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The Claremont Film Festival will kick off with a presentation of Buster Keaton’s The General with live accompaniment by Jerry Reynolds III. The film will screen at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at the Claremont Laemmle Theatre.

The General is one of the most recognized works from the Silent Screen Era and it was ranked number 18 by the American Film Institute on their 10th anniversary list of the 100 best American movies of all time.

Mr. Reynolds will play live accompaniment on the keyboard and provide the audience with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy an experience from 100 years ago. Mr. Reynolds has won various awards for music composition and has performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center and Nemu No Sato in Japan. Mr. Reynolds has shared the stage with artists such as Keely Smith, Harry Connick Jr., Joe Montanya and Julian Lennon.

The festival will continue with a “Spotlight on Music” on Friday, May 6 at the screening of the award-winning film The Wrecking Crew. In the film, director Denny Tedesco documents the work of The Wrecking Crew, who were the backbone of the hits in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Wrecking Crew was a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. The film will screen Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. A Q and A will follow with Mr. Tedesco.  Famed keyboardist Don Randi will also be in attendance.

Saturday, May 7 will include the screening of documentaries in the afternoon followed by an evening show of the finest short films from around the globe. The afternoon show, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature two documentaries: The Piano, which shows the role of music during the conflict in the Ukraine, and Landfill Harmonic, where children learn music by building instruments from scraps found in the rubbish. At 7 p.m., a selection of come of the finest short films from around the world will be shown.

The Friday and Saturday shows will be followed with a reception at Le Pain Quotidien, the outdoor café located just steps from the Laemmle Theater in the public plaza.

The festival is the production of the Claremont Community College, a volunteer group dedicated to providing remarkable social, cultural and educational programs. The group also provides musical support to deserving children. Last year, the CCC distributed 100 guitars to local kids.

Ticket prices vary for the film screenings but average around $15. The evening receptions, which include talks with the filmmakers, run $40 a person.

Festival tickets may be purchased at www.ClaremontFilmFest.com.


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