Italian film festival accepts Harsin's silent movie

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Silence will be the international language when Rex Harsin attends the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy.
“This is the 30th anniversary of the festival,” the Baldwyn resident said. “It’s one of the largest silent film festivals in the world.”
Harsin saw Buster Keaton’s “The General” in 2004, and it changed his world. A student at Los Angeles Film School at the time, he started making silent movies about Purdie, an everyman who looks a lot like Harsin.
Over the years, Harsin has been in contact with film critic David Robinson, director of Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, also known as the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone.
“I submitted ‘Backstage,’ and it was accepted,” Harsin said. “We shot it at the Civic Auditorium, and we made it with Tupelo people.”
The festival will be Oct. 1-8, which gives Harsin time to raise money for the trip.
He’s teaching a free eight-week filmmaking course. As they learn, students will make commercials for Tupelo businesses that are sponsoring the course.
“I’m not going to teach the Hollywood method,” Harsin said. “I’m going to teach how you get your camera and actors and shoot a film here in Tupelo.”
The first class will be 6:30 p.m. July 11 at Link Centre’s Black Box Theatre. Learn more by calling (662) 231-9591, or email

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or

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