RIFF Announces Special Guest Burt Reynolds and ‘Smokey and the Bandit’

Smoke and the Bandit

The 2017 Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) is pleased to announce that Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Burt Reynolds will be a special guest at the 14th annual festival, taking place November 9-12, 2017. Mr. Reynolds will present a screening of Smokey and the Bandit on Saturday, November 11 and Dog Years on Sunday, November 12.

“I love Georgia! I call it my ‘lucky state.’ I’ve made a bunch of pictures there and hope to make more,” said Burt Reynolds. “I’m very proud that Rome International Film Festival will be showcasing two of my films. I look forward to sharing them with you.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Georgia-filmed Smokey and the Bandit (1977). In the film, Mr. Reynolds portrays The Bandit, a maverick racecar driver, who makes an $80,000-dollar bet that he can transport a shipment of Coors beer from Texarkana, TX, to Atlanta within 28 hours. Accompanied by a runaway bride (Sally Field), Bandit races across the South while being chased by a pesky sheriff (Jackie Gleason). Reynolds will do a Q&A following the 7:00pm screening at the Rome City Auditorium.

Reynolds will also be screening his latest film, Dog Years (2017), on Sunday, November 12. Written and directed by Adam Rifkin especially for Reynolds, the film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. The film stars Reynolds as an aging, former movie star who is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him. On its surface, DOG YEARS is a tale about faded fame, but at its core, it’s a universal story about growing old. The film co-stars Chevy Chase and Ariel Winter. Mr. Reynolds will be available for a Q&A following the 3:30pm screening at the DeSoto Theatre.

“No single individual has left a greater mark on Georgia’s film industry than Burt Reynolds,” said RIFF Executive Director Cameron McAllister. “Mr. Reynolds is an absolute icon in every sense of the word and we are so privileged to be able to bring him to RIFF.”

Mr. Reynolds’ visit to RIFF and the presentations of both Smokey and the Bandit and Dog Years are sponsored by R.H. Ledbetter Properties and the Ledbetter Family.

The 14th annual Rome International Film Festival takes place Thursday November 9 through Sunday November 12, 2017 at the historic DeSoto Theatre and Rome City Auditorium. Passes are now on sale at www.riffga.com.


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