Barnesville hosting film festival

THE BARNESVILLE community will experience a first next Tuesday at 7 p.m. during Independence Week when Barnesville resident Gage Hanlon stages a mini-showcase independent film festival at the Barnesville High School Auditorium. Admission to the showing is free and open to the public.

Featured film that night will be Hanlon’s short film, “The Pinewood Man,” and two other shorts produced by Savanah College of Art and Design students. One “Red, White, and Screwed,” a comedy co-produced by Hanlon and directed by his girlfriend, “follows a conservative young woman who dreams of becoming president of the United States. That’s quickly diminished when a faux online profile gets in the way of her dreams,” Hanlon noted.

The other is an environmental documentary, “Identity,” shot by fellow SCAD student Vinny Varsalona, who also photographed “The Pinewood Man.” This film follows the snowboarding culture in the Adirondack Mountains.

“The Pinewood Man,” filmed in Barnesville over a five-day period this past winter, stars veteran actor James Madio portraying a man down on his luck who “has lost everything who must prove himself to everyone.” Barnesville’s First Presbyterian Church, downtown, and several private residences served as backdrops for the film.

Hanlon’s film garnered the budding director honors at the Savanah College of Art and Design’s “SCADemy Awards” recently. Out of 60 submissions, the Barnesville production won “Best Undergraduate Film” and “Best Actor” for Madio’s portrayal of Frank Weissman while the actress in the political comedy took “Best Actress” honors, Hanlon said.

In addition to the Barnesville showcase, Madio fans can catch him in the Clint Eastwood film, “The Jersey Boys,” now showing at the Carmike Ohio Valley Mall Cinemas.

Production of “The Pinewood Man” was made possible through the crowd sourcing website, A total of 129 backers committed $15,628 to produce the short film. Donor rewards will be available at the July 1 showing, Hanlon added.

“The Pinewood Man” and “Red, White and Screwed” are rated PG-13 while “Identity” is rated G. Hanlon, who was graduated from SCAD in May, will be available for a short question-and-answer session following the films.