4th Annual ZaSu Pitts Film Festival 2001

April 27 & 28, 2001
Parsons, KS

Spotlighting the Career of Louise Brooks
LuLu and ZaSu: Lust and Laughter

Special Guests include authors of books about two of Kansas' famous film daughters:
Barry Paris
, author, Louise Brooks: A Biography
Jay Fultz, author, In Search of Donna Reed

This year's festival will contrast the careers and lifestyles of Louise “Lulu” Brooks and ZaSu Pitts, who were natives of Kansas. Brooks was independent, intellectually daring, and sexually free. Pitts, who started her film career with dramatic parts, went on to be known for her zany, comedic roles. Pitts was born in Parsons and Brooks was born in Cherryvale, approximately 20 miles southwest of Parsons.

Fultz and Paris will speak at the festival and will be available to autograph their books.

Pitts was born in Parsons in 1898. Her family moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1903 and she began her film career in 1917. She was discovered among a group of spectators watching Mary Pickford in the filming of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She was cast as an extra in the film and was given a much larger role in Pickford’s next film, The Little Princess. Pitts would go on to appear in more than 500 films, doing drama and later comedy. From 1956 to 1960 she co-starred with Gale Storm in the television series Oh! Susanna. Pitts died in 1963.

Louise Brooks was born in 1906 in Cherryvale. She was an actress, writer, dancer. An article she wrote about ZaSu Pitts was published in a French-language magazine. Brooks lived in Wichita before moving to New York City at the age of fifteen. She made 24 films from 1925 to 1938. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Lulu in the 1929 German film Pandora’s Box.

Films to be shown include three silent classics starring Louise Brooks: A Girl in Every Port, Beggars of Life, and Pandora’s Box.

Festival activities include a 1920's fashion show, memorabilia, movie shorts, and more. All activities will be at The Parsons Theatre and are free to the public. The festival is sponsored by the Parsons Arts and Humanities Council, Kansas Humanities Council, Labette County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Labette Community College, and by businesses and individuals.

Artwork © 2001 by Carol Yoho
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