SyrFest hosts Oscar Party at the Palace

Film Fest gets a boost as Syracuse celebrates motion picture academy's biggest night:

Perhaps the most distinguished man at the first annual Syracuse Film Fest Oscar's Party was CNY's Bob Barker. He was at home in his classic tuxedo with his lovely wife on his arm. Barker is the owner of the retro-hot dog stand just off Military Circle of the same name that is almost always surrounding by classic cars.

The loveliest woman would have to be a tie, for to pick just one or even three would not be possible. The ladies took advantage of the red carpet event with many elegant dresses, up-dos and sparkles in the house.

Syracuse Film Festival (SyrFest) founders, artistic director Owen Shapiro and his wife the producer Christine Fawcett-Shapiro, were on hand for the festivities. Owen, SU's professor of film studies, said simply without elaboration, "What ever film wins it doesn't deserve it."

Even though SyrFest producer, Christine (a 16-year veteran of the opera stage) had always envisioned one fancy dress occasion as a component of this city's film celebration, this particular party was the brainchild of Film Fest supporter and accomplished actress Maureen Harrington, who has hosted an Oscar party for years at home. Harrington, in floor length graduated black ruffles, and festival coordinator Beth Pratt, who was equally radiant in a garnet satin full length gown decided to bring their Oscar night celebration public and what better place than a Palace? Syracuse's Palace is an old movie house still in operation located on James Street in Eastwood.

Christine said she really thought Slumdog Millionaire was wonderful.

"The kids were fabulous, kids just off the street," she said, "authentic."

Although, she said she was haunted for days by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She noted she had always loved (F. Scott) Fitzgerald's writing, the author of the original book.

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