2nd Annual
Rod Serling
Film Festival
Film Festival
Film Festival

By Maryellen Hughes
This article appeared November 20, 1987 in Pipe Dream, the Binghamton University campus newspaper.
The photos of Rod Serling on this and other pages of this web site are property of
the Serling family, and reproduction without express written permission is illegal.

ffest2pix.jpg (120413 bytes)This weekend, The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation will sponsor its 2nd Annual Rod Serling Film Festival. The two-day festival honoring the Binghamton native will present some of Serling's TV episodes and feature films.

The Friday portion of the festival will be presented at the Art Theatre. The Foundation obtained a comedy episode of the Twilight Zone in a 35mm format with all its original commercials. Michael Pipher, president of the Foundation, said that the only place to show a 35mm film is in a movie house and the Art Theatre agreed to cooperate.

In addition, the lesser-known Night Gallery series and the Emmy Award winning drama "Patterns" will be shown Friday night. Due to limited seating, there will be three showings.

Saturday, the festival will be held at Serling's alma mater—Binghamton High School. Five different films will be shown at two separate showings.

Last year's 1st Annual Rod Serling Film Festival, also held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the high school, drew approximately 800 people.

A total of 13 Serling films will be shown at the festival. They will range from the famed Twilight Zone series to Serling's lesser-known works. "We usually play down the Twilight Zone series," Pipher said. "Out of the 13 films being presented, there will be four Twilight Zone shows. There is much more to Rod Serling than the Twilight Zone."

Serling was born in Syracuse in 1924. Shortly after, his family moved to Binghamton. He was the editor of the Binghamton High School paper and was involved in many stage productions there. Helen

Foley, his junior high school English teacher, had a strong influence on him. He based a character in one Twilight Zone episode on her. Foley was president of the foundation in 1986.

Serling was seriously injured as a paratrooper in World War II. When he was in the hospital, he took up writing as therapy "in lieu of basket weaving."

Serling often mentioned Binghamton, Endicott and other local places in his shows. "Rod always came back to the community," Pipher said. "He was always generous with local charities, and he helped students who were interested in show business."

Serling died in Rochester at age 50, due to complications from open-heart surgery.

The foundation is a non-profit organization founded to present educational and entertainment in honor of Serling. With donations, the foundation purchases rare films, videotapes, scripts and awards that Serling received, in addition to sponsoring the foundation's ongoing activites.

The foundation also wishes to increase the scholarship fund established by the' City of Binghamton in Serling's honor. "We wish to increase the number of recipients from one to two or three a year;" Pipher said.

Showtimes for Friday night's program at the Art Theatre will be 7, 9:30, and midnight. The program will include the film Patterns the Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Bevis" and a promotional film for the Night Gallery series.

The Saturday afternoon program at Binghamton High School's Helen Foley Theatre will start at noon. It will include the Twilight Zone episode, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday," the Night Gallery episode, "Little Black Bag," the film Encounters with the Unknown, an episode from the series The Loner, and an episode of The Undersea World of Jacques Costeau narrated by Serling.

The Saturday night program at the Helen Foley Theatre will start at 7:00. it will include the Twilight Zone episodes, "In Praise of Pip" and "Night of the Meek," the Night Gallery episodes "They're Tearing Down Tim Reilley's Bar" and "The Messiah on Mott Street," and the film "Requiem for a Heavyweight."

ffticket.jpg (79685 bytes)
Ticket for 3rd Annual Rod Serling Film Festival, 1988