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Festival hosting party for Oscars

There are the privileged few who get to walk the red carpet, and then there are the rest of us, watching the Academy Awards on the couch in our pajamas.

But the organizers of the West Virginia International Film Festival have come up with an appealing middle ground.

The group will host its first-ever Oscars Watch Party this Sunday at Little India, on Charleston's East End. The party begins at 6 p.m. and admission is $10.

Film festival president Emmett Pepper said the party is a natural fit for his organization because the festival brings many Oscar-winning movies to town that don't normally play here. It also gives movie fans a chance to rub elbows with fellow cinephiles.

"The people that go to our film festivals are film lovers, and this is the biggest film event of the year," he said. "We also wanted to have some fun while doing it, instead of just watching from home."

The party will feature a March Madness-style bracket contest, where attendees try to predict who will win the top awards like Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, etc. Prizes will be awarded for the most and least accurate bracket.

There also will be a red carpet-inspired fashion contest, with awards presented for "most glamorous" (best-dressed) and "most derelict" (worst-dressed). Pepper said he's heard from several people who have their hearts set on that worst-dressed award.

Free refreshments will be served and a DJ will provide entertainment during commercial breaks.

"You can pay as much attention or as little as you want," Pepper said.

He's expecting a good turnout to the event. While the event is primarily a get-together for local movie lovers, Pepper said proceeds will go toward the film festival's operating costs.

The festival's board is all volunteers, but putting on twice-yearly events still costs a significant amount of money, from renting theaters to paying for movies' screening rights.

"For the past 30 years, we have brought films here that haven't played here. We've also done as much as we can to support some of the local films and highlight West Virginia filmmakers. We'd like to do more in that regard, and have funding available to support local filmmakers," he said.

While the board members haven't decided which movies will play at its spring festival, they have decided on a date. The West Virginia International Film Festival's spring festival will be May 9-16 at the WVSU Capitol Theater on Summers Street.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-4830 or zack.harold@dailymailwv.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZackHarold.


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