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Public TV panders to ‘Reel’ film buffs

Showcase to feature shorts, classics, indies

Public-TV flagship station WNET New York has created Saturday-night movie showcase “Reel 13,” made up of three elements every week: a recognizable Hollywood oldie at 9 p.m., followed by a short film and topped off by a low-budget indie movie.

The initiative kicks off Jan. 5 with “The Paper Chase,” and the three movies scheduled for the rest of the month are “A Shot in the Dark” (Jan. 12), “The Robe” (Jan. 19) and “The Magnificent Seven” (Jan. 26).

WNET has also set up a Reel13.org website where viewers will be able to stream video of the short movies and vote on which ones they want to see. Internet users will also be able to voice their opinions on the quality of the Reel 13 movies and exchange ideas with others.

The Reel 13 website also will allow filmmakers to submit short movies for possible use on the Saturday-night telecast.

“Saturday nights will now be an interactive experience, where movie buffs can create and participate in what they watch,” said Neal Shapiro, president of Thirteen. WNET’s dial position is channel 13.

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