Film Notes: Author on hand at 'Dog Jack' screening

March 8, 2012 12:01 am

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Florence Biros, author of the historical novel that inspired the family film "Dog Jack," will be signing autographs and taking questions at a special screening of the movie Saturday night at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.

"Dog Jack" is based on a true story about a mixed-breed dog from Pittsburgh who charged into battle as the mascot of the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War.

The dog's portrait hung at Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum & Memorial in Oakland and that's where Ms. Biros saw it and a plaque about his exploits. As she told the Post-Gazette in 2009, she embellished the story, adding a runaway slave named Jed, age 14, as Jack's companion, and combining other fictional characters and events with authentic ones.

Louis Gossett Jr. narrates the film, shot in Illinois and Western Pennsylvania. "Dog Jack" will be shown at 4 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday, which is when Ms. Biros will appear.

The Hollywood is at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont.

Contest takes shape

Eric Gold, a Pittsburgh native who has guided the careers of Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Vince Vaughn, is among the industry professionals who will hear a dozen writers' pitches at the next installment of the Steeltown Film Factory on March 17.

Mr. Gold, actress Marcy Kaplan and Asher Garfinkel, president of Readers Unlimited, specializing in screenplay analysis, will help to kick off the first event in the contest that ultimately will award $30,000 to one or more filmmakers. That will enable them to turn their scripts into short films.

The quarter-finalists and their projects, in no particular order:

• Nathan Hollabaugh, "Duplex."

• Scott Peters, "Escape From St. Quentin's."

• Mason Radkoff, "Beginning Chemistry."

• David Safin, "The Birthday Present."

• Christopher Preksta, "Echo Torch."

• Jamie McGovern, "Applejack."

• Evan Mull, "Marcellus Morgan."

First Published 2012-03-07 23:27:27

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