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Mendocino Film Festival screens Same Time, Next Year


Mendocino Film Festival Screens Same Time, Next Year

This Academy Award-nominated film, which stars Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, was shot locally at Heritage House, which had served as the original inspiration for Bernard Slade to write both the Broadway play and the eventual screen adaptation. Director Robert Mulligan also knew the region, having filmed Summer of ‘42 on the Mendocino Coast in 1971.

During filming in February 1978, many locals participated as extras and stand-ins. Bob Avery, who was Alan Alda’s stand-in, reported at the time that it was “a remarkable experience. All of them are experts, and all of them are good people.”  Of the Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Robert Surtees, Avery had this to say in 1978: “Now in his 51st year with the industry, Surtees is the acknowledged master. With him, you can bet every frame will be right.”

With the irreverent tagline “They couldn’t have celebrated happier anniversaries if they were married to each other,” the film garnered critical acclaim for its intimate portrayal of an unusual couple: two people who meet once a year to continue their 25-year-long affair. 

Ellen Burstyn won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination for her performance. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in three other categories: Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Song (for “The Last Time I Felt Like This,” performed by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor).

“Very much of its era, Same Time, Next Year offers a nuanced representation of love and the passage of time,” says Mendocino Film Festival Executive Director Michael Fox. “This is a great opportunity to see 1970s Mendocino and this unique romance on the big screen.”

A special Valentine’s presentation of Same Time, Next Year at Matheson Performing Arts Center in Mendocino Village on Saturday, February 13.  This 1978 classic will screen at 4:00 pm (members only) and 7:00 pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Lori Donnelly, the Festival’s 2016 Program Director, at the screening. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Mendocino High School. 


Photo copywritten by Universal Pictures