TCM fest calls film buffs and others

Four-day fest reps a valuable opportunity for brand extension

TCM is ready for its annual Hollywood close-up.

For the third year in a row, the Turner cabler is making an event out of putting restored movies and filmdom legends on a pedestal with its TCM Classic Film Festival.

For the cabler, the four-day fest reps a valuable opportunity for brand extension, allowing film buffs to experience what Dennis Adamovich, TCM’s g.m. of festivals, calls the “TCM special touch” in person. The screenings kick off Thursday night with a restored print of “Cabaret,” with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey on hand at Grauman’s Chinese.

The fest will feature more than 70 screenings and seshes at Grauman’s, the Egyptian, the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel and other venues.

Just as important as showcasing indelible pics ranging from “Rio Bravo” to “Sullivan’s Travels” to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and other favorites on the bigscreen, fest programming is designed to appeal to cineastes by offering historical context, behind-the-scenes info and trivia.

“Curation is our differentiating factor” from other channels offering movies, said Adamovich, who is also senior VP of brand activation and digital.

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TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz will be on hand to provide nuggets of info at several events. Select guest appearances will be taped for network programming and outside events.

A conversation with Kim Novak will recorded for a one-hour special on the cabler next year, and an appearance by Debbie Reynolds will be used to introduce future screenings of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

TCM will also use the fest as a launch pad for two digital apps, one centered on trivia and another that gives users a guided tour of Hollywood. The apps will go public after film fanatics test-drive them at the fest.

All the components of the festivities are based on consumer insight, Adamovich said. Research indicating interest among TCM viewers is what led them to launch the event in the first place.

“We’re doing it because we know there is a huge community of passionate classic movie fans,” he said. “That’s what we build towards.”