BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Katie Holmes will serve as a judge for the third annual Maumee Film Festival. The actress, who found success in several film and television projects, including Batman Begins and the miniseries The Kennedys: After Camelot, says she is looking forward to being part of the festival. She is teaming up with her sister Tamera Fretti of Toledo on the judge’s panel. “I am so proud to support the Maumee Film festival because it is a wonderful event that will showcase filmmakers whose voices and visions I am excited to see,” she said. Submissions are currently underway for the festival, which features short films – up to 12 minutes in length. The event is open to any filmmaker high school age or older. Those accepted will be screened at the festival on Saturday, September 23 at the Maumee Indoor Theater. Filmmakers can also sign up for the Project-4 Film Challenge, in which four days are given to complete a short film. Specific elements that are provided at the start of the challenge must also be included in the project. Holmes isn’t sure if she will come to the theater for the festival – it depends on her schedule; however, she will screen the films. “It means so much to me to be a part of an event that celebrates and supports creativity and storytelling and helps to showcase new talent. I am excited and inspired to be involved,” she said. In addition to her work as an actress, Holmes is also a producer, director and model, and she owns her own fashion line. Last December, she returned to the Maumee Indoor Theater to promote the film, All We Had, a $3 million film project on which she served as producer, director and lead actress. The theater sold out within hours of announcing her visit. “People in Northwest Ohio really love and support Katie Holmes,” said Maumee Indoor Theater manager Sam Johnson. “She was very nice to work with and it’s great to have her involved in the festival. I hope she makes it back, we would love to have her return to the theater.” Last year, more than 25 short films were featured during the second annual Maumee Film Festival, with work from local filmmakers as well as filmmakers from Los Angeles and Chicago. Actor Robert Knepper, who grew up in Maumee, returned to the theater to present awards and talk to local filmmakers about the film industry. Well-known for his work as Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell on the hit show Prison Break, Knepper will also serve as a judge for this year’s film festival. “For local filmmakers, or for those aspiring to work in the industry, this is a great opportunity to have highly successful and talented people see your work,” Johnson said. “Not submitting would definitely be a missed opportunity.” For full details about the festival and directions for submitting a film, visit www.maumeefilmfestival.com.
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