From Hollywood to HBO: Film fest offers influential lineup

Coming to Black Bear this month: Tab Hunter, Carleton Carpenter, John Doman, Tom Fontana, Larry Kramer

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  • Tab Hunter (Photo provided)

  • Larry Kramer (Photo provided)

  • Tom Fontana (Photo provided)

  • John Doman (Photo provided)

  • Carlton Carpenter (Photo provided)

By Anya Tikka

— Filmmakers and actors who have made history are coming to Milford this month as part of the 18th annual Black Bear Film Festival.

Actors Tab Hunter and Carleton Carpenter have been Hollywood influences since its golden age. John Doman acted in the acclaimed HBO crime drama series "The Wire," the subject of classes at elite colleges including Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

Producer Tom Fontana wrote for several drama series, including "Oz," set in a high-tech prison, which he also helped create. Director and playwright Larry Kramer has remained one of the most influential advocates for people with AIDS since the start of the epidemic in the 1980s.

Bob Keiber is artistic director of the festival, which every years fills downtown Milford Street with cinema lovers from near and far.

The festival kicks off Friday night, Oct. 20, at the historic Hotel Fauchere, where a gourmet meal will await guests under a tent. The comes a screening Hunter’s latest release, "Tab Hunter Confidential," which documents his high-pressured life in Hollywood, and his coming out of the closet as a gay man.

In the mixThe Milford Theatre, at 114 East Catherine St., will host the main showings, a mix of full-length independent films, documentaries, and productions made in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvanians, among them Milford’s own Bill Rosado. His film "The Living Treasures of the Yucatan," several years in the making, will be shown Saturday at 2 p.m.

Both Doman and Fontana will talk about their work after the 3 p.m. Saturday screening of “Borgia,” including the reasons why many creative talents are turning to television.

Kramer will take questions after the 5 p.m. showing of "The Normal Heart," his play depicting the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

The Saturday night lineup at Milford Theatre includes the world premier of Lionsgate Films' new comedy "Where’s Jenna," directed by Tom Ballinger and featuring Vincent Pastorie of "The Sopranos," followed by a late night locally produced vampire movie, "Bloodrunners." starring Ice-T of Law and Order (SUV) fame.

Breaking from the past, the festival will have two salons this year, one at the traditional Pike County Public Library, and the other at the Church of the Good Shepherd. The church will offer a mixture of dramas, student-produced projects, and documentaries. The library will show experimental dramas.

A trolley will take guests to the different venues.

The Black Bear Film Festival runs from October 20 to 22. More information and tickets visit or call 570-409-0909.

The lineup

Tab Hunter
Tab Hunter has made 40 films in his career, among them Hairspray. His earlier movies include Battle Cry and Damn Yankees. He’ll answer questions from the audience after the showing.
John Doman
John Doman, known as Major William Rawls in the HBO series "The Wire," has accomplishments, including the TV series "Gotham" and movies "Blue Valentine," "Mystic River," and "The Company Men." He also appeared as the infamous Rodrigo Borgia in the European series "Borgia."
Carleton Carpenter
Carleton Carpenter may be best known for starring in the movie "Two Weeks in Love with Debbie Reynolds," with whom he sang the top of the charts duet "Aba Daba Honeymoon." Carpenter has appeared in 20 movies, including "Father of the Bride" and "Up Periscope." He’s also an author; his latest work is his autobiography "The Pure Joy of Work."
Tom Fontana
Writer and producer, and eight-time Emmy winner Tom Fontana has also received 31 Emmy nominations. He’s produced — together with his business partner Barry Levinson — "Homicide on the Streets," "St. Elsewhere," "Oz," "Copper," and "Borgia."
Larry Kramer
Larry Kramer wrote the screenplay for "Women in Love," earning him an Academy Award nomination. His play "The Normal Heart," starring area resident Mark Ruffalo, depicts the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

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