetime feature with Brigitte Fossey, that scored 38.2% share on TF1.

As head of Aska Film Productions, Claude Gagnon has co-produced Rowing Through in collaboration with one of the oldest and best known Japanese companies: Shochiku, and Winter Lily produced in association with ASMIK ACE Entertainment, Japanese distributor of Scream, Fargo and Trainspotting.

In 2016, he was awarded the « Michel Brault Career Grant » from the Art Council of Quebec. 

SATURDAY 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
High School Auditorium
Admission by Festival Button Only

Gagnon On Will James

After Claude Gagnon has spent an hour in a Mile End café talking non-stop about the famous cowboy author Will James, the question almost asks itself. “Has he become obsessed with Will James? “Well, obsessed is a bad word, but yeah I’m totally obsessed,” he admits. “I don’t want to be away from Will James.”

He originally thought it would be easy to identify James life and interpret a story. He had of course watched many a western thought this would provide a baseline for interpretation of James
life and an amazing documentary of an early 20th century writer who lived and loved western culture.

The veteran director — whose films include Kenny, Kamataki and Karakara — has been intrigued by James for years, ever since he saw Jacques Godbout’s National Film Board documentary Alias Will James way back in 1988. That film explored the Québécois roots of the author of Smoky the Cowhorse, Lone Cowboy and more than 20 other books. In 1967, 25 years after his death, biographer Anthony Amaral revealed that this legendary cowboy, movie stuntman and writer was actually French-Canadian, born Joseph Ernest Dufault in St-Nazaire-d’Acton in the Montérégie region. James life as, Dufault, began in Gagnon’s hometown of St-Hyacinthe, Quebec It is St.-Hyacinthe where Dufault left in 1907 before becoming Will James. Something to do with cattle theft!

As soon as he saw Alias Will James, Gagnon wanted to make a dramatic feature film about this character, but he eventually set the project aside. He came back to the subject several years back, wrote a couple of drafts of a screenplay, but something wasn’t right. He just wasn’t satisfied. He realized he wanted/needed to go out west himself and immerse himself in the cowboy world that was James’s stomping ground. He has also had the opportunity to meet with James’ nephews and several other members of his family, has had access to many personal documents that have provided a unique on documented perspective on the subject

James was no ordinary cowboy as Claude has learned. He has read most of James books at least twice garnering new information on the man each time. The more he researched James, the more he felt the need to tell James story in western culture.

Gagnons’ documentary, Will James, will focus mainly on the first 22 years of Will James’ Life most of which he spent in Saskatchewan, Montana, Idaho and Nevada, before being arrested in Utah.

“I kept saying — ‘I’m missing something. I need to be in the west. I need to meet cowboys.’ “

That dream became a reality in February 2015 when he received a cool $100,000 as the first-ever recipient of the Michel Brault career grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. He bought a 1967 Mercedes recreational vehicle and hit the road, looking to solve the Will James mystery.

From July until late December, he crisscrossed the west, on both sides of the border, in his camper. He spoke to anyone he could find who had any connection to James, everyone from a collector of cowboy art who bought a James painting to the folks at the University of Nevada at Reno, the home of the archives of James biographer Amaral.

“What I’ve been searching in my trip is to find out who this guy was,” said Gagnon. “What kind of personality did he have? I want to really know this man in every moment of his life even though he died in 1942. The people in the Will James Society laugh and they say — ‘No one in the world now knows more about Will James that you do.’ By accident, I became a specialist. That was not the original idea.

“I dream about Will James. I get up in the morning at six o’clock and all I do is I start to think about Will James. I say: ‘Okay that year he was there but why did he make the move there?’ I keep running these things in my mind. I don’t want to be away from Will James.”

So why the obsession? Gagnon says he just couldn’t stop wondering why this francophone kid from Quebec would head out to Saskatchewan as a teenager to become a cowboy. He is fascinated by this story, of a kid who became a rancher, held various odd jobs all over the region, ended up arrested for cattle rustling in Nevada, did time behind bars, worked as a stuntman in Hollywood and, finally, capped it all off by transforming himself into a bestselling author of westerns.

“I want to make a movie about what it’s like to run away with 30 head of cattle at night,” said Gagnon.

And to capture a guy he thinks just doesn’t get the respect he deserves.

“I remember one line in Jacques Godbout’s film. He said: ‘Well, he was no Shakespeare.’ Maybe he was no Shakespeare but Shakespeare couldn’t ride a bronc the way Will James could ride a bronc. In the cowboy world, nobody could write with the talent that Will James did.”

Gagnon’s plan is to finish the screenplay and produce a film on Will James life in 2019.

Based on article @

And discussion by email with Mackey Hedges in 1988

Allen Glazner

Allen Glazner grew up among citrus trees in Upland, California, and fell in love with mountains, deserts, and science as a child. He attended Pomona College, majoring in geology, earned a Ph.D. at UCLA, and took a faculty position at the University of North Carolina in 1981, where he has been ever since. He grew up watching monster movies and westerns and knew that those monsters and cowboys were out there in the desert. His research deals with volcanic rocks, granites, and plate tectonics, and he works all over eastern California, including Yosemite, the Mojave Desert, and Owens Valley. He has coauthored three popular books on California’s geology: Geology Underfoot in Southern California, Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park, and, most relevant to Lone Pine, Geology Underfoot in Owens Valley and Death Valley.


Presentation :

Museum Theatern 
Saturday October 6th from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 




First tour to leave directly after the introductory presentation

Tour Times:

Owens Valley hosts one of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth, and that landscape is pure geology. On this tour we will examine some of the geologic features and forces that built this landscape, including granites, glaciers, faults, and earthquakes. Stops will include granite fins in the Alabama Hills, the fault that produced the great 1872 Lone Pine earthquake, and evidence for the chain of lakes that occupied Owens Valley during glacial times, not long ago.

Tour #1: Saturday October 6th   11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Tour #2: Saturday October 6th     1:30 PM – 3:30 PM





Event Tickets

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TICKETS ON Sale  - July 1

Latest News

Celebrity Guests

Diamond Farnsworth
Vanda Krefft
Ben Mankiewicz
Wyatt McCrea
Conrad Palmisano


Master of Ceremonies

Larry Maurice

Guest & Panelists
William Chemerka
Larry Floyd
Allen Glazner
Scott Harris
Don Kelsen
Dennis Liff

Panel Moderator
Ed Hulse

Thursday Night Opening Film
Starring Perry King

Friday Night Keynote Film

Saturday Night Keynote Film

Special Guests
Claude Gagnon and members of the 
Will James Society

Thursday 12:30 PM
Restored Slim Princess 
in Independence