TCM Backlot: Kristina Kingsley - 11/21
The moment I found out that I had been selected as the contest winner for the TCM Backlot Guest Programmer for 2018, I was nothing short of ecstatic. For weeks afterwards, I walked on air in anticipation of my arrival in Atlanta for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and discuss my picks with Ben Mankiewicz on set at TCM. The time has arrived, and on November 21 at 8pm the experience will come full circle as my film selections, on-air discussions with Ben and "pinch me" moments will be shown for a wider audience to see and enjoy.
I have loved movies since I was a child. One of the first films I remember seeing in the theater, when I was 4 years old, was Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). I cut my movie-going teeth on countless hours of Disney films, musicals and so many unforgettable films of the '80s. In high school, I was introduced to the world of classic film through my boyfriend and he took me to see Citizen Kane (1941) on the big screen. From that night on, I was hooked.
Since it was announced that I was this year's winner, many people have asked if it was difficult to select the films for my big night as a guest programmer. In short, my answer is no. I am not only a movie fanatic but also a movie collector, and I'm transitioning my collection from physical media to streaming access. For the past 5-6 years, I've been keeping a list of numerous films currently not available for purchase through any streaming retailer. So many outstanding, Academy Award-winning films--which from time to time are available to stream through TCM or FilmStruck--aren't available for purchase.
Why have so many magnificent films been overlooked? Exceptional ones like Elmer Gantry (1960), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and Willow (1988) to name a few. I had titled my list #FreeTheClassics and knew instantly that I would use this personal catalog to determine which films I would feature as a TCM guest programmer. My hope is that, by raising awareness to and highlighting these films, they will no longer be overlooked or lost for future generations. Just maybe by sharing my passion for these marvelous movies with others, they can make the critical transition into the "digital era" and continue to be preserved, appreciated and admired by movie lovers of all ages.
I was afforded this extraordinary opportunity because I'm a TCM Backlot member. It all stated with signing up online, receiving my free TCM t-shirt then joining my local TCM Backlot Emerald City Chapter in Seattle, WA. When the contest was announced, I submitted my video introducing one of my favorite films and now, here I am actually ON TCM. My own Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious moment! For me, this experience is a dream come true and one that I will never forget. If you aren't already a member of the TCM Backlot, what are you waiting for? You could be next!
by Kristina Kingsley