The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival officially began on Thursday, April 6th. However, my festival experience got underway the previous day, with a full slate of festival-related activities.
Wednesday kicked off when I met up with my friend and festival roommate KC. It's always great to see her again! This year we were fortunate to have also seen each other a few weeks previously when her family visited Disneyland.
In just a couple of hours we managed to pick up our media credentials at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, eat lunch in the hotel's 25 Degrees restaurant, and purchase our souvenirs in the festival gift shop.
This year's media bag included a bottle of Alfred Hitchcock wine from the TCM Wine Club and the upcoming book release KIRK AND ANNE: LETTERS OF LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND A LIFETIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Although I've never particularly been a fan of Kirk Douglas, I've found this book of letters quite engaging.
The official 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival program, a larger size than in years past:
Soon it was time to head to the Chinese multiplex, where we were reunited with other bloggers ahead of the annual TCM press conference.
TCM's General Manager Jennifer Dorian kicked off the press conference with brief opening remarks, describing the festival as "the embodiment of what we do."
She was then joined by (left to right) head programmer Charlie Tabesh, festival director Genevieve McGillicuddy, and host Ben Mankiewicz.
One of the main takeaways from this year's press conference was the news that this July TCM and Ball State University are cohosting their third film course, on the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Signups are here.
Topics included programming the festival, balancing the comedy theme with other films; difficulties rebroadcasting some of Robert Osborne's PRIVATE SCREENINGS interviews due to film clip rights lapsing (they said some were actually questionable to be shown during his memorial tribute weekend, but they went ahead anyway); the possibility of re-airing some of Osborne's intros in the future (it's under consideration, though they've never re-used intros before); the percentage of "newer" movies on the network (Dorian asserted that the number hasn't shifted); and programming the Filmstruck streaming service (considering how to balance cult and indie films with classic Hollywood). Filmstruck, incidentally, should be available for Roku beginning this summer.
The press conference format was a bit different this year, as the TCM staffers were joined partway through the event by Randy Haberkamp of the Academy, Jennifer Ahn of the Film Foundation, and preservationist David Strohmaier; topics in this portion of the press conference included the introduction of nitrate prints to the festival lineup thanks to the new booth at the Egyptian Theatre.
Following the press conference, my friend and fellow blogger Raquel arranged a "family reunion" dinner for 12 at Kitchen 24. It was wonderful catching up with old friends and meeting Diana in person for the first time. We all had a wonderful time!
Then it was back to the Hollywood Roosevelt...
...and a very special gathering of bloggers upstairs in the Hotel's Spare Room:
I love these opportunities to spend time with my fellow classic film bloggers ahead of the movie screenings beginning!
My husband had a great time bowling with Chris, and later in the evening TCM guest host Illeana Douglas joined in the bowling as well:
It was a wonderful end to the day!
There was much more fun ahead the next day, including shopping at Larry Edmunds Cinema Bookshop and the first movie screenings of the festival. My Day 2 recap is coming this weekend!