Quaker Cinema to host film festival

Quaker Cinema to host film festival

Image Credit: Scott Daniels

Quaker Cinema in downtown New Philadelphia is a place managed by and for film lovers, with a variety of movies and special events through the year.

The annual Tuscarawas Valley Film Festival this year promises to be better than ever, with seven films shown over four nights beginning Sept. 22 and running every Thursday through Oct. 13. Food for the evening events will be provided by Park Street Pizza and beer by Hoodletown Brewing Company. Wine from area wineries also will be available.

Film festival board members Ty and Jennifer Simmelink, Stephanie Price, Laura Bowe and Jim Boose met recently at event sponsor Hoodletown Brewery to finalize plans for the upcoming festival.

“We scout the Cleveland Film Festival for ideas for films we can include,” Ty Simmelink said. “We take a look at what got an audience award or a lot of buzz. Then we also look at streaming services that are producing films that don’t get full releases, like those from major studios. Ultimately, (Quaker Cinema owner) Mike Ernest kind of weighs in on selections and has some good ideas to add to the mix. We all love movies, but Mike is the real movie guy.”

The film festival proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio.

Films showing Sept. 22 and 29 and Oct. 3 will feature a Q-and-A session with a person associated with the production. “Either a writer, producer or director, someone close to the movie, will be there,” Simmelink said.

Tickets for the film festival are available via eventbrite.com and are $10 per night or $30 for a VIP film festival pass, which buys admission to all four nights and a wrap party after the final film is shown Oct. 13. Food and beverages are available each night beginning at 5:30 p.m., with the movie slate beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The first film, offered Sept. 22, is “Bat Boy: Tragedy and Triumph,” the story of an inner-city kid who finds himself with a great mentor.

“We actually moved the film festival back a week this year,” Boose said, “so that we could accommodate the speaker for this movie. That’s the one I’m most looking forward to seeing.”

Movies this year include “Bat Boy” and “The Integrity of Joseph Chambers” on Sept. 22, “Open Hearts” and “A Love Song” on Sept. 29, “A Cleveland Story” and “Jethica” on Oct. 6, and “The Aqua Blue Night of Horror” on Oct. 13. The final evening will feature classic horror films. The Eventbrite page for the festival offers information about each film.

“Every year we raise money for a local charitable organization,” Jennifer Simmelink said. “We have been able to give more and more to those organizations every year. The first year it was a couple hundred dollars, but last year we were able to raise more than a thousand dollars.”

“The festival has grown every year, and every year over the last six, we’ve been able to give a little bit more,” Ty Simmelink said.

“One that will really touch people’s hearts is ‘Open Hearts’ on Sept. 29,” Ty Simmelink said. “It’s the story of doctors from Cleveland Clinic who traveled to Haiti, where they performed 12 surgeries over a four-day period for kids who had heart defects. ‘A Cleveland Story,’ showing Oct. 6, is by local native and current Cleveland resident Eric Swinderman. So we have a couple of movies with some kind of local connection.”

“The film festival is always a lot of fun,” Price said. “Anyone who loves movies should plan to be there.”

Visit www.quakercinema.com for updates and further information.