Creighton University played host to Hollywood, as the Omaha Film Festival Kicked off Saturday. A panel of home-grown talent, including actor Chris Klein, spoke at the Hixson-Lied Science Center.
The Millard West graduate may be best known for his role in American Pie. Director Alexander Payne, also from Omaha, first discovered Klein while he was scouting Millard West as a possible shooting location for his 1999 film, Election.
“The stuff that Alexander was able to do in the late 90’s and the turn of the millennium is really inspiring these young filmmakers, producers, actors, writers and directors from Omaha in a way that we’ve never seen,” said Klein. “And to be a part of that, to be a part of that world, is fantastic.”
It’s also “fantastic” to come back to Omaha, Klein told Channel 6 News, “because the values and the frame of reference that I attained in this town, the people in this town that were so incredibly influential in helping me get a leg up and help me to eventually do what I want to do. It wouldn’t have happened without this community.”
For other young aspiring actors or filmmakers, Klein said, “Have big shoulders and go for it. You know the only person that can stop you from accomplishing your goals is you. Go for it. Enjoy it. Be inspired. It’s a big world. Dream big dreams because you can do what you want.”
Up and coming director Nik Fackler, alongside producer Dana Altman, also spoke to the crowd.
Fackler, 25, is also a Millard West graduate. His latest accomplishment is the film Lovely Still, starring academy award winners Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn.
While Fackler spoke at Creighton Saturday, his film was shown at Great Escape Stadium, 74th & Crown Point. Lovely Still is among several independent films which will be showcased throughout the week.
The festival, co-sponsored by WOWT, continues through March 14. For a list of events, Click here.