Big Reels Keep on Turnin’

The Rehoboth Independent Film Festival comes of age. Plus, City Theater Company lets its “Hair” down, big name authors book Dover and improv at The Grand.

Rob Rector, a festival co-founder, says
the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film
Festival has made great strides during
the past decade.
Photograph by Keith

Big Reels Keep on Turnin’
Size matters if you’re a shoe. But if you’re a small town with big dreams, there are no limits. That would explain the success of the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, which turns 10 this month.

“We’re not a small festival,” says program director Joe Bilancio. “We just happen to be in a small community.”

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Smaller film fests often rehash DVD releases. Many of Rehoboth’s films hail from Cannes and Sundance. Of its 100 scheduled features, documentaries and shorts, most have shown at large fests in Milwaukee, St. Louis-even Cairo. “Rehoboth deals with the big boys,” Balancio says.

And top-notch speakers. The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is bringing in Christine Vachon, producer of “Boys Don’t Cry.” She’ll be joined by Ken Marino, former member of MTV’s sketch-comedy troupe The State and actor Sam Rockwell (“Lawn Dogs”). The panel will conduct Q & A sessions and host film retrospectives.

But for overall bigness, nothing looms larger than community support. Festival co-founder Rob Rector, a former film critic for The Beachcomber, is awed by the event’s success. “When we started, there was no template,” he says. “So we figured, why not shoot for the stars? It’s exceeded any expectation we ever imagined, though the goal from the get-go wasn’t to get bigger. It was to be more refined.”

Turns out they got both.

The festival runs November 7-11. For more, call 645-9095, or visit

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-Maria Hess

Hair Down to Here
The Age of Aquarius may be long gone for most of us, but the anti-war sentiment of “Hair” will live on when City Theater Company begins its production in the round at OperaDelaware on November 30. The story follows a group of politically active friends called The Tribe as they stage a burning of draft cards and say goodbye to a friend who goes off to fight in Vietnam. The “original rock musical” certainly caused a stir with its nudity, depiction of drug use and flag-burning when it premiered in 1967. Forty years later, it remains a classic. For City Theater Company, the performance season is a return to its so-called roots at OperaDelaware (4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington) after a few seasons at the Baby Grand. The show will run through December 15. Will there be an onstage be-in? There’s only one way to find out. For more, contact City Theater Company at

Celebrating Words
Bookworms and bibliophiles unite. The second annual Delaware Book Fair will bring more than 35 nationally recognized authors and illustrators to First State Heritage Park in Dover on November 3. From 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., participate in book signings by nationally known authors of fiction and non-fiction, adult and children’s literature”including Delawareans Marisa de los Santos and Lara Zeises and former Delawarean Julianna Baggott”as well as writing workshops and seminars on book collecting and appraisal. For kids, there will be displays from Winterthur, visits by storybook characters, dragon tales, a production of “Alice in Wonderland” and a visit from Mother Goose. The event is free-as is admission to local museums. For more, contact the Delaware Division of Libraries- event website at

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Got Bread?
Greenbank Mill, one of Delaware’s agricultural and industrial treasures, will host a Bread Festival November 10-11. The weekend features a yeast dough bread competition, mill tours, livestock, textiles and a presentation on home breweries (to display the multiple uses of grain, of course). Fresh baked bread and plenty of kids’ activities will be available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For more, call 999-9001, or visit

-Becki Davis

It’s time again for a favorite fundraiser, Hollidazzle 2007, on November 10. This Evening of Love and Laughter at The Grand Opera House will feature comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, stars of the hit show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Hollidazzle benefits Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with Cognitive Disablities. The night will include a performance by Totally Awesome Kids, Delaware Theatre Company’s troupe for young actors with cognitive disabilities. For more, call DFRC at 454-2730.

Our Excellence in Nursing Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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