Marshall – not showing at nearby theaters

A film about legendary black civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall, who won a landmark school desegregation decision before the US Supreme Court, is not being shown within a 50 mile radius of Williamsport. The film MARSHALL stars Chadwick Boseman, the up and coming star in such films as Black Panther and 42. The film deals with Marshall’s life before he became famous.

The year end holiday season will soon be upon us and the cinema screens will be booked with major block busters. But maybe area screens can squeeze in this neat bio-drama about a real life African-American hero.


It’s been 2 years since my last blog.


Yep. I have been lazy and irresponsible. Sorry.

Quite frankly, I am not sure why I am holding onto the dream of establishing a film festival in Williamsport PA. The idea was appealing way back when… but now other projects have taken priority. BFF sits on the back burner.

No one is going to pay attention to this blog. Maybe I should let it go and move on.


Richard James
Founder, Billtown Film Festival

BFF is coming back…

Yes, we have been in hibernation. But, some of our friends are stirring us to wake up.

It has been brought to our attention that a short film by famed artist JR, starring Robert DeNiro, entitled ELLIS, is available for a free screening in November. We’re working out the details to bring this film to Williamsport.


More information to follow…

Mo’ne’s story on film

Mo'ne Davis at Williamsport's GrandSlam Parade 2014This last summer Billtown (Williamsport PA) was enthralled with a 13-year old girl pitcher at the Little League World Series. She was Mo’ne Davis, the first girl to pitch a no-hitter in LLWS . She hails from South Philadelphia. And although her team did not go all the way to the end to win the series, she and her team the Taney Dragons did a fine job in representin’ the ideals of youth sports in the birthplace of Little League Baseball.

Spike Lee did a nice tribute/documentary on her and her family. Did you know that Mo’ne also plays basketball? Check it out:

A movie about recovery advocacy

Hey, y’all. Richard James, founder of the Billtown Film Festival has been very busy lately with a number of community social groups. He apologizes for being negligent in maintaining this blog. He has joined forces with a group called RCI, Recovery Community Initiative. Their goal is to reduce the stigma associated with drug abuse. Because of feelings of guilt and shame, many people suffering from addictions don’t get the help that they need. In the US, untreated addictions costs over 600 billion a year in lost production revenue and healthcare expenses!

RCI in partnership with Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow will show the documentary, The Anonymous People at the Price Auditorium, at Lock Haven University at 6pm on September 24, 2014. If you are in the neighborhood check it out. RCI hopes to bring other important films about America’s drug addiction problems to the big screen. So stay tuned…


Harbinger Down coming to Williamsport?

Williamsport favorite son, Academy Award winner for special effects, Tom Woodruff, Jr. has new new movie coming out. It’s called Harbinger Down. The trailer looks scary. Reminds me of the “The Thing” except the location is on a a ship.

Tom and his partner Alec Gillis are graduates from the Stan Winston creature shop that gave the world such great monsters as Terminator, Predator and Alien. Now they operate their own creature shop, studioADI. They are trying to revive the art of practical creature effects. And bring more jobs back to Hollywood.

Computer Generated Images can give us fantastic impossible scenes but there is a quality of an actual lens capturing a real 3-dimensional object that is lost. I hope Tom and Alec are successful.

Lorena Beniquez of the Central Pennsylvania Film Office is hopeful that Tom will return home to show his film in Williamsport. We have our fingers crossed.


Billtown Film Festival in cooperation with the Williamsport DigiPlex Cinema Center management will be giving away 7 free passes to alternative events programs. These passes will be valid for 2014 (one pass per event).

The Williamsport Digiplex Cinema Center is not just about movies anymore. Because of their recent technological upgrades the downtown Williamsport movie theater can now offer alternative digital events, including ballet and opera performances, concerts, Broadway shows, sporting events, and special films and documentaries.

Click Leave a Reply and In comments section, answer the following question: “What actor played the title role in the classic movie, Citizen Kane?” The first seven people to correctly answer this bit of movie buff trivia will receive a free pass to an alternative event.

So if you want more than the typical comic book blockbuster action flick, you now have a range of new choices to choose from. There’s something for everybody! Check out what’s happening this month, April 2014!

Monday 4/14/2014 – The Current (Christian Film)

Wednesday 1/16/2014 – TCM presents And The Oscar Goes To (Documentary)

Thursday 4/17/2014 – The Current (Christian Film)

Friday – Thursday 4/18-4/24/2014 – Thank You for Judging (Film)

Sunday – 4/20/2014 – Moulin Rouge (Ballet)

Tuesday – 4/22/2014 – The Current (Christian Film)

Thursday – 4/24/2014 – Shatner’s World (Comedy Rated – R)

Saturday – 2/26/2014 – Cosi Fan Tutte (Met Opera – LIVE!)

Sunday – 2/27/2014 –  Kinderblock (Documentary)

Sunday – 2/27/2014 – Marco Spada (Ballet)

Tuesday – 2/29/2014 – Marco Spada (Ballet)

Wednesday – 2/30/2014 – Kinderblock (Documentary)

Wednesday – 2/30/2014 – Cosi Fan Tutte (Met Opera – ENCORE!)

Through a special arrangement with Williamsport DigiPlex, Billtown Film Festival will be giving away FREE Promotional Passes to these digital alternative events. The passes are valid for the year (for 2014- all alternative events- one event only per pass)

For more information about Alternative Events at Williamsport DigiPlex click here. Click on Alternative Events on menu bar or check the ads on right hand side of the webpage.

Cash for Kids goes to Washington

Csh for Kids at CAC

U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey’s office announced a screening of the documentary, Cash for Kids in Washington DC. We’re glad the Senator will be presenting the film on Wednesday April 9th at 6pm but we think Central Pennsylvanians are not going to drive 4 hours to see the movie. The good news is that Williamsport’s Community Arts Center will be screening it in May.

So if you can’t make the Senator’s showing, just wait a few weeks. We know the anticipation is unbearable but hang in there. It’ll be well worth the wait. Want to know more about Senator Casey’s screening? Click here.

Kids for Cash is the story of young people being harshly sentenced and incarcerated for minor and sometimes insignificant offenses by President Judge Mark Ciavarella in Luzerne County. Thousands of children were sent to a for-profit private owned institution… and the judge received monies for every kid he sent there. Directed by Robert May. Runtime: 142 minutes.

Indies Explosion in Williamsport, Pa.



Hey I got good news. There’s has been an explosion of independent movies on screens in Williamsport Pa.! Yep, that’s right. Indies! Movies are back in a big way in Billtown. And we are glad to see it. The James V. Brown Library has announced that they are participating in a special program sponsored the Sundance Institute and US federal cultural agencies to bring culturally enriching films across America. Check out their webpage here. So mark your calendar and explore the world of independent films. This is the kind of stuff you won’t see at your typical multiplex.

Here’s the lineup:

The World Before Her
Tuesday, April 15, 7-9 p.m., G-11, Heim Science Building, Lycoming College

If you Build It
Friday, April 18, 6-8 p.m., Lowry Theatre, Welch Wing, James V. Brown Library

Twenty Feet From Stardom
Tuesday, April 22, 6-9 p.m., Community Arts Center

Friday, April 25, 6-9 p.m., Lowry Theatre, Welch Wing, James V. Brown Library


Kids for Cash is coming to Williamsport

I am sure you have heard of the scandal by now. But in case you haven’t, here’s the gist of it: Teens and young adults received harsh sentences by a county court judge for minor offenses and insignificant crimes. It turns out the privately run institution that incarcerated the young people was paying bribe money to the judge! Thousands of kids were jailed, many lives were destroyed. One young man committed suicide… and the judge was eventually put behind bars.

Well, see the documentary, Kids For Cash at the Community Arts Center Thursday May 29th and Friday May 30th, 2014. 7pm both nights. Only 5 bucks!

Thursday, May 29 at 7:00pm
Friday, May 30 at 7:00pm
Rated PG-13
All tickets are $5 at the door