TCM Classic Film Festival: Dates, Theme Set for 2015 Edition (Exclusive)

Get ready for a history lesson this March

Some great news for fans of the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood: Next year's edition will arrive sooner than expected.

The sixth annual extravaganza, with the theme "History According to Hollywood," will take place March 26-29, a full calendar month ahead of the 2013 edition and some two weeks earlier than the most recent installment.

Festival passes, which sell out every year and went quicker than ever last time out — when a record 26,000-plus attendees visited in April — go on sale in November.

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The ageless Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, site of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, once again serves as the official hotel, gathering point and posh poolside screening area. TCM's Robert Osborne, the former longtime columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, returns as the indispensable festival host.

Screenings and events, including sit-downs with legendary filmmakers and stars, will take place at such Hollywood Boulevard venues as the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian, and organizers hope to again have the use of the historic El Capitan.

The March dates are due to the fact that the TCM festival has to "align itself with four of five venues that aren't usually under the same umbrella," Genevieve McGillicuddy, managing director of the festival, told THR.

And one reason Hollywood gets to host this event each year, McGillicuddy added, is because it's so "pedestrian friendly" — perhaps the first time anyone has referred to anywhere in L.A. that way.

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In choosing this year's theme (last year's was "Family in the Movies: The Ties That Bind"), TCM said that "Hollywood has found endless inspiration in re-creating historical moments and bringing to life the heroes and villains of the past, creating a form of time travel for audiences through the ages and around the world.

"These films, however, are not always true to the historical record. Filmmakers have often created works about the past that are a reflection of the period in which they were made or change facts to suit a particular storyline. The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival will explore how cinema has shaped how we view — and remember — history."

After tossing around 30 or 40 ideas with staffers for a theme, TCM senior vp programming Charlie Tabesh said they seized upon the history idea after "hearing from a number of historians who said how much they love TCM. That sparked something in us."

The list of films to be screened will be announced later.

McGillicuddy noted a "modest price increase" in the cost of passes this year, with the highest-level Spotlight Festival Pass going for $1,649. About 80 percent of attendees come from outside California, she said.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4