Film fanatics test their knowledge at ‘Screentest 2’ trivia night
Members of last year's winning film trivia team, The Mr. DeMilles, were, from left, Debbie Way, John Marks and Dana Gentes, with John Hodgman, in front
PHOTO COURTESY OF AMHERST CINEMA
PHOTO COURTESY OF AMHERST CINEMA
Local radio personality and Northampton city councilor Bill Dwight, and celebrity guest John Hodgman, an author, actor and humorist who has appeared on “The Daily Show with John Stewart,” particpated in “Screentest 2: Movie Trivia Madness”last year and will be back.
AMHERST — It’s a cinephile’s dream come true: a night of ferocious, but good-humored movie trivia competition, courtesy of Amherst Cinema.
With the witty banter of the evening’s emcee, local radio personality and Northampton city councilor Bill Dwight, and celebrity guest John Hodgman, an author, actor and humorist who has appeared on “The Daily Show with John Stewart,” “Screentest 2: Movie Trivia Madness” is going to be a blast, says Carol Johnson, the cinema’s executive director.
On March 10, at the Academy of Music in Northampton, teams of three will compete for movie tickets and other cinema-related prizes by answering film-trivia questions ranging from movie music and film directors, to famous lines and starring roles.
“But it’s not about what you win,” Johnson said. “It’s about the honor of winning, showing off your knowledge and supporting the theater.”
The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit, independent cinema, which opened in 2006, and is now supported in part by more than 2,700 members.
According to Johnson, there are a lot of people in the Pioneer Valley who were active, or are still active, in the film industry, some of whom will attend “Movie Trivia Madness.” The three celebrity judges, Connie White, Steve Bloom and Tim Metcalfe, for example, are all film industry professionals and will be ruling on questionable answers during the competition.
Now in its second year, “Movie Trivia Madness” is the theater’s biggest fundraising event. Last year it took place on the Smith College campus in Northampton, in a 350-seat auditorium, and sold out. In expectation of an even larger crowd, this year’s competition will be held at the Academy of Music in Northampton, which seats 800.
“People in the Valley really like indie film,” Johnson said.
For audience members, watching the competition will be akin to viewing a combination comedy show and “Jeopardy,” Johnson says. Audience members root for their favorite teams, and it’s not uncommon for attendees to show up in costume.
“It’s not exactly heated but it’s very intense,” Johnson said.
Last year’s winning team, “The Mr. DeMilles,” with members Debbie Way, John Marks and Dana Gentes, will be back to defend its title. The team is sponsored by the Montague Book Mill and its owner, veteran screenwriter Susan Shilliday.
Although “The Mr. DeMilles” sets the bar high, Johnson says, there are a number of eager, promising teams on the roster this year, including “Two Chicks and a Dick (Tracy),” sponsored by the Chick Flicks in Northampton; “We Might Be James Franco,” sponsored by Valley Medical Associates in Amherst; and “Raiders of the Lost Archive,” sponsored by Forbes Library in Northampton.
There’s also an audience-participation round, during which attendees can test their film knowledge, which Johnson says is “low-stress and fun.”
“Screentest 2: Movie Trivia Madness” is an all-ages event and will be held at the Academy of Music in Northampton Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased online at www.amherstcinema.org or at the Academy of Music box office.